Friday, 15 March 2019

The Joker and Cat Woman… The Man Who Laughs (1927), Meg Morley Trio, 1901 Arts Club


On the day I pre-ordered the new Flicker Alley dual format release of the new 4k restoration of this film and The Final Warning, Paul Leni’s last two films, I went to see this screening in one of the capital’s most elegant venues. This highly-influential take on Victor Hugo’s featured accompaniment from the magnificent Meg Morley trio who provided richly-textured improvisations that brought out the best in this odd and very amusing film. Meg is classically-trained and a gifted jazz player and it’s fascinating to watch her silent sensibilities filtered through this genre and in also group setting.

Meg leads the group with striking confidence, especially as they were playing “sight unseen” – no preview, no rehearsal - this was an unfolding surprise for both them and us and it was full of warm, delightful chords as well as dynamic progressions. Meg also took a cushioned mallet – it could have been a duster - to the Club’s Steinway strings, before resuming the emphatic motifs with swing and silent swagger. But somebody stop me before I make like Jack Kerouac; I dug it OK?

The 1901 Arts Club is a compact long rectangle and the compact acoustics perfectly projected Meg’s piano, Richard Sadler’s bass and Emiliano Caroselli’s drums. The story is set in seventeenth century England but the music works absolutely by dipping into the jazz sensibilities of the late twenties as well as more modern textures. Most importantly and, as you’d expect from a Kennington Bioscope Alumnus, Meg allows the narrative to breath and the actors to shine, or, in the case of Olga Baklanova, positively burn… and, in the case of Herr Veidt, dazzle.

Olga smokes...
Original reviewers noted the Russian actresses astonishing Albedo but it’s hard not to give credit to the laughing man himself, Conrad Veidt who is acting with a huge prosthetic grin and still managing to convey more emotions with his eyes than most with a full face. The film was adapted from Victor Hugo’s durned weird novel in which a fallen aristocrat is disfigured as a child and somehow manages to rise once again despite his permanent grin. It’s said, that the film inspired Batman’s nemesis The Joker in which case Olga B might well have lain the ground work for Catwoman or, as she was originally known, The Cat… she’s certainly the, ahem, cat’s whiskers.

Having watched Leni’s Cat and the Canary the night before, it was interesting to see the director’s work and quite a few of the same performers – he was clearly hitting a great groove which makes his untimely death in 1929 all the more regretful. But whilst that Cat is a spooky mystery this one is an outright creepy comedy and it says much for contemporary sensibilities that audiences were attracted to its dark disturb.

Lokking through Conrad Veidt's eyes
Veidt plays Gwynplaine a man scarred for life from childhood by a group of travellers led by Dr. Hardquanonne (George Siegmann) who specialised in cosmetic disfigurement in order to create oddities suitable for circus performers. In this case, Charles II, and successor James II (Samuel de Grasse) has ordered the mutilation as revenge on the boy’s father who has displeased him. The father, Lord Clancharlie (Connie dashing not laughing) is mercilessly squished in the Iron Lady and the boy’s face will forever be locked in an horrific grin… laughing at his father’s betrayal.

It’s a brutal beginning but the film soon begins to work its uncanny rhythms and hope emerges as the boy rescues a blind baby from the bitter cold and finds sanctuary with an itinerant circus performer called Ursus (Cesare Gravina) who lives in a caravan with his pet wolf  Homo (Zimbo the Dog) …

Not the Meg Morley Trio
All grown up now and  Gwynplaine’s face has made him the most popular clown in town – people just can’t help but laugh when they see his hysterical smile but, in spite of the gadgetry and painful false teeth he wore, Veidt’s eyes give so much more away: pain but also something more, his love for blonde, beautiful and blind Dea (Mary Philbin, the Sheila Eaton to Olga’s Madonna, the Taylor to her Gaga etc…) who loves him back. But she has never seen his disfigurement nor felt his smile… Gwynplaine cannot believe that she would still love him if she knew what he really looked like.

But, as in all such tales, Gwyn’s past is still in front of him… Lord Clancharlie’s land and property was given to the family who betrayed him and so Laughing Boy has an inheritance and a peerage he knows nothing about.  The beneficiary is one Duchess Josiana (Olga B) who leads a life of carefree debauchery and expressive bathing as a servant’s key-hole view of her boudoir reveals.


