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The very first film program to charge admission was held at the Berlin Wintergarten on November 1 1895 some eight weeks before the Lumire Brothers first Paris screening brothers Max and Emil Skladanowsky treated audiences to film strips projected by their Bioskop True continuous motion pictures began appearing in Germany the following year when inventor Oskar Messter started making films The producerdirector of such pioneering works as Gemtlich Beim Kaffee 1898 Salome 1902 and Apachentanz 1906 he also made weekly newsreels in the mid teens But domestic production languished in these early years and German audiences went to French American and Italian films In the years just before World War I patriotic efforts like director Franz Portens Deutschlands Ruhmestage 1870-71 1912 attracted attention as did the sentimental dramas directed by Kurt Stark Liebesglck Der Blinden 1911 and the melodramas of writerdirector Joe May In Der Tiefe Des Schachts 1912 Heimat Und Fremde 1913 The first German film studios were finally built and native performers began achieving celebrity Ernst Lubitsch first appeared in short comedies in 1913 and started writing and directing with the one-reeler Frulein Seifenschaum 1914 Franz Portens wife Henny was both star and producer of Adoptivkind 1914 and Gelste Ketten 1915 Paul Wegener debuted in films with Der Student Von Prag 1913 The Student Of Prague directed by Stellan Rye This doppelganger tale co-scripted by Wegener is an early instance of expressionist cinema with stylized lighting sets and camerawork used to bring psychological resonance to its dark story Wegener was fond of the Jewish legend of the Golem a clay statue brought to life and played the creature in Der Golem 1914 and Der Golem Und Die Tnzerin 1917 both of which he co-directed He also starred in the fantasies Peter Schlemihl 1915 which he co-scripted and Der Rattenfnger Von Hamelin 1916 The Pied Piper Of Hamelin which he co-directed World War I kept foreign films out of German theaters and more movies
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