Movie Night On Madison Avenue!
Midtown Books, at 2027 Madison Avenue in Overton Square, will be showing a classic, rarely-screened film on Wednesday, December 10th: The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse. The showing is a benefit for the Wolf River Conservancy, Hope House and the Memphis Film Forum. It's only a five dollar donation! You get Fat Albert cartoons, too. There's also a great coffee bar, Sip*, in the store, to keep you javanated all night. Best of all, this won't be a projection video or DVD, but actual film shown through a projector! Real movie! A local collector has agreed to share his reels for us.
Fritz Lang was a German director during the Weimar Republic days. In 1922, he made Dr. Mabuse, der Speiler, or Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler, based on the book by Jacques Norbert. It was about the arch- master-criminal Dr. Mabuse, the man who seemed to know everyone and everything. He had a hand in every level of society, from top to bottom, and in every scheme and plot around. The whole world was his game. The film was an allegory of the heady, materialistic, greedy days of the Weimar and caused a sensation, even though it was four hours long! Lang was pressed to make a sequel, but declined.
He later made such landmark films as Die Frau im Mond, M and Metropolis, all still very popular today. In 1933, the director returned to Mabuse and made Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse. This was a much shorter and more thrilling movie, Lang's masterpiece. The movie is about a detective who tracks the source of a crime wave to a man who is locked in an insane asylum! Or is that what's going on? Unfortunately, the Nazi government thought it was a bit too close to home and so Lang left Germany for Hollywood.
There were more Mabuse films by others, but Lang stayed away. Until 1960, anyway. He then made Die Tausend Augen des Dr. Mabuse, or The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse. It was a film about seeing and not seeing, with lots of mirrors, secret cameras and people who aren't as they seem, especially the wily Dr. Mabuse. It was Lang's last film.
I'll be at Midtown Books for this screening, you bet. I hope others can make it. Not only for the good you'll be doing for three Memphis groups, but for a really good, if not quite great, film. The fun starts at 7PM. You can call 726-0039 for more information, or email mtart -at- midsouth.rr.com.
Kudos to Hugh of Midtown Books for hosting this. Make sure you take some time to wander the stacks. His prices on the used books are pretty great ($4 to $9) and he has built up a good selection on a wide variety of subjects. Also take a look at the Midtown Artist Market in the same space: real Memphis art by real Memphis artists!
And if the big, fat, bald, gap-toothed guy quietly watching everyone else a bit nervously from the corner seems familiar, come over and say "Hi" to me.