The troupe travel to entertain the court of Queen Anne (Josephine Crowell) and, as their weird play proceeds, the crowd breaks into hysterics and yet daring Duchess Josiana cannot decide whether to laugh or lust; there’s something more deeply intriguing about Gwynplaine’s unrelenting grin.
She orders him to be brought to her chambers sending him a note from “the woman who did not laugh” neglecting to mention the reason why, although he soon finds out. Gwynplaine is impressed if only for the reason that if the Duchess can fancy him, then Dea may also… so he must let down her lustful ladyship.

Meanwhile the Queen’s aid, Barkilphedro (Brandon Hurst), has found out that Gwynplaine is the rightful owner of the Duchess’ land and for her to retain her title, she will need to marry him. The Queen orders his capture and immediate ennoblement.

Can Gwynplaine escape from his new-found position, refuse his Queen’s instruction and go in search of Dea all the while turning down the desirous Duchess? Knowing Victor Hugo, you’d have to say not but this is Hollywood and the unexpected is always possible if not probable.

Mary Philbin with Zimbo The Dog
It’s a splendid romp with Leni making light of the convoluted plot and playing for drama and laughs in equal measure. The cast are exemplary even though poor Mary Philbin often gets overlooked in favour of the dynamic duo: The Joker and The Cat.

You can now pre-order the new 4k restoration from Flicker Alley and the film comes in dual format with a new score form Sonia Coronado, along with the original Movietone and stack of extras including an essay from our own Kevin Brownlow and a visual essay by John Soister on Leni's work at Universal during this period. There's a trailer here - it looks dynamic and so clear.

For further Southbank Silents screenings follow them on the Twitter @SouthbankSilent  and the 1901 Arts Club on the web-thingy.


There's that Steinway, just waiting to be played...

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

The large back room… Stranger in the House (1967), BFI Flipside, Dual Format


Made around about the same time as The London Nobody Knows, a quirky documentary narrated by James Mason and exploring the capital’s oddest outposts, Stranger in the House features the Winchester and, indeed, Southampton that nobody knew… This is one of those oddly-balanced films that must have been so “even” at the time with one of our biggest movie stars playing Old Guard to a gaggle of RADA graduates who, it has to be said, do “wacky things”.

Led by Geraldine Chaplin and a baby-faced Ian Ogilvy, this funky group hang out in discotheques, smoke weed, stand up frequently in fast cars and boats and trespass on cargo ships. It’s all a far cry from the disciplined up-bringing of Angela Sawyer (Chaplin), whose father’s only vice is a 15-year long addiction to alcohol and isolating himself from fatherly affection since his wife ran off with another man… one who was far less serious about a legal career.

Geraldine Chaplin and Paul Bertoya,
John Sawyer (James Mason) is a man who is drunk “today, yesterday and tomorrow”, someone who cannot see a way forward beyond his past and whose magnificent Georgian house in Winchester is crumbling around in sympathy with his lost ambition, self-loathing and unkindness. In comparison, daughter Angela’s rooms are ablaze with pop-art colour, Peter Blake to her Dad’s Francis Bacon, with appropriated signs of youthful revolt; a traffic sign, advertising hoardings and so, much, pink!

John is beyond bitter and is simply disinterested yet Mason carries all of this off and still makes us care, injecting his character’s path to redemption with enough stubbornness that it is entirely believable. This is not an easy man and his investigations are as much into his own conscience as the causes of a murder, an approach very much in the style of the story’s original writer Georges Simenon, creator of Maigret and writer of over 500 (yes) reasonably-concise novels. Simenon liked to focus on his main characters and their mental processes faced with the horrifically-criminal and here Mason’s barrister reveals a surprising humanity when he eventually nails the killer; a moment when our sympathies are not as cut and dried as they might be.

James Mason aginises about lost love.
Directed and written by Pierre Rouve, who worked mostly as a producer as on Blow Up and others, the film is uneven, Mason aside, but whether by design or timidity, Rouve let his star make the running. The other players are more problematic chiefly because, Blow Up and some others aside, it’s quite difficult to capture The Spirit of ’67 without highlighting how British hippies were more formerly whimsical than say those in West-Coast America where, after all, they had a war to protest.

