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People on Sunday: This clip filmed by Billy Wilder shows Berlin in the summer of 1929 …

Neil Patrick

The Golden Twenties was a vibrant period in the history of Berlin, Germany, Europe and the world in general. After the Greater Berlin Act the city became the third largest municipality in the world.  and experienced its heyday as a major world city. It was known for its leadership roles in science, the humanities, music, film, higher education, government, diplomacy, industries and military affairs.

The Weimar Republic era began in the midst of several major movements in the fine arts. German Expressionism had begun before World War I and continued to have a strong influence throughout the 1920s, although artists were increasingly likely to position themselves in opposition to expressionist tendencies as the decade went on.A sophisticated, innovative culture developed in and around Berlin, including highly developed architecture and design (Bauhaus, 1919–33), a variety of literature (Döblin, Berlin Alexanderplatz, 1929), film (Lang, Metropolis, 1927, Dietrich, Der blaue Engel, 1930), painting (Grosz), and music (Brecht and Weill, The Threepenny Opera, 1928), criticism (Benjamin), philosophy/psychology (Jung), and fashion. This culture was often considered to be decadent and socially disruptive by rightists.

This outstanding footage was filmed by the iconic Billy Wilder in the summer of 1929 in Berlin. The footage is an extract of Wilder’s silent film  “Menschen am Sonntag” (People on Sunday).

The 3-minute footage depicts a random, lazy Berlin Sunday in the summer of 1929.

The film was a major hit when it was released in Germany in 1930. Five of the people who worked on the film went on to direct films in Hollywood: Curt Siodmak, his brotherRobert Siodmak, Edgar G. Ulmer, Fred Zinnemann and Billy Wilder.

Billy Wilder was an Austrian-born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist and journalist, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Hollywood’s golden age. Wilder is one of only five people to have won Academy Awards as producer, director and screenwriter for the same film (The Apartment), and was the first person to accomplish this.

Wilder became a screenwriter in the late 1920s while living in Berlin. After the rise of the Nazi Party, Wilder, who was Jewish, left for Paris, where he made his directorial debut. He moved to Hollywood in 1933, and in 1939 he had a hit when he co-wrote the screenplay for the screwball comedy Ninotchka. Wilder established his directorial reputation with Double Indemnity (1944), a film noir he co-wrote with crime novelist Raymond Chandler. Wilder earned the Best Director and Best Screenplay Academy Awards for the adaptation of a Charles R. Jackson story The Lost Weekend (1945), about alcoholism. In 1950, Wilder co-wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Sunset Blvd.Wilder died in 2002 of pneumonia at the age of 95 after battling health problems, Including cancer, in Los Angeles and was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, Los Angeles near Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. Marilyn Monroe’s crypt is located in the same cemetery. Wilder died the same day as two other comedy legends: Milton Berle and Dudley Moore. The next day, French newspaper Le Monde titled its first-page obituary, “Billy Wilder dies. Nobody’s perfect”, quoting the final gag line in Some Like It Hot.