Julius MeinlIn 2018, the Filmmuseum obtained a deposit from Thomas Meinl, comprising films preserved at the Julius Meinl company archives. Consisting of only 15 titles, this collection represents an interesting cross-section of cinema commercials, family films and films related to company history.
The cinema commercials for Julius Meinl products range from short films from the early twenties promoting tea and coffee to a commercial from the early sixties advertising canned food. They show a diverse and creative approach to advertising: in Drei Göttergaben (early 1920s), coffee, tea and cocoa are promoted through a fairy-tale-like story about the origin of these products. The Croatian advertisement Meinlova kava (1932) shows the technological progress since the foundation of Julius Meinl in 1862.
The message is clear: despite all these changes, the quality of Meinl coffee has always stayed the same. Wien und seine Spezialitäten (ca. 1924) takes the Julius Meinl store at the Opernring as its starting point: here, customers are presented with coffee, sweets and cookies, and these scenes are intercut with fragments of the production process of each of these products. Das hohe C (1934) is a longer and more ambitious film advertising Meinl Macaroni, directed by Robert Reich and starring Hans Moser in the role of assistant to a famous Italian tenor, who is only willing to sing after having a decent meal: (Meinl) Macaroni. "Mit einem Krügerl Bier im Magen, kann man das tiefe F wagen, mit Macaroni im Magen, kann das hohe C dich wagen."
The deposit also includes films related to the company's history, such as Keks- und Teigwaren Fabrikation (1926–1927), a traditionally structured industrial film showing the production of pasta and pastry, beginning with the kneading of the dough and ending with a close-up of a child eating a cookie. Or Blumenkorso (1948), a recording of the Blumenkorso in Prater, where the first prize went to Julius Meinl's contribution.
One of the most interesting family films in the collection is Sonntag der 30. Jänner 1949 – Meinl Abend im Konzerthaus, an 8mm film about a big family celebration in the Wiener Konzerthaus, with music and theatre performances by famous actors and musicians.
This collection invites an exploration from different angles: from the perspective of advertisement history, since it is an interesting example of how a company can be documented throughout the years, but also from a postcolonial perspective – particularly in the study of how the foreign and exotic nature of the products is stressed and represented.
The entire collection has been digitally preserved in collaboration with Thomas Meinl. 35mm nitrate films were scanned in 4K at the Magyar Filmlabor in Budapest. The 16mm and 8 mm films were scanned by the Austrian Film Museum.