Edgar G. Ulmer: Back From the Margins

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January 10 - 18

The near-forgotten émigré filmmaker Edgar G. Ulmer enjoyed a 35-year career as a director. Born in Olmütz (in what is today the Czech Republic) in 1904, and raised in Vienna, he first traveled to America in 1924 with Max Reinhardt’s theater company to help stage The Miracle at New York’s Century Theatre. His sprawling, eclectic body of work includes daring and original horror films; a startling variety of ethnic films, ranging from an all-black musical drama to a pair of Ukrainian operettas and four powerful Yiddish features; numerous acclaimed B-pictures of diverse genres, including science fiction, melodrama, and the western; and such film noir classics as Detour (1945), his best-known work. Long overshadowed by the more celebrated careers of his fellow Austrian- and German-born peers, Ulmer’s work is finally receiving a new wave of critical appreciation over four decades after his death. Presented in collaboration with Noah Isenberg, director of Screen Studies at the New School and author of the new book Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins.

The Afterlives of Edgar G. Ulmer, a roundtable discussion about the celebrated filmmaker, will take place at the Center for Jewish History on Sunday, January 19 at 11:00am., with Arianné Ulmer Cipes, the director’s daughter and head of the Edgar G. Ulmer Preservation Corp., Viennese film critic Stefan Grissemann, and New School Professor and author Noah Isenberg. Click here for details.

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In This Series

Beyond the Time Barrier

Beyond the Time Barrier

1960 | 35mm | 75 mins

Arianne Ulmer, daughter of Edgar G. Ulmer; Stefan Grissemann, Austrian film critic and Ulmer scholar; and Noah Isenberg, co-curator and author of Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins, in person!

An Air Force major (Robert Clarke) sets out to explore the limits of time travel and finds himself catapulted to the year 2024, a futuristic wasteland even darker than what Fritz Lang had imagined.

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Edgar G. Ulmer: The Man Off-Screen

Edgar G. Ulmer: The Man Off-Screen

Michael Palm | 2004 | 77 mins

Featuring testimonials from Roger Corman, John Landis, Wim Wenders and more, The Man Off-Screen is a vivid portrait of a no-budget auteur able to "take a rat and make Thanksgiving dinner out of it."

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The Light Ahead (Fishke the Lame)

The Light Ahead (Fishke the Lame)

Edgar G. Ulmer | 1939 | 35mm | 94 mins

Sharon Pucker Rivo, co-founder and Executive Director of National Center for Jewish Film, and Noah Isenberg, co-curator and author of Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins, in person on January 10!

Ulmer’s greatest shtetl film, about a pair of impoverished and star-crossed lovers, is at once romantic, expressionistic, and painfully conscious of the danger about to engulf European Jews.

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Murder Is My Beat

Murder Is My Beat

Edgar G.Ulmer | 1955 | 35mm | 77 mins

Stefan Grissemann, Austrian film critic and Ulmer scholar, in person on January 17!

A detective (Paul Langton) falls for a curvy convict (tragic starlet Barbara Payton, in her penultimate screen appearance) and attempts to clear her name in Ulmer’s poverty row noir.

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The Naked Dawn

The Naked Dawn

Edgar G. Ulmer | 1955 | 35mm | 82 mins

Noah Isenberg, co-curator and author of Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins, in person at both screenings!

This lyrical Technicolor Western pits a rugged wanderer (Arthur Kennedy) against a compromising modern man (Eugene Iglesias) with his magnificent wife (Betta St. John) standing between them.

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People on Sunday

People on Sunday

Robert Siodmak | Edgar G. Ulmer | 1930 | 35mm | 73 mins

This effervescent silent about city dwellers enjoying a weekend outing offers a rare glimpse of Weimar-era Berlin and influenced generations of filmmakers with its unique hybrid of fiction and nonfiction storytelling.

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Ruthless

Ruthless

Edgar G. Ulmer | 1948 | 35mm | 104 mins

Noah Isenberg, co-curator and author of Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins, in person at both screenings!

Ulmer’s study of American capitalism and runaway greed boasts the acting talent of Zachary Scott and Sidney Greenstreet in a tale of an archetypal man who craves and ultimately captures all that others have.

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