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With live piano accompaniment by Makia Matsumura.

Dir. Joe May. 1929, 94 mins. With Betty Amann, Gustav Frölich. Costumes by Rene Hubert. Imported 35mm print, with live projection of intertitles. A pretalkie release, Asphalt is a stunning gem of expressionist cinema, and a prime example of German “Strassenfilm.” Its shadowy scenes, the overt eroticism of the fatal woman and diamond thief Else, and the plot itself,in which an orderly traffic cop is caught in a web of crime and uncontrollable passion, all prefigure film noir. Yet it is in the way the story unfolds where director May shines, able to shift effortlessly from social realism to romantic melodrama and comedy.

Free with Museum admission.