Wunder der Schöpfung is an extraordinary, fascinating Kulturfilm trying to explain the whole human knowledge of the 1920s about the world and the universe. 15 special effects experts and 9 cameramen were involved in the production of this film which combines documentary scenes, historical documents, fiction elements, animation scenes and educational impact. It its beautifully colored, using tinting and toning in a very elaborated way. Some visual ideas in the sequences with a space shuttle visiting different planets in the universe seem to have to be the inspiration for Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Wunder der Schöpfung - Germany 1925 - Directed by: Hanns Walter Kornblum - Written by: Hanns Walter Kornblum, Ernst Krieger - Cinematography by: Hermann Boehlen, Otto von Bothmer, Max Rinck, Wera Cleve, Bodo Kuntze, Friedrich Paulmann, Hans Scholz, Ewald-Matthias Schuhmacher, Friedrich Weinmann - Cast: Margarete Schön, Theodor Loos, Paul Bildt, Margarethe Schlegel, Oscar Marion, Willy Kaiser-Heyl Produced by: Colonna-Film GmbH and Ufa-Kulturfilm-Abteilung - Premiere: September 14, 1925 (Berlin)
The Einstein Theory of Relativity - USA 1923 - Directed by: Dave Fleischer - Written by: Hanns Walter Kornblum, C. Bueck, S. F. Nicolei Cinematography by: Max Fleischer Produced by: Out of the Inkwell Films Inc. - Premiere: February 8, 1923 (New York)
About Wunder der Schöpfung
In the context of Germany's Kulturfilm phenomenon, Wunder der Schöpfung was among the greatest achievements of the 1920s. The production was constructed, rehearsed, and shot over a period of two and a half years, under the supervision of Hanns Walter Kornblum. The idea to describe the universe and man's place in it well suited UFA's Grossfilm mentality, one year before the Metropolis catastrophe. Hundreds of skilled craftsmen participated in the project, building props and constructing scale models drawn by 15 special effects draughtsmen, while 9 cameramen in separate units worked on the historical, documentary, fiction, animation, and science-fiction sequences. Without star roles or even protagonists, the film's plot is crowded with meticulously structured and skillfully acted single scenes an artful mosaic of small vignettes. No less than four credited university professors ensured the factual background behind the scientific and historical events portrayed.
The film's symbol of progress and the new scientific era is a spacecraft, travelling through the Milky Way, making all the planets and their inspiring worlds familiar to us, with the extravaganza of their distinctive features. The film's educational intentions, however, become steadily more obscure, humorous, or even campy as this popularization project proceeds. With the excuse of presenting the end of the world a not-so-new concept as a new, undeniably scientific truth, the film veers happily along a new path, displaying detailed apocalyptic scenes of the end of mankind. For today's audiences, this amazing film demonstrates how the universe was comprehended in the 1920s, and how that view was sold to contemporary audiences.
- Wunder der Schöpfung 1925, 93'
- Chapter selection
- Score by Aljoscha and Sabrina Zimmermann
- The Einstein Theory of Relativity 1923, 29'
- Scores by Joachim Bärenz and Günter A. Buchwald
- Hanns Walter Kornblum erzählt 1968, 43'
- 20-page booklet with essays by Stefan Drössler, Ronny Loewy and Stewart Tryster
- Press books, documents and texts as ROM features
Edited by: Filmmuseum München
DVD authoring: Ralph Schermbach
DVD supervision: Stefan Drößler
First edition June 2009, Second edition October 2009