Film Documents and Contemporary History:

Our Royals

Die Vermählung des künftigen Thronfolgers Erzherzog Karl Franz Josef mit Prinzessin Zita von Parma auf dem Schloss zu Schwarzau, 1911

February 13, 2008
 
The new Film Museum series for 2008, the "Year of Contemporary History", presents rare film documents from the Austro-Hungarian monarchy in its February installment. From 1900 on, films about the imperial court were shot on a regular basis by foreign companies, who were soon joined by Austrian firms.
 
The existing film reports on the imperial family provide exciting material for observing the relationship between politics, economy and the entertainment industry: How did the fledgling film business present the "House of Habsburg" as an icon? What representational strategy was being followed by the court in sanctioning and promoting the creation of new and popular images by film producers? The programme contrasts early films with other cultural artifacts from the print media and literature of the era in order to illustrate the oscillation of the surviving film material between document and imagination. TV images from the 1980s and 1990s will be integrated into the discussion, as a sort of historical epilogue.
 

A joint series of the Austrian Film Museum and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for History and Society