Arnold Fanck

Director, Geologist
Not many filmmakers can claim to have practically invented a film genre, much less a director not considered great or important. Arnold Fanck, however, embodies that paradox, for he certainly merits the title of the ... Read more »
Born: 03/06/1889 in Germany

Filmography

Director (4)

S.O.S. Eisberg 1932 (Movie)

(German-language version "S.O.S. Eisberg") (Director)

Strume Uber Dem Montblanc 1930 (Movie)

(Director)

Die Weisse Holle Vom Piz Palu 1929 (Movie)

(Director)
Writer (4)

S.O.S. Eisberg 1932 (Movie)

(From Story)

Strume Uber Dem Montblanc 1930 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Die Weisse Holle Vom Piz Palu 1929 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Biography

Not many filmmakers can claim to have practically invented a film genre, much less a director not considered great or important. Arnold Fanck, however, embodies that paradox, for he certainly merits the title of the father of German film's equivalent to the American Western, the "mountain film." A genre popular in the 1920s and 30s, mountain films, not to be confused with the later and better known "Heimat" films, typically featured spectacular on-location photography of dangerous climbs as brave heroes and heroines conquered Germany's lone frontiers. German literature and art do have precedents for the genre, but Fanck nonetheless deserves much credit for developing a popular, expressive genre which marks a vivid contrast with the studio-dominated productions of the period. Film history has also underrated Fanck's talents, which captured some astonishing images.

Milestones

1940

Traveled to Chile to make a film, "Ein Robinson"

1937

Journeyed to Japan to make the German-Japanese co-production, "Die Tochter des Samurai", for which he also co-wrote the screenplay

1934

Was unable to find work in Germany as a director after "Der Ewige Traum", for which he also co-wrote the screenplay

1933

Collaborated with American director Tay Garnett on the German-American co-production, "S.O.S. Iceberg"; Fanck handled the German-language version and Garnett the English-language one; Fanck also co-wrote the screenplay

1929

Co-directed one of his best-known and most important film, "Die Weisse Holle vom Piz Palu/The White Hell of Piz Palu", with noted filmmaker G W Pabst; Fanck also co-wrote the screenplay

1924

Began using professional actors in his film, "Der Berg des Schicksals/Peak of Fate", which he also co-photographed and for which he wrote the screenplay

1921

Directed first film, the documentary "Das Wunder des Schneeschuhs/Marvels of Ski"; also co-wrote the screenplay

Refused to become a member of Germany's Nazi Party

Returned to Germany during WWII and earned a living making documentary films about public works projects; his later projects, such as documentary portraits of German sculptors including Breker and Thorak were never finished

Established school for documentary filmmakers with cameramen Sepp Allgeier and Hannes Schneider; students included Luis Trenker and Leni Riefenstahl

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