Deutschland 1923/1924, Drama

Lupu Pick’s SYLVESTER is based on a script by Carl Mayer which is a work of art in itself and was published already in 1924, coinciding with the premier. The film shows us the tragic story between a woman, a man and his mother on New Year’s Eve. While people are partying, the home of a bar owner becomes the setting for a dramatic confrontation between these three people. The mother of the bar owner returns to the house, which she lived in for many years and which is now the home of her son and his wife. Out of jealousy, the two women begin to fight: The mother wants her son back, the wife wants to keep her husband. At the end of the night, the man sees only one way to escape this conflict: He commits suicide.
The film is known to be one of the earliest examples of a „Kammerspielfilm“ and was innovative in its extensive use of a moving camera, featuring The street as supporting actor, so to speak. Guido Seeber shot the street scenes with this unchained camera technique“. SYLVESTER premiered in Berlin in January 1924 with music by Klaus Pringsheim.

The original negative of the film is lost. The only surviving German element is a heavily abridged nitrate print in the collection of Deutsche Kinemathek. A vintage print of the English version archived in the Komiya-Nitrate Collection of the National Film Archive of Japan is the most complete preserved film element. This print was presented as is in Bologna in 2019, while the restoration was still underway. In a collaborative project between Deutsche Kinemathek and the National Film Archive of Japan, Sylvester has been digitized and restored. During the reconstruction phase, the original score of Klaus Pringsheim’s music could be located in the archives at the McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. It contained references to the content of the film which served as important indications for reconstructing the cut as presumably seen in 1924. In an intensive collaboration, Deutsche Kinemathek and conductor Frank Strobel, who was brought in to reconstruct and arrange the music for the restored version, managed to reunite image and music of the dramatic Kammerspiel Lupu Pick shot as warning to society.

Klaus Pringsheim (1923/1924), rekonstruiert und bearbeitet von Frank Strobel (2019)

Besetzung: – – timp.3perc – pno.harm – str

Dauer: 55 min.