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Office, 1970) describes the material upon which the film is based. It may be purchased or rented from the National Audio- visual Center, Washington, D. C. 20409. Bernard Mergen, George Washington University Das Bauhaus (1968, color, 25 minutes), available at no charge from Modern Talking Pictures, Washington, D. C. Matthew Arnold once wrote that "machinery is our besetting danger." Never did this recurring idea receive more attention than during the 1920's in Germany. Cinematically, such speculation culminated in Fritz Lang's Metropolis, a view of industrial society 200 years hence released in 1925. The film's Cassandra-figure calls out repeatedly, "Between the brain that plans and the hand that builds, there must be a mediator— the heart." In a decade, characterized by rampant mechanization and, in many people's eyes, dehumanization, one of the few nonpolitical movements avowedly working to humanize technology was the Bauhaus. Founded in 1919, the Bauhaus aspired to create the "preconditions of cultural growth," to devise a complete environment for man relying on technology but still upholding his dignity. Its leading figures-Gropius , Kandinsky, Klee, Breuer, Feininger, Moholy-Nagy, and van der Rohe—rejected all former approaches to design, in the process giving birth to the first school of design working entirely within the premises of the industrial system. The film Das Bauhaus conveys both the spirit and achievements of the movement founded by Walter Gropius who, along with Mies van der Rohe, is interviewed. Among objects covered are Gropius' skyscrapers, chairs by Breuer and van der Rohe, and the abstractions of Klee and Kandinsky. Viewing this film, one becomes aware of the fact that no design movement has yet supplanted the Bauhaus or substantially altered its premises. Even the Bauhaus diaspora (Hitler closed the institution in 1933--U was among the first official acts of this self-styled artist-architect) produced in its later works, for example van der Rohe 's Lakeshore Towers, only minimal evolution from the 1920's. Das Bauhaus cannot cut through the complexities and contradictions of Weimar Germany, but it does well portray one of the era's most durable legacies. Possible collateral readings abound in works like Gay's Weimar Culture, Friedrich's Before the Deluge, and Giedion's Mechanization Takes Command. Withal , Das Bauhaus is appropriate for any course which gives even minimal attention to the material culture of the Twenties. B. A. Bl ois, Northern Virginia Community College ...


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