Asphalt

Film - Feature | February 10 | 4 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Often overshadowed by his contemporaries like Ernst Lubitsch or F. W. Murnau, the German Expressionist director Joe May is most widely recognized for two things: helping Fritz Lang enter the film business, and directing the 1929 city-symphony proto-noir Asphalt. The film’s classic noir plot—a gorgeous petty thief seduces a straitlaced cop, and soon both are over their heads in trouble—plays out in a whirl of Berlin traffic, dizzying camerawork, rapid-fire editing, and Expressionist set designs and lighting. A technical triumph, Asphalt was one of the silent era’s last hurrahs, and a summation of German Expressionist style.

 afox@berkeley.edu, 510-642-0365