The Haunted Screen is a narrative podcast about film, history, and the places they intersect. Incorporating extensive research and archival interviews, Professor Travis Mushett explores key movements in global cinema through engaging audio storytelling that appeals to both hardcore cinephiles and casual moviegoers. The first season—"From Caligari to Hitler"—investigates the chaotic, creative world of Weimar Germany. Thanks to our official sponsor, FUJIFILM North America!
1.6 — The End: The Blue Angel and the Twilight of the Weimar Republic
Nazi, dissident, victim… Josef von Sternberg’s cabaret classic The Blue Angel had three stars: Emil Jannings, Marlene Dietrich, and Kurt Gerron. As the Weimar Era ended and the Third Reich began, fate brought them—and all of Germany—to a crossroads. What would they choose, and what choices would be taken from them?For show notes and other supporting information, click here.
21/09/2022 • 1 hour 14 minutes 27 seconds
1.5 — Fritz Lang & Thea von Harbou, Pt. II: A Marriage—and a Country—on the Brink
As the 1920s became the 1930s, both the Lang-von Harbou marriage and German democracy itself teetered on the edge of collapse. In this moment of personal and political chaos, the couple made movies—and choices—that would define their legacies.For show notes and other supporting information, click here.
07/09/2022 • 1 hour 10 minutes 9 seconds
1.4 — G.W. Pabst & the German Left: When Pictures Got Political
In a political environment as combustible as the Weimar Republic, it was only a matter of time before the country’s Kinos became venues for ideological warfare. G.W. Pabst was on the frontlines, firing broadsides against nationalism (Kameradschaft), capitalism (The Threepenny Opera), and the patriarchy (Pandora’s Box). But even in the face of a rising fascism, the German left threatened to tear itself apart.For show notes and other supporting information, click here.
31/08/2022 • 1 hour 15 minutes 36 seconds
1.3 — Fritz Lang & Thea von Harbou, Pt. I: Seduction, Spectacle, and the Birth of Nazism
Through movies like Destiny, Die Nibelungen, and Metropolis, the husband/wife team of director Fritz Lang and screenwriter Thea von Harbou helped establish Berlin as Hollywood’s one true rival. But their emergence as international celebrities paralleled the rise of a certain failed artist storming through the beer halls of Munich.For show notes and other supporting information, click here.
24/08/2022 • 1 hour 25 minutes 34 seconds
1.2 — Villains: Nosferatu, Dr. Mabuse the Gambler, and the Timeliness of Terror
In 1922, a pair of diabolical creatures arrived on German movie screens. What can the vampire Count Orlok and the supercriminal Dr. Mabuse teach us about the fears and fantasies lurking in the Weimar imagination?For show notes and other supporting information, click here.
17/08/2022 • 58 minutes 47 seconds
1.1 — Beginnings: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, the Rise of Expressionism, and the Long Shadow of World War I
A world war lost. An economy in tatters. A country riven by political violence. Germany’s Weimar Era had a tumultuous birth, and with The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, its filmmakers began to channel that mayhem into sinister celluloid fantasies.For show notes and other supporting information, click here.
17/08/2022 • 1 hour 24 minutes 35 seconds
Trailer: The Haunted Screen
Season One of The Haunted Screen—"From Caligari to Hitler"—premieres on Wednesday, August 17th. Bis bald! Music by The Great Pacific Garbage Vortex.