Sarah and her chums are not helped by being a bit posh… they’re all from nice homes and drive around in sports cars with matching fab gear in Winchester – hardly Haight Asbury – going down to Southampton to smoke joints in darkened clubs to the sounds of The Animals. No sign of Fonda or Hopper here although there’s a guy wearing an “I Hate You All” t-shirt who sells the drugs which are consumed by Angela and her working-class Greek boyfriend Jo Christoforides (Paul Bertoya), Peter Hawkins (Bryan Stanyon) and Sue Phillips (Pippa Steel) but not Desmond Flower (Ogilvy) who turns out to be rather more uptight than the rest.

What d'you mean I look like my dad?!
Peter is the son and heir of Harry Hawkins (the magnificent James Hayter) and his retail business whilst Desmond is the son of Colonel Flower (Clive Morton) and his wife (Moira Lister) who just happens to be John Sawyer’s sister.

One day the famous five are playing in Southampton harbour and they sneak onto a cargo ship where they find an American Barney Teale (Bobby Darin, literally, somewhere, beyond the sea…) who is anxious to take his leave and doesn’t mind blackmailing these rich saps into providing him accommodation at an abandoned Theatre owned by Peter’s dad. Darin provides great energy with an acting style out of step with the Brits – more method and manically-mannered but reasonably effective in a “am I watching the same film?!” kind of way. The film was an MGM production and this injection of American style creates an uneasy tension with the more cerebral intensity of Mason – A Small Back Room meets Rebel Without a Cause?

Kids yesterday... 
Any road up, Barney has soon wheedled his way into staying in the loft of the Sawyer’s cavernous Georgian pile and the tension mounts leading to murder. Who dunnit and will John Sawyer be able to sober enough in time to save himself and his daughter’s relationship, not to mention her lover’s life? Apart from anything else, Jo Christoforides is a foreigner and the subject of the same unreasoned prejudice as you find in every civilized country from time to time. His mother is played by the great Megs Jenkins, who epitomised nuanced maternity for decades. She’s joined by Ivor Dean who is employed with equal surprise as the world-weary Inspector Colder – he might just have well walked straight off the set for The Saint and his role of Inspector Teal.

There’s also a tough-but-sweet-hearted cameo from “Aunty” Yootha Joyce in the fairground shooting rang where the boys steal a gun which is eventually used as the murder weapon…

Bobby Darin gives it some "more"
In the end we care less about who committed the crime than the healing powers of investigation which put familial squabbles in sharp relief; which may well be part of the appeal of this genre in the first place.

Stranger in the House is the 37th release in the BFI Flipside strand, comes in dual format - Blu-ray and DVD along with a stack of archival extras include photographer David Bailey’s 1966 film G.G. Passion (with Chrissie Shrimpton and Caroline Munro…), a psychedelic 1968 advert for coffee, an interview with James Mason, a new commentary and an illustrated booklet. There’s also a couple of odd shorts: Tram Journey Through Southampton (c1900) and Charlie Chaplin Sails From Southampton (1921), of interest to his daughter and us silent film fans.

Bored teenagers
Further details are on the BFI shop site – I personally like so many of the series, being, in most cases, far too young to have seen them in the first place and, in general, they always convey so much of the talent as well as the themes and sense of place long gone; in this case, the Winchester no body knows...

On the way to the Winchester nobody knows...
Winchester fashions

Guilty feet... Mr Mason's shoes pick up the scenery paint
"Excuse me, but do you have a copy of the Law Society Gazette?"
Moira Lister lounges as Ian Ogilvy loiters
(Here it comes...) ...somewhere, across the sea...
The retail empire strikes back
Aunty Yootha
"No, I ain't seen a copy of the Gazette either..."
Odd man out.


Monday, 11 March 2019

Indian summer... Heat and Dust (1983), BFI re-release – now showing!


I must admit that I was prevented by student “cool” from catching this first time round and the snobbery of the middle-brow persisted with The Guardian’s Sam Jordison once describing Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s source novel as like the Coldplay of literature; “far too dull to loathe”. Well, to 19-year old Paul and Sam, I have to say you’re both missing the point. This Merchant Ivory film, with a screenplay from the author herself, is far more impressive and gently hard-hitting than I expected.

