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Cover of the American edition of The Haunted Screen by Lotte H. Eisner, Copyright © 1974, Thames and Hudson

Lotte H. Eisner (5 March 1896 – 25 November 1983, Neuilly-sur-Seine near Paris) was a French-German film critic, historian, writer and poet.

She was born Lotte Henriette Eisner in Berlin as a daughter of a Jewish merchant. After studies in Berlin and Munich, from 1927, she worked as a theater and film critic for German newspapers, working for, among others, Film-Kurier, a daily film newspaper published in Berlin.

In 1933 she fled from Germany to France to avoid anti-Jewish persecution by the Nazis. During World War II she hid for a time, but finally was caught and interned in the French concentration camp at the town of Gurs in Aquitaine, France. She managed to survive the war, and after the Liberation she returned to Paris. She worked closely with Henri Langlois, the founder of the Cinémathèque Française, where she worked as a Chief Archivist from 1945 until her retirement in 1975.

Lotte H. Eisner continued to write for the monthly Cahiers du Cinéma and La Revue du Cinéma. In 1974, learning that Eisner was seriously ill and on the verge of death, the German film director Werner Herzog walked from Munich to Paris to visit her, in the faith that she would be well again when he arrived. His journey is recounted in Herzog's book Of Walking in Ice.

She was awarded membership in the French Legion of Honor in 1982. Wim Wenders' film Paris, Texas (1984) is dedicated to her memory.

Writings

  • Murnau, London, Secker and Warburg, 1973.
  • Fritz Lang, Da Capo Press, New Edition 1986, ISBN 0306802716
  • Die dämonische Leinwand, engl. The Haunted Screen: Expressionism in the German Cinema and the Influence of Max Reinhardt, Univ of California Press, Second Edition 2008, ISBN 0520257901
  • Ich hatte einst ein schönes Vaterland. Memoiren, Munich: dtv, 1988 - in her autobiography she describes her collaboration with the eccentric Henri Langlois.

External links

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