“DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS” (1919)

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WIKIPEDIA: Different From The Others (German: Anders als die Andern) is a German film produced during the Weimar Republic. It was first released in 1919 and stars Conrad Veidt and Reinhold Schünzel.

The story for Anders als die Andern was co-written by Richard Oswald and Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, who also had a small part in the film and partially funded the production through his Institute for Sexual Science, with the aim of presenting the story as a polemic against the then-current laws under Germany’s Paragraph 175, which made homosexuality a criminal offense.

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The cinematography was by Max Fassbender, who two years previously had worked on Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray, one of the earliest cinematic treatments of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. Director Richard Oswald later became a director of some considerable note, as did his son Gert. Veidt became a major film star the year after Anders was released, in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

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Anders als die Andern is noteworthy as one of the first sympathetic portrayals of homosexuals in the cinema. The film’s basic plot was used again in the 1961 UK film, Victim, starring Dirk Bogarde. Censorship laws enacted in reaction to films like Anders als die Andern eventually restricted viewing of this movie to doctors and medical researchers, and prints of the film were among the many “decadent” works burned by the Nazis after they came to power in 1933.

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This version:

Live / composed Electro-acoustic soundtrack
By Yael Acher “Kat” Modiano
Flute & Effects and Laptop

Performance at Spectacle Theater
Brooklyn, NY
2012

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