Coming after Ghandi (1982) – which I did watch as “revision” for my Further Paper on Indian Independence – and before the hits of The Jewel in the Crown (1984), The Far Pavilions (1984) and A Passage to India (1984), Heat and Dust underperformed…  but I hope that now’s the time to put that right. This carefully-crafted film has probably never looked better following a stunning 4k digital restoration and has been critically much better regarded as the years have past with Sight and Sound describing it as one of Merchant Ivory’s best films.

Greta Scacchi and Nickolas Grace
The cast is stunningly good especially the two female leads, Julie Christie and Greta Scacchi, here in her breakthrough role and a player with so much screen presence some scenes might as well be a monologue. The two women play related roles across time, with Scacchi in the 1920s as Olivia Rivers wife of a British officer who mysteriously disappears only to be followed up 60 years later by her great niece,

But they’re not alone, Nickolas Grace, who was present at the screening I saw, is superb as Harry Hamilton-Paul, an ex-pat pretty much in exile, addicted to the freedoms of India, and far away from the restrictions of blighty. He gives a febrile performance as someone who talks home in the full knowledge that this is no longer London.

The Julie...
Produced by Ismail Merchant and directed by James Ivory this is not a love letter to the colonial period but to the people of the time, who whatever their origins contributed to change, no matter how slight. It looks stunning and Walter Lassally’s cinematography can rarely have been better served since the film’s initial release.

Half of the film is set in the present with Anne (Christie) investigating the past of her Great Aunt Olivia (Scacchi) who mysteriously dropped off the family radar in the twenties. The two women’s stories are deftly run in parallel in order to show their paths towards a greater understanding of themselves and each other. Both follow their hearts and whereas in Olivia’s case this meant “disgrace” for Anne it points her towards freedom. There’s a single moment when both are in the same frame, as Anne gazes in to the bungalow in which her Aunt lived and she is shown in reflection with her lover, the Nawab of Khatm (Shashi Kapoor).

It's hot and there's a fair amount of particles in the air
None of this is isolated from the politics and enduring issues of the sub-continent, no film about the British in India could be and the Nawab is suspected of being involved with banditry and, naturally, anti-colonial activity. He couldn’t be further from Olivia’s husband Douglas Rivers (Christopher Cazenove), a civil servant in the colonial administration in Satipur. The young couple are very much in love but Douglas has a view on the role his partner should play that becomes sadly at odds with her own desires. Olivia wants to immerse herself in their new environment and she most certainly does not want to be sent away with the other wives during the most heat of peak summer.

She is alienated by the expats and increasingly seeks the company of the Nawab, aided by Harry… meanwhile, two generations down the line Anne becomes more and more immersed in her cultural environment, staying with the family of civil servant Inder Lal (Zakir Hussain), in the area her Great Aunt once lived. She becomes drawn to Inder as he guides her through the city and her rediscovery of her aunt. She also meets Chid (Charles McCaughan), an American convert to Hindu mysticism… he’s an earnest phony of course but illustrates the gap still existing between the first and third worlds… Anne is making a deeper connection and will, as her aunt before her, have a fateful decision to make…

Shashi Kapoor and Greta Scacchi
It’s a simple enough story but one to luxuriate in; a more philosophical work than, say Coldplay’s Yellow… there’s also a grand cameo from Madhur Jaffrey as the chain-smoking Begum Mussarat Jahan.

I’ll end with a quote from Roger Ebert – it’s a well-established blogger-cheat when you cannot hope to match him – he wrote that the film treated both of its love stories “… with seriousness; these are not romances, but decisions to dissent. It is fully at home in its times and places... And when it is over, we're a little surprised to find that it is angry, too. Angry that women of every class and every system, women British and Indian, Women of the 1920s and of the 1980s, are always just not quite the same caste as men".

The film has an extended run at the BFI in March and is now re-released across the UK – further details on the BFI site. Do not miss it on the big screen... you'll find yourself a little lost.


Sunday, 10 March 2019

Dean’s mean… Outside the Law (1920), with Stephen Horne, BFI


 “Priscilla Dean… was a feminist icon before such a label ever existed.” Eddie Muller

As the BFI’s Bryony Dixon said in her introduction, the birth of the Hollywood gangster movie is normally placed in the late twenties with the likes of Underworld or The Racket, following on from the prohibition-induced black market, but here is an early contender from Tod Browning which has many of the classic ingredients; a Moll, a vicious hoodlum and betrayal for love. Outside the Law is a dynamic movie and the print we saw screened was largely superb, with so much detail on the big screen in NFT1.

