Asphalt is one of the last master pieces of German silent films. The movie premiered in 1929 and tells the story of a sensual thief who seduces a policeman attempting to arrest her for the the robbery of a diamond in a jewelry. The movie is directed by the Viennese filmmaker Joe May, who shot the film in the legendary UFA studios of Berlin. Later, May had to emigrate to USA to escape from Nazism, but before that happened, he directed the to best films of German Expressionism: Heimkehr and Asphalt. Asphalt is mixture of noir cinema and comedy, made with great visual boldness. It is worth mentioning the brilliant acting of Gustav Fröhlich and the unsurpassed Betty Amann, a femme fatale whose aesthetic would inspire Billy Wilder in Some Like It Hot. The movie contains scenes of great sensual intensity that scandalized the most conservative audiences. The careful photography of the Günther Rittau has to be highlighted due to its vanguardist aesthetic, as well as the soundtrack by Karl-Ernst Sasse. In summary, a true gem of the 1920's cinema that has only gained value as time has passed.
Lecture of Marta Sanz SILENT CINEMA: Femme fatale, Vamp, Flapper and Other Stereotypes of Women in Silent Film 17 March 2017