In German filmmaker Volker Schlöndorff’s interview with Valeska Gert in her home in Kampen on Sylt the year before she died in 1977, she recounts her eventful life, from her performances as the self-described “Grotesque Dancer” in 1920s Berlin, Moscow, and Paris, to her later years. The documentary features incredible, rare footage from her performances in theater and film, which she came to embrace, incorporating time-lapse and slow-motion into her dance techniques. In 1933, Gert was defamed by the Nazis as “degenerate,” forcing her to leave Germany until 1947. She was not rediscovered until the 1960s, by filmmaker Federico Fellini, who gave her a role in Juliet of the Spirits.
Pett and Pott: A Fairy Story of the Suburbs
Alberto Cavalcanti, UK, 1934, 35mm, 32m
The Brazilian-born experimental filmmaker Alberto Cavalcanti cast fellow émigré Valeska Gert as a wildly impertinent house servant in this plug for telephones, the first movie he made for British documentarian John Grierson’s General Post Office unit.