wiki:Franz Osten

Version 1 (modified by Trupti, 11 years ago) (diff)


Franz Osten (1876-1956)

Hindi director born in Munich as Franz Ostermayer, the elder brother of successful producer Peter Ostermayer. They set up a travelling cinema, Original Physograph (1907) and founded Munchner Kunstfilm (1909) after Osten had been making shorts for Pathé, Gaumont and Eclair. Their first feature: Die Wahrheit (1910). Osten’s début as director: Erna Valeska (1911). War correspondent in

  1. Joined Peter’s company Emelka (later

Bavaria Film) in 1918. Made Der Ochsenkrieg (1920) with young cameraman Frank Planer of later Hollywood fame, one of Osten’s several contributions to a budding genre that after WW2 became known as the Heimatfilm. In fact, the Ostermayr/Osten? brothers claimed to be the originators of the genre. When Himansu Rai and Emelka made a deal to produce Prem Sanyas aka Light of Asia, Osten was assigned to direct. Continued directing Rai’s productions, often shooting in India as well as in Europe, in addition to directing for numerous companies in Berlin. Moved with cameraman Josef Wirsching and set designer Karl von Spreti to India to work at Himansu Rai’s Bombay Talkies (1934). While in Bombay, became a member of the Nazi Party (1936). Interned by the British at the outbreak of WW2 while shooting his last film there, Kangan. Released and allowed to return to Germany (1940). Employed by Bavaria Film until 1945, for casting and setting up its film archive. In addition to Indian films, directed 33 silent features and 10 sound films. After WW2 became manager of a Bavarian spa. His Indian films, following UFA tradition, were huge Orientalist spectacles with elephants, camels and expansive vistas often shot in deep focus. Effective authorship shared by producer Rai and scenarist Niranjan Pal. Adopted European conventions to introduce main actors, e.g. backlit mid-shots in soft focus gradually becoming more contrasted; also used mobile outdoor shots as in the railway-crossing sequence of Achhut Kanya. Strongly influenced younger Bombay Talkies film-makers Amiya Chakravarty and Gyan Mukherjee, though they used his techniques for very different purposes.

FILMOGRAPHY (Indian films): 1925: Prem Sanyas; 1928: Shiraz; 1929: Prapancha Pash (all St); 1935: Jawani Ki Hawa; 1936: Achhut Kanya; Janmabhoomi; Jeevan Naiya; Mamata; Miya Bibi; 1937: Izzat; Jeevan Prabhat; Prem Kahani; Savitri; 1938: Bhabhi; Nirmala; Vachan; 1939: Navjeevan; Durga; Kangan.