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Trick of the Light, A (Gebrueder Skladanowsky, Die)

Trick of the Light, A

This film by Wim Wenders and students of the Munich Film Academy deals with the birth of cinema in Berlin, where the brothers Skladanowsky built a projector, the "Bioskop", at the same time as the Lumière Brothers in France and Edison in America, and thereby co-invented "moving pictures" in their very own, poetic, poor, endearing and rather "un-German" way. The film starts a hundred years ago and it ends today, with Max Skladanowsky's daughter Lucie who still remembers her dad and those early days of cinema very well. The film was shot mostly on an old hand-cranker from the twenties, silent, and in the best slapstick tradition.


Wim Wenders was born in Düsseldorf in 1945. After discovering his love for cinema in Paris, he attended film school in Munich from 1967-1970. Also active as a photographer and writer, he has made more than 50 films since 1971 all over the world. A selection of his acclaimed films includes: THE GOALKEEPER'S FEAR OF THE PENALTY (1971), ALICE IN THE CITIES (1973), IN THE COURSE OF TIME (1976), THE AMERICAN FRIEND (1977), HAMMETT (1982), THE STATE OF THINGS (1982), PARIS, TEXAS (1984), WINGS OF DESIRE (1987), UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD (1991), FARAWAY, SO CLOSE! (1993), LISBON STORY (1994), THE END OF VIOLENCE (1997), BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB (1998), THE MILLION DOLLAR HOTEL (2000), THE SOUL OF A MAN (2003), LAND OF PLENTY (2004), DON'T COME KNOCKING (2005), PALERMO SHOOTING (2008), PINA (2011), CATHEDRALS OF CULTURE (2013), THE SALT OF THE EARTH (2014), and EVERY THING WILL BE FINE (2015).
Category Docu-Fiction
Director Wim Wenders
Screenplay Wim Wenders
Cinematography Jürgen Jürges
Peter Przygodda
Laurent Petitgirard
Cast Udo Kier, Nadine Buettner, Christoph Merg, Otto Kuhnle, Lucie Huertgen-Skladanowsky
Producers Wim Wenders, Wolfgang Laengsfeld, Veit Helmer
Production Company Wim Wenders Production/Munich & Berlin, in co-production with Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München (HFF/M), Veit Helmer-Filmproduktion/Berlin
Length 79 min
Format 35 mm, color, b&w
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version French
Sound Technology Mono
Festivals Montreal 1996 (Festival du Nouveau Cinéma), Venice 1996 (Window on Images)
With backing from German Federal Film Board, BMI

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