Eroticon

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1929

Production year

1929

Runtime

85 min

Category

film

Genre

drama, psychological

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Erotikon

Czech title

Erotikon

English title

Eroticon

Parallel title

Das Parfum einer Frau

Working title

Panenství

Summary

Eroticon (Erotikon, 1929), a silent “love drama in seven parts” made by Gustav Machatý in 1928–1929, was supposed to help its author achieve international renown. The scandalous film was anticipated so eagerly that it was sold to foreign distribution companies even before it was finished. Its “cosmopolitan” nature and ambitions were only strengthened by its international casting, led by Slovenian beauty queen Ita Rina. The original story in the form of a “film manuscript” titled Panenství (Virginity) was written by Vítězslav Nezval. He is, however, not listed in the credits as he was afraid of a conflict with his colleagues from the avant-garde association Devětsil who were opposed to collaborating with filmmakers. Eroticon tells a banal story about a romance between a naïve country girl who gets pregnant with a reckless farmer. Even though the “seduced and forsaken” woman later happily marries a noble, wealthy and staid gentleman out of gratefulness, she nearly succumbs to the treacherous lover again. It is not until the very end of the film that she realises that “fickle love cannot give a woman the happiness provided by the calm harbour of marriage”. In its form, Eroticon is a similarly ground-breaking work as the director’s most famous film Ecstasy (Extase, 1932) and, in terms of theme, could be considered its prequel. On one hand, Machatý didn’t dare include such “obscene” scenes as he did in Ecstasy, but with its aesthetic means of expression and “strong erotic inventiveness,” the film explored some taboo themes. Eroticon’s exclusiveness lies mainly in its modernist form. It takes a slushy romance story and transforms it into a film that’s exceptional to this day (although mainly thanks to its first twenty minutes; the rest conforms to the period mondaine salon dramas about infidelity). Compositionally resourceful shots, details of yearning faces, suggestive light contrasts and captivating usage of visual symbols (two raindrops merging into one on a window at the moment when the lovers engage in intercourse) and dynamic montage demonstrate the directorial and cinematographic mastery that made Eroticon a film of worldwide significance. The official premiere was held in Prague on 3 January 1930 (the first screening was held in Karlovy Vary on 27 February 1929). Its distributor, Slaviafilm, was speculatively sitting on the film for nearly a year. However, by the time of its premiere, the Czech capital had already been mesmerised by sound films. Despite the praise Eroticon received from critics, its reception was below expectations and not even providing the film with sound, which finally happened three years later, didn’t help attract attention. In 1993, the film was reconstructed and technically restored. The nitrate copy, which the National Film Archive bought after 1989 from collector Milan Wolf, is 400 metres longer than other available versions. The original music by Erno Košťál accompanying the sound version from 1933 was unfortunately lost. It was replaced by a score that Jan Klusák composed for the reconstruction. After the film was released on DVD by Filmexport Home Video (premiere 10 May 2007), the Association of Czech Film Clubs re-released it on 13 January 2011 as a part of its Project 100-2011 with a new musical rendition by FORMA + Café Industrial. The CD with the score was included in the package, but there was also an option to book a live performance. -tse-

Synopsis

One rainy night a railway station guard offers shelter to an elegant traveller who has missed his train. When the guard is called away the traveller, George, is left alone with his daughter Andrea. The young man of the world makes a big impression on Andrea and that same night the girl succumbs to him. In the morning George leaves. After some time Andrea discovers that she is expecting a baby. George continues to live his carefree life in the city and spends most of his time with the married, Mrs Gilda. When he receives a letter from Andrea saying that she is pregnant, he sends her some money. Andrea leaves for the city to give birth in secret. The child is still-born, however. Andrea later marries a man who has saved her from an attempted rape on a deserted road. She gives him her own blood for a necessary tranfusion after an injury which the assailant had caused. One day, while in the company of her husband, she meets George who tries to seduce her again. Soon the old longing awakens in her and she leaves her husband to go away with George. Gilda's husband comes to George's flat and picks a quarrel with George over his wife. During this scene Andrea bitterly realises that George has otherlovers. In the fit of jealousy Gilda's husband shoots George Andrea returns to her husband whose love she now values much more.

Note

The première was held in Karlovy Vary. Its Prague première took place on the 3rd of January 1930. It was shown again in 1933 in its Czech and German sound versions with the music of Erno Košťál. Both versions were substantially cut. In the NFA is preserved a copy of the German version (K-N 1860,0 m), a copy of the Czech version on the video.

During the years 1993 – 1995 the film was reconstructed by the National Film Archive.