It was Tod Browning’s second collaboration with Lon Chaney and, as if to make up time, Lon has two roles, one as Black Mike Sylva, a gangster with his face twisted by malice, and the other as Ah Wing, loyal servant to Chang Lo (E. Alyn Warren) who seemingly had a larger role in the original cut with what we have now being based on a 1926 re-release.

The look...
The undoubted star though is Priscilla Dean as Molly Madden (Silky Moll), who plays the Moll (ha!) to perfection and, as she proved in Browning’s The Virgin of Stamboul (1920), was an actor of presence, range and natural warmth. She is top-billed for a reason and you can see why she was such a star and how she earned the epithet, The Queen of Crookdom, in her run of nine flicks with Browning. She’s snappy and sassy and dominant in a way we don’t normally see – Bryony was right in that, we’d want to watch more having seen this film.

Eddie Muller’s notes from the San Francisco Silent Film Festival 2017 we reproduced here and he sums up this appeal: “the public loved the power she wielded on screen; especially the sceptical sneer that became the actresses’ trademark, alerting audiences that there would soon be hell to pay and Miss Dean would be cashing the cheques.”

Lon One and Lon Two...
Dean plays Molly – aka Moll - the daughter of “businessman” Silent Madden (Ralph Lewis) who is determined to step away from his life of crime – ironically, Lewis was in an even earlier crime film called Going Straight with Norma Talmadge. They take advice from the sagacious Chang Lo and plan their exit.

Unfortunately, Black Mike has other ideas and, planning revenge on people he really, really hates, he hatches a plan with Dapper Bill Ballard (the always-charming Wheeler Oakman who was also married to Dean at the time) to frame Silent for the shooting of a cop and force Molly into working with them. Silent is duly sent down for a couple of years, not found guilty exactly, just “in the general location” when the killing went down (la, la, la in Ameri-ca…) and leaving his daughter without a “protector”.

Cilla and Ralph Lewis
Molly, pained at her father’s injustice, happily goes along with a plan to rob jewels from a society party, little suspecting that it’s another of Black Mike’s traps and that he will leave her in the lurch for the cops to grab as he makes off with the loot. But, crime, as the title card says, can’t hold sway over the human heart and Dapper Bill confesses all to Molly with whom, naturally, he has fallen in love…

 
The two collude as the deal goes down and they avoid even a triple cross before hiding out and going stir crazy waiting for the noise to die down. Is there still time to get back on the straight and narrow, will Bill penetrate Moll’s tough exterior with his puppy-dog eyes and the repeated intrusions of the cute kid from across the hall (Stanley Goethals) and will Black Mike discover them?

I’m not spoiling anything by revealing that there’s a huge bloody punch up at the end, much the same as in The Virgin of Stamboul and one heck of a gun fight in which Miss Dean plays a full part.

Also worthy of note is a small, uncredited cameo from a fifteen-year old Anna May Wong.

Wheeler Oakman before and after...
Stephen Horne had fun with this one using piano, zither (?), bowls and flute – a one-man gamelan rolling out a stream mood-matching themes that blended seamlessly with the narrative in ways few can sustain. Sometimes his music is so good you don’t notice it – in the best possible ways – whilst sometimes you do look over to check that there really are only two hands involved. Nothing is ever sacrificed to the integrity of his duet with the performers on screen and, if you’d seen Priscilla Dean, you’d know what I mean.

 Another excellent dip into the archives at the BFI, next up is Maurice Elvey’s Palais de Danse
(1929) which will be introduced by Elvey-expert Dr Lucie Dutton.

Anna May Wong on the left.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

The road from Utopia… City Without Jews (1924), BFI with Stephen Horne


This was the second time this film has been screened in London and after Olga Neuwirth’s radical and assertive score at the Barbican last year, we had the specialist improvisation of Stephen Horne which allowed the film to fully make its own statements. Stephen started more emphatically than perhaps is usual; every film leaves its mark on the playing and he has such a range of themes and tone, not to mention instruments.  Piano, accordion and kalimba were used in assured synchronisation to bring out the humour, dynamism and the horror, in a film that smiles out with agonising hope through the decades of subsequent disaster.

