GERMAN CINEMA NOW! – Der Hund von Baskerville (1929) [Online]
Aug. 25 at 5pm to Aug. 26 at 5pm PT
Sliding scale admission: $5–25.
Hard-coded English intertitles.
Please pay what you can; proceeds support Northwest Film Forum during our closure.
Northwest Film Forum is SCREENING ONLINE! NWFF’s physical space is temporarily closed in light of public health concerns around COVID-19, but community, dialogue, and education through media arts WILL persist.
• • HOW TO WATCH • •
- Purchase your ticket and watch on this film’s GERMAN CINEMA NOW! Eventive page.
- When logged in to Eventive, your ticket will appear under “My Tickets” in the main menu of the site. You will also receive a confirmation email linking to the watch page, and if you pre-ordered, a reminder shortly before the film becomes available on Aug. 25 at 5pm PT. The viewing window is only 24 hours long! (Don’t see a confirmation email? Check your spam filter.)
- If you encounter any issues logging in, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a quick follow-up. (But please, check for your confirmation email!)
** Followed by a discussion between film preservationist Rob Byrne, who oversaw the film’s restoration, and Program Curator Martin Schwartz of Goethe Pop Up Seattle **
The monthly film series GERMAN CINEMA NOW! is curated by Goethe Pop Up Seattle. This year, the series explores themes of disruption and continuity to inspire public dialogue about the ways in which the past shapes our moment and can inform a radically different future.
About the film:
“On the Devonshire moor, the ancient legend of a spectral hound still haunts the Baskerville family…”
A gloomy manor house on a winter’s night—gothic windows and arches, art directed to perfection—atmosphere seeping in from the moor without. Gentlemen drinking port and smoking, seen from various vantage points, through chinks and keyholes. Eyes behind a gargoyle. Who is watching whom? A dreadful howl: Lord Charles Baskerville takes to the moor to investigate—and is soon found dead, near the tracks of an enormous hound. The executor of his will comes down to London to plead for Sherlock Holmes’s help. Among troubling letters warning him to stay away from the moor, Sir Henry, the heir to the Baskerville estate, has returned from Canada to take possession. He must be protected from the curse, the Hound, or whatever force is behind the violence. Holmes sends off his trusty, phlegmatic companion Watson to look after Sir Henry, while he secretly launches an investigation of his own.
Traversing layers of secrecy and mood through dramatic landscape and setting—cave, cliff, moor, tor, a murderous bog—and unnerving effects, including the titular hound, a slavering killer that fairly bulges off of the screen, Der Hund von Baskerville animates all manner of interpretation. Does the generational curse of the ghostly dog suggest return of the repressed? Of the crimes of the past? Of the wildness of the id? Is there in fact a rational explanation for everything (or even anything)?
Richard Oswald, a Viennese Jew who pioneered queer filmmaking (Anders als die Anderen) as well as the horror film (Unheimliche Geschichten, 1919), produced bold, early works on then-taboo subjects like abortion and STIs. But throughout his career, he was haunted, not unlike the Baskerville family itself, by the Hound. Fourteen years after filming a three-part adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles in 1914-1915, he created this sly, drippingly atmospheric 1929 German feature, the silent era’s final Holmes adaptation. With its international cast led by the American-British actor Carlyle Blackwell (who fairly glows with cultivated cogitation as the great detective), Der Hund also offers a parting shot—a fire signal across the dank moor of time—of a lost era of transnational cinema, before sound and then the war changed everything.
Now in a beautiful new restoration produced by San Francisco Silent Film Festival in partnership with the Polish National Film Archive, turn off your AC this August and open up a browser window to this bracingly chill blast from the bog. (Martin Schwartz)
About the restoration:
Der Hund von Baskerville was produced by Erda-Film GmbH and released on 28 August 1929. The original length of the film was eight reels (2,382 meters).
This restoration is based on the only known surviving materials, an incomplete 35mm nitrate print (1,422 meters) with Czech language intertitles preserved at Filmoteka Narodowa – Instytut Audiowizualny in Warsaw, Poland, and two reels of a French-titled incomplete and abridged Pathé Baby 9.5mm print in the collection of Seeber FILM Verlag.
New titles and intertitles were created for this restoration and are based on title text recorded on the original German censor record (Zensurkarte Prüf=Nr. 23208, 17 August 1929).
Portions of Reels 2 and 3 remain lost. This missing material is bridged with a combination of still images from the collection of Deutsches Filminstitut and plot and narrative information gleaned from a draft shooting script and the title text described in the censor certificate.
This restoration was completed in May 2018 as a partnership between Filmoteka Narodowa – Instytut Audiowizualny and the San Francisco Silent Film Festival.