The present article provides an intertextual reading of the first international success by Fritz Lang, Der müde Tod (1921), in the light of a transdisciplinary reconstruction that connects biographical, historical, artistic and cultural events related to the film. The work is revisited by means of a visual-spatial cultural approach to determine the significance of filmed images as a textual system, focusing on the peculiar articulation between the viewer and the viewed, the power of images to communicate a message and that of the viewer to interpret it. This perspective highlights those spatial elements of the film text that confer meaningful connections on themes and biographical elements present in Lang’s work. Through the romantic story of Der müde Tod, meanings emerge and bring to light – in Lang, icon of the cinema of Berlin – elements typically connected to the Danubian background of the director. This movie produced by the German Decla – narrating of death and architecture, or death through architecture – portrays a typical spirit generated by the Austrian culture of the early Nineteenth Century. Besides the slaughter of the war which has just ended, the tiredness of death is also expressed in the concept of an epochal demise such as the one represented at the end of the movie. The final scene of the arson represents the end of both a world and a multicultural koiné – real and imagined – like that of the Habsburg empire, associated with a particular cultural liveliness, and of which Lang’s film itself is an expression.

Die vielschichtige Beredsamkeit des Stummfilms. Ein Interpretationsversuch von Fritz Langs Müden Tod (1921)

DI MAURO, Paola
2014-01-01

Abstract

The present article provides an intertextual reading of the first international success by Fritz Lang, Der müde Tod (1921), in the light of a transdisciplinary reconstruction that connects biographical, historical, artistic and cultural events related to the film. The work is revisited by means of a visual-spatial cultural approach to determine the significance of filmed images as a textual system, focusing on the peculiar articulation between the viewer and the viewed, the power of images to communicate a message and that of the viewer to interpret it. This perspective highlights those spatial elements of the film text that confer meaningful connections on themes and biographical elements present in Lang’s work. Through the romantic story of Der müde Tod, meanings emerge and bring to light – in Lang, icon of the cinema of Berlin – elements typically connected to the Danubian background of the director. This movie produced by the German Decla – narrating of death and architecture, or death through architecture – portrays a typical spirit generated by the Austrian culture of the early Nineteenth Century. Besides the slaughter of the war which has just ended, the tiredness of death is also expressed in the concept of an epochal demise such as the one represented at the end of the movie. The final scene of the arson represents the end of both a world and a multicultural koiné – real and imagined – like that of the Habsburg empire, associated with a particular cultural liveliness, and of which Lang’s film itself is an expression.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/2917768
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