Hugo Bettauer’s book was written in 1922 when anti-Semitism seemed just another weapon of cruel politics in post-war Austria as it tumbled downwards to economic rock-bottom, the days of empire long gone. Someone had to be blamed for this fall from illusory grace and power and in the “Utopia” (aka Vienna) of the story, it is the Jews with their seeming control of finance, retailing, creativity and patisserie… that are deemed the problem.

Karl Tema and Johannes Riemann
The film had previously only survived in fragmentary form – a censored version was in the Eye archive - and Fumiko Tsuneishi of Filmarchiv Austria described how a chance discovery in Parisian flea market in 2015 of a nitrate French edit enabled completion of most missing parts including the hitherto lost ending. The restoration also now has the original tints and more details on the religious lives of the Jews which had been expunged for the Dutch audience… There are some narrative jumps but the result is a balanced story with a resolution that makes its survival all the more poignant. But, above all else, this must be viewed as an artefact from 1924 when things were already serious enough. Any resemblance to 2019 is purely depressing.

Directed by H K Breslauer, the film is a good-looking and fast-paced comedy drama that makes its point with all the satirical subtlety you’d expect when the idea of one group in society being in anyway in control of good fortune was as risible then as now. It’s sometimes described as an Austrian expressionist film and yet, short of the ending, when an antisemitic parliamentary representative Bernard (Hans Moser) is jailed in a room full of twisted shadows and stars of David, it’s not going to pass Lotte Eisner’s test but that sequence is a powerful one: this obsession is unreasoned and quite, quite mad.

The people of Utopia have their say, marching for "out" then marching for "in"...
The politicians fail their people as, in the face of Utopia’s economic downturn the new chancellor, Dr. Schwerdtfeger (Eugen Neufeld) responds to the voters’ need to find an easy target to blame in order to distract from broader questioning of authority. Gradually he accepts the unthinkable – it’s far easier to say what they want to hear - and he passes a law banning Jews who must leave the country by 25th December – and a Happy Christmas to you too. 

This impacts a number of the politicians’ families, almost as if they hadn’t really thought through their plan. This includes the son-in-law of arch Jexiter Councillor Volbert (Ferdinand Mayerhofer) whose wife gives him a smack around the chops as their granddaughter is threatened with exile. There are also two sweethearts, Lotte (Anny Milety), who is the daughter of one moderate assembly member Linder (Karl Tema), and a Jewish artist Leo Strakosch (Johannes Riemann), who has to leave for Paris. Fathers and daughters, rich and poor will all be separated and there are heart-rending scenes as the Jewish population prays in the subterranean synagogues and then heads out to Zion on foot and by train… refugees leaving their homes as those behind decorate their Christmas trees and, largely, care less for their former countryfolk.

The councillors ignore the violence they encouraged.
A rich American anti-Semite helps give the economy a lift and for a while, things improve for the Christians at least… but soon Utopia suffers as other countries refuse to do business with them and then, shock horror, their Yankee benefactor marries a rich Jewish girl. At the same time the cultural life of Utopia suffers without the creativity of the Jews, their plays and even their fashions, whilst cafés become beer halls and a culturally-impoverished society becomes an intoxicated one.

As hyper-inflation kicks in jobs are hard to get and Utopia is heading for disaster, luckily, Leo, who has snuck back into the country disguised as a catholic Frenchman with a beard (take that Clarke Kent), helps to organise counter propaganda to get his people back. The reformers need a two-thirds “super-majority” to change the constitution in order to allow the Jews back but they are just one vote short until Leo has a plan to deal with that troublesome Councillor Bernard…

Anny Milety and Johannes Riemann
The story’s author, Hugo Bettauer was an investigative journalist by trade who also wrote Die freudlose Gasse (The Joyless Street) which was made into a film by Georg Wilhelm Pabst in 1925. He was described as a "Red poet" and "corruptor of youth" by the Nazi Party and was killed by one of their members, Otto Rothstock in 1925. Rothstock was found guilty and committed to a mental asylum before early release in 1927…

City Without Jews (1924) is now available on DVD from the FilmArchiv Austria and it comes with an excellent score from Austria’s leading silent film accompanist Gerhard Gruber (piano), Adula Ibn Quadr (violin) and Peter Rosmanith (percussion); as with Stephen Horne the music is playful and as spirited as the film itself. This is an essential purchase and, if you’re quick, you can grab a copy from the BFI Shop or from Filmarchiv Austria online.