Film online

Cast

Karel Schleichert

Voice by Emanuel Trojan /ozvučení 1933/
Voice by Josef Bunzl /ozvučení 1933 německá mutace/
hlídač na dráze

Ita Rina /ž/

Voice by Eva Svobodová /ozvučení 1933/
Voice by Lux Rodenberg /ž/ /ozvučení 1933 německá mutace/
Andrea, hlídačova dcera

Olaf Fjord

Voice by Miroslav Svoboda /ozvučení 1933/
Voice by Petr Lotar /ozvučení 1933 německá mutace/
svůdce Georg Sydney

Theodor Pištěk

Voice by Robert Ford /ozvučení 1933/
Voice by Walter Gussmann /ozvučení 1933 německá mutace/
továrník Hilbert

Charlotte Susa /ž/

Voice by Margarita Slonková /ozvučení 1933/
Voice by Gertrud Kanitz /ž/ /ozvučení 1933 německá mutace/
Gilda, Hilbertova žena

Luigi Serventi

Voice by Pavel Demel /ozvučení 1933/
Voice by Ewald Schindler /ozvučení 1933 německá mutace/
továrník Jean, Andrein pozdější manžel

L. H. Struna

Voice by Emanuel Trojan /ozvučení 1933/
Voice by Beda Saxl /ozvučení 1933 německá mutace/
povozník

Milka Balek-Brodská

Voice by Běla Tringlerová /ozvučení 1933/
Voice by W. Rösnerová /ozvučení 1933 německá mutace/
porodní bába

Bohumil Kovář

železničář

Beda Saxl

majitel krejčovského salonu

Bronislava Livia

návštěvnice salonu krásy

Václav Žichovský

majitel obchodu s klavíry

Jiří Hron

muž na poště

Willy Rösner

rváč v hospodě

Crew and creators

Screenplay

Gustav Machatý, Otto Rádl (dialogy ozvučení 1933), Emanuel Železný (dialogy ozvučení 1933), Erich Eisner (dialogy ozvučení 1933 německá mutace)

Director of Photography

Václav Vích

Film Editor

E. B. White (úprava a montáž ozvučení 1933)

Sound Designer

Otto Németh (ozvučení 1933)

Cooperation

Willy Ströminger (fotograf)

Music

Music Composed by

Erno Košťál (ozvučení 1933), Jan Klusák (rekonstrukce 1994–1995)

Writer of Lyrics

Erich Eisner (ozvučení 1933 německá mutace)

Songs

Jednou jen chytí každý pravou lásku

Song Composer Erno Košťál /ozvučení 1933/
Writer of Lyrics Otto Rádl /ozvučení 1933/Emanuel Železný /ozvučení 1933/
Singer Jára Pospíšil /ozvučení 1933/

Chvíli dnes ještě ty můj milý

Song Composer Erno Košťál /ozvučení 1933/
Writer of Lyrics Otto Rádl /ozvučení 1933/Emanuel Železný /ozvučení 1933/
Singer Jára Pospíšil /ozvučení 1933/

Production info

Original Title

Erotikon

Czech Title

Erotikon

English Title

Eroticon

Parallel Title

Das Parfum einer Frau

Working Title

Panenství

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

drama, psychological

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1929

Production Year

1929

Production specifications

date of censorship 8 February 1929
date of censorship 1 December 1933 (ozvučená česká a německá verze)
withdrawal from distribution 01/1940
withdrawal from distribution 31 August 1976

Premiere

preview 27 February 1929 (kino Passage, Praha)
gala premiere 12 July 1929 (kino Elite, Karlovy Vary)
premiere 3 January 1930 /unsuitable for youths/ (kina Hvězda /2 týdny/, Radio /2 týdny/ a Skaut /2 týdny/, Praha)
renewed premiere 1 December 1933 /unsuitable for youths/ (kino Praha /1 týden/, Praha /ozvučená česká verze/)
renewed premiere 1 September 1968 /unsuitable for youths/ (Filmové kluby)
renewed premiere 13 January 2011 /suitable for all ages/ (kino Světozor, Praha)

Distribution slogan

The world famous, greatest film of the silent era of Czech cinematography. A banal plot line in virtuoso packaging. (2011)

Production

Geem-Film, Slaviafilm (ozvučení 1933)

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Distribution

Slaviafilm (původní 1929 a obnovená 1933 /pro Čechy/), Kinofilm Brno (obnovená 1933 /pro Moravu, Slezsko a Slovensko/), Ústřední půjčovna filmů (obnovená 1968), Asociace českých filmových klubů (obnovená 2011 /Projekt 100 – 2011/)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

85 min

Original length in metres

2 760 meters

Distribution carrier

35mm

Aspect ratio

1:1,33, 1:1,19

Colour

black & white

Sound

silent, sound

Sound system/format

Union-Vox

Versions

Czech, German

Dialogue languages

Czech, without dialogue, German

Subtitles languages

without subtitles

Intertitles languages

Czech

Opening/End credits languages

Czech, German

Awards

Vítěz

Event: Zlatá medaile časopisu Filmový kurýr

1930
Praha / Czechoslovakia