Cityscapes: The Vienna That Never Was
The Night Porter
dir, Liliana Cavani, Italy, 1974, digital, 118 mins. color, In English
this unsettling drama from Italian filmmaker Liliana Cavani, a concentration
camp survivor (Charlotte Rampling) discovers her former torturer and lover
(Dirk Bogarde) working as a porter at a hotel in postwar Vienna. When the
couple attempt to re-create their sadomasochistic relationship, his former SS
comrades begin to stalk them. Operatic and disturbing, The Night Porter deftly
examines the lasting social and psychological effects of the Nazi regime.
“The Vienna that never was, is the greatest city in the world” - Orson Welles
Vienna in the cinema has most often been represented as a fantasy based on the imperial city it was in the era of the ‘fin de siècle’, when traditional social, moral, and artistic values were all in transition. This IHP series will attempt to explore the city of Vienna as a city both real and mythic within the history of cinema.
The series ‘The Vienna That Never Was' will feature works representing the late 19th to the early 21st centuries, from the historical and romanticized images of Vienna to a noir-tinged Cold War narrative, to the present-day artistic experimentations within the avant-garde, to cinematic masterworks, to rediscoveries of old fictions and nonfictions, as well as a rich selection of newsreels, actualités, and home movies.