Screenwriter: Walter Reisch



Silhouetten is a particularly interesting and refined work within Reisch’s filmography and Austrian cinema of the 1930s. For the occasion, the director collaborated with another important artist: German director and animator Lotte Reiniger. Enthralling music, elegant dance costumes and the Opera House full of enthusiastic viewers have a magnetic effect on the audience.



Episode stands out first and foremost for its particularly elegant mise-en-scene. A stylistic grace that proves to be perfectly in line with a simple but at the same time courageous story, which immediately shows the far-sightedness of Walter Reisch himself. Volpi Cup for Paula Wessely at the 1935 Venice Film Festival.


If, even today, when we happen to watch feature films like the exhilarating and sophisticated Ninotschka or the subtle and disturbing Gaslight and Niagara, we feel the same sensations as the spectators of the time, it is a sign that Walter Reisch’s writing – in addition, of course, to the talent of those who directed them at the time – is younger and more topical than ever.


Presented in competition at the Venice Film Festival 1934, Maskerade won the Best Screenplay Award. While following the canons of the Wiener Films, with a story set in the world of the upper middle class, its splendour, sumptuous costumes and music, both Willi Forst and screenwriter Walter Reisch wanted to give the whole thing a different touch, pointing the finger at a hypocritical and decadent society reminiscent of Arthur Schnitzler’s works.