October 2019, arsenal cinema

THE DEFA Foundation Presents: The Art of Mime


Between December 1951 and January 1952, three short films were made at DEFA with French star mime artist Marcel Marceau (1923–2007), directed by Wolfgang Schleif. The films were forgotten and rediscovered in 2016 by the DEFA Stiftung after Marceau’s daughter asked about them and finally digitally restored. DER MANTEL is an adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s titular novella. In DER SONNTAGSMALER, Marceau tries to impress a lady as a painter. Insight into mime style exercises is provided by DIE KUNST DER PANTOMIME. Marceau acts her in the role of his well-known alterego “Bip” – with white make-up and a ringed shirt. The satire DER JUNGE ENGLÄNDER (Gottfried Kolditz, 1958) was produced as part of the “Das Stacheltier” series based on motifs from Wilhelm Hauff’s story of the same name. The title role is played by French mime artist Jean Soubeyran, who was already part of Marceau’s ensemble for DER MANTEL. Herwart Grosse leads the viewer through the plot as a narrator. (pz) (7.10.)