Who Is Helmut Käutner?

A German master, ripe for centennial rediscovery
by Christoph Huber   posted Jul 14, 2008

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I wish to thank Christoph Hüber for his much-deserved re-evaluation of Helmut Käutner, which inspires me the desire of seeing all his films I do not yet know, which are, alas, too many. But, from what I have seen, I'm afraid Käutner has been - as most German films of any interest since the rise of Hitler - steadily misappreciated, which is a more serious injustice than in the cases of some of Staudte, the magnificent single film Peter Lorre directed and several others, including several made during the war but trying to avoid either the present or any sort of propaganda (Alfred Braun, Traugott Müller). Käutner seems an inheritor of Max Ophuls' tradition, the most close to Frank Borzage German cinema got, and a fairly consistent filmmaker for most of his career. A pity so few of his films can be found with English subtitles, I've looked for them in Germany and Austria and the net. Surely a "subject for further research", which papers like Michel Atkinson's some time ago and this fuller examination of his work by Hüber should certainly encourage. It pays, to judge from what I've seen. Miguel Marías
Miguel Marías   posted 21.07.08


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Courtesy Filmarchiv Austria
Helmut Käutner's Die Zürcher Verlobung (The Affairs of Julie)
Photo Gallery: Who Is Helmut Käutner?


April 4-May 13, 2008 Helmut Käutner


Christoph Huber is a film critic and editor at the Vienna daily Die Presse and a contributing editor at Cinema Scope. He writes most of the program notes for the Austrian Filmmuseum and contributes regularly to various international film magazines and anthologies.

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