カート・シオドマク

カート・シオドマク

The success of "People on Sunday" led to contracts with UFA studio-head Erich Pommer (producer of "The Blue Angel") for the Siodmaks and their collaborators, and Curt worked alone and with his brother at UFA until 1933 when he fled Germany to escape fascism. Landing in Hollywood's emigre community in 1938, he found it easy to find work, despite English being his second language, and scored his first success as co-screenwriter of "The Invisible Man Returns" (1939). Siodmak's script for "The Wolf Man" (1941) introduced the legendary creature to the horror genre, and he also penned (alone or in tandem) such literate and engrossing delights as Jacques Tourneur's "I Walked with a Zombie," his brother's "Son of Dracula" (both 1943) and Robert Florey's "The Beast with Five Fingers" (1947), not to mention the post-war spy thriller, "Berlin Express" (1948). As a novelist in exile, unlike many of his fellow countrymen who continued writing in German, Siodmak made the difficult transition to English prose, publishing the seminal sci-fi novel "Donovan's Brain" in 1942. This tale of the first brain transplant spawned a radio adaptation by Orson Welles and four film versions, the best one arguably being "Donovan's Brain" (1953), starring Lew Ayres.Siodmak made his directorial debut with "The Bride of the Gorilla" (1951) and followed with perhaps his best effort, "The Magnetic Monster" (1953), lifting special effects for its stunning climax from the 1930s German film, "Gold," but his efforts at the helm were decidedly lackluster. It is as a screenwriter that he made his mark on film, combining elements of Gothic tales with German Expressionism, the style of his generation. Many of his stories centered on the concept of Harmatia, the Greek idea that humans must endure the whims of the gods. "We all have Harmatia in us," he wrote in his 1991 introduction to the publication of "The Wolf Man." "Life itself contains the curse of the Wolf Man: suffering without having been guilty." For his contributions to the cinema, the 1998 Berlin Film Festival honored Siodmak (along with his late brother Robert) with a retrospective and presented him with the Berlinale Camera, an award founded in 1986 to express the Festival's gratitude and appreciation for a celebrity to whom it feels particularly indebted.
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