Published: April 13, 2018
By BWW News Desk
The Salzburg Festival comes to Los Angeles for a screening of festival founder Max Reinhardt‘s 1935 film A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Presented as part of the 2018 Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival, the program includes a pre-film panel discussion featuring Dr. Helga Rabl-Stadler, President of the Salzburg Festival. The discussion and screening will take place on Thursday, April 26 at the Landmark Regent in Los Angeles’s Westwood neighborhood, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Considered one of the most important directors of the twentieth century, Austrian-born Max Reinhardt was an innovative, and visionary director of theater and film in Germany and the United States. In 1920, Reinhardt along with Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal founded the Salzburg Festival, now recognized internationally as one of the pre-eminent music and drama festivals. Following the Anschluss in 1938, Reinhardt fled Austria, first to the United Kingdom and then to the United States, joining the many European Jewish emigrés who would transform the artistic landscape of the United States in the 20th century.
Released in 1935, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the only film Reinhardt directed in America. In addition to Reinhardt’s singular artistic vision, the film also includes the talents of composer Erich Korngold, a fellow Austrian-born refugee who re-orchestrated Mendelssohn’s music for the film’s soundtrack, as well as James Cagney as Bottom, Mickey Rooney as Puck, and the film debut of Olivia de Havilland as Hermia. Though the film met with mixed success at its premiere, A Midsummer Night’s Dream was nominated for four 1936 Academy Awards, winning for Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing. The film was banned in Nazi Germany, becoming a symbol of resistance against fascism.
The 2018 Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival celebrates Max Reinhardt with this screening of his masterpiece A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The screening will be preceded by a panel discussion on Reinhardt and his influence on Hollywood featuring Dr. Helga Rabl-Stadler, President of the Salzburg Festival, joined by Mark Swed, classical music critic of the Los Angeles Times and Stan Taffel, President of the Cinecon Classic Film Festival. The discussion will be moderated by Gert Korentschnig, Vice Editor-in-Chief of the Kurier.
Helga Rabl-Stadler, President of the Salzburg Festival on Max Reinhardt:
Max Reinhardt believed in the immortality of the theater. For him it was the most joyous place to hide, saying that theater was “for all those who have secretly put their childhood in their pockets and run off and away with it, to play on to the end of their days.” Early on, he took his form of theater to America, returning there often before finally staying for good and becoming an American citizen. Reinhardt’s influence on American theater was far greater than many people realize.
The Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival presents the program in cooperation with the Austrian Consulate General and is co-sponsored by Pamela and Randol Schoenberg.
For more information on the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival program, click here.