Melbourne Cinémathèque The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present


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Emil Jannings plays an ex-trapeze artist in this story of jealousy, betrayal and murder in the circus world, full of cynical humour and ironic twists.

Brilliant cinematography (by Karl Freund and Carl Hoffmann), using pioneering techniques (including placing a camera on a trapeze), showcases the high-risk, dizzying trapeze sequences and frenzied nightlife of Weimar Germany where characters exist in a world of superficial glamour, sleazy carnivals and decadent music halls.

A major work of German Expressionism, it was also one of the most critically acclaimed films of its time.