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Saturn Filme (1906-1910)



Asked about early Austrian cinema most film historians will mention Von Stufe zu Stufe or Der Müller und sein Kind, movies filmed between 1908 and 1911. Not many people know that before them, in 1907, a Viennese studio called Saturn started mass production of feature films. Unfortunately, because of the Saturn-films’ peculiar topics, up until now certain reluctance combined with a large amount of bashfulness caused a distortion in the historical reconstruction of Austrian filmography. The chronology of the real events was falsified and important sources of the birth of Austrian cinematography were kept as a secret. Filmarchiv Austria decided to set the record straight and fill the gap by publishing a book and a videocassette. The book addresses movie-specialists, while the cassette will be suitable for a general audience interested in the history of Austrian movie production.
Johann Schwarzer, the founder of the Saturn studio was born on August 30 1880, in Javornik, Silesia. There he studied chemistry and photography, before moving to Vienna. He was a master of children and family portraits, but later became interested in erotic photography. In his time French erotic movies were very successful. Often in the cinemas of the Habsburg Monarchy, “Herrenabende” (“night shows for men”) were organized, where erotic movies were shown to an adult audience.
Success came within a short time for both the movie theatres and travelling film shows. Directed by a reliable sense for good business, Johann
Schwarzer started his production of erotic films in late 1906, as his advertisements prove. His films dealt with plots that were situated between the rather bashful French productions and the pornographic products of his time.
As history proves these were the first feature films produced in Austria. In most Saturn-films the actresses are shown undressed, but they are far
away from any relations with pornography. The main subject of Schwarzer’s films was voyeurism, demonstrated in bathing scenes, artist-and-model-combinations or exotic oriental scenarios. The advertisement for Saturn-Films mentioned above was published until the end of July 1907. In this time Saturn was well known, and advertisements in newspapers and journals were no longer necessary. The priority of further publicity shifted to oral propaganda and also to distributor-catalogues. French film producers had already published such catalogues, and Schwarzer orientated his publications on their patterns.
With the production of this special kind of films, Saturn was able to obtain its place on the film market, since it supplied most of Europe with its products, and catalogues soon appeared in Italian and French. Since September 15, 1907 all Saturn-films bore a star as special trademark, which can be seen on the credits as well as on various parts of the decoration in the films.
In 1909 the decline of the successful company began. The Austrian government had received lots of protests from foreign countries against so-called „pornographic films“ from Vienna. According to special orders the Viennese police rummaged through and observed the Saturn-studio. In 1911 a judicial decision of the „k.k. Landesgericht Wien“ stated that from now on the circulation of all Saturn-films and -catalogues was prohibited. Due to this judgement Saturn had to stop its production of erotic films.
In the following two years it seems that Johann Schwarzer suspended the production of films in general. He tried it again in 1913 with a film distribution company, but without the kind of films he had become famous for. Instead of that he unsuccessfully produced newsreels, local shootings and suchlike material. Three months after a new series of advertisements for his film distribution started, all traces of the film producer Johann Schwarzer disappeared.
Soon after the beginning of World War I, in October 1914, Johann Schwarzer was killed as a reserve officer on the eastern front.
  • Orjinal İsim: Saturn Filme (1906-1910)
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  • IMDB Puanı: /10
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  • Filmin Türü: Erotic Retro Vintage
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