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Der Weisse Rausch (St. Anton am Arlberg). A tribute to Arnold Fanck's Film

Der Weisse Rausch (St. Anton am Arlberg)

Der weiße Rausch – neue Wunder des Schneeschuhs (White Thrill - new Miracles of the Snowshoe) is a 1931 mountain film directed by Arnold Fanck and filmed in St. Anton am Arlberg.

Although made in 1931, this film is still astonishing today. It is an unbelievably spectacular film about skiïng, more than worth seeing!

St. Anton am Arlberg was the setting for the film, starring future filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl and local ski instructor Hannes Schneider. Made in 1931, the comedy film was a fictional account of the skiing exploits of a young village girl (played by Riefenstahl), and her attempts to master the sport of skiing and ski-jumping aided by the local ski expert Hannes Schneider. The film was one of the first to use slow-motion and low-angle photography to capture action shots and featured several innovative action-skiing scenes.

Also, two Tyrolean skiing stars, Walter Riml and Guzzi Lantschner, play an important part in this movie. They have the part of two Hamburger carpenters in their traditional outfits. They come to the Arlberg and try to learn how to ski with the aid of two different skiing books.

Directed by Arnold Fanck

Produced by Harry R. Sokal

Written by Arnold Fanck

Starring: Leni Riefenstahl, Hannes Schneider, Guzzi Lantschner, Walter Riml, Rudi Matt and Lothar Ebersberg

Music by Paul Dessau

Cinematography: Richard Angst, Hans Karl Gottschalk, Bruno Leubner and Kurt Neubert

Editing by Arnold Fanck

Release date: December 10, 1931. UFA-Palast am Zoo, Berlin (Germany)

Running time: 70 min.

Country: Weimar Republic

Language: German

Plot: Der Weisse Rausch (White Ecstasy) –the first skiing film to be set to music was also Hannes Schneider’s last major film role in which he played himself as a ski instructor. The plot was a really simple one: a “cheeky little madam from Berlin” (played by Leni Riefenstahl) learns how to ski at Schneider’s ski school, and in the subsequent fox chase, she and Schneider are chased by 50 pursuers. Further roles are played by the young Lothar Ebersberg, Guzzi Lantschner, and Walter Riml, plus Rudi Matt, the most talented actor amongst all the Arlberg ski instructors.

Arnold Fanck (born 6 March 1889, Frankenthal, Germany — died 28 September 1974, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany) was a pioneer of the German mountain film.

Together with Odo Deodatus Tauern, Bernhard Villinger, and Rolf Bauer, Fanck established the company "Berg- und Sportfilm GmbH Freiburg" in Freiburg im Breisgau in 1920. Fanck, who held a Ph.D. in geology, directed mountain films, sports films, and ski films. He was assisted by Sepp Allgeier, a cameraman who later worked with Leni Riefenstahl, and worked mostly in the Alps in locations such as the Engadine, Zermatt, and the Arlberg and on mountains such as Mont Blanc and Piz Palü.

The history and the development of skiing are, without a doubt, closely associated with St. Anton am Arlberg -and its neighboring village of St. Christoph- and the eminent Austrian skiing pioneer Hannes Schneider (1890-1955). Hannes Schneider laid the foundation stone for today’s global “ski school” upon his invention of the Stem Christiania –a stem turn- and, consequently, his “Arlberg technique”. In the twenties, Arnold Fanck's films contribute to the popularity of Hannes Schneider and the Arlberg Technique. In 1926 Fanck and Schneider published the work Wunder des Schneeschuhs (The Miracle of the Snowshoe). Ein System des richtigen Skilaufens und seine Anwendung im alpinen Geländelauf a ski handbook published many times in many languages.


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