People On Sunday (1930) – Robert Slodmak & Edgar G. Ulmar

People On Sunday is the next big stop in DK Canada’s The Movie Book. Called a film without actors, the film is fluid and natural, following five people on a Sunday.

Erwin, a taxi driver, Brigitte, a retail, clerk, Wolfgang, a wine trader, Christl, a film extra, Annie, a model,  are the film’s subjects, as they wait for and then live their day off, their lives interweaving and telling an almost aimless story, that serves as a bit of slice of life.

This silent film plays as a unique look at life in Berlin in the 30s, as well as the way people interact, treat one another, and the pursuit of both friendships and romantic relationships.

Ruing at a brisk 73 minutes,  it is an interesting watch, as Erwin and Wolfgang chase girls. (Erwin leaves Annie at home after an argument.) They take Brigitte and Christl to the beach with them, and when romantic overtures don’t work as well as they hoped, the men start after a couple more young ladies (even though things seemed to be going well with Brigitte and Wolf).

It doesn’t help that the pair flirt with the new female arrivals right in front of Chritl and Brigitte on a paddleboat that was rented with the ladies’ money. I guess some guys were just tools even then. Not to mention Erwin still has Annie at home!!

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The glimpses we are afforded of the way people spent their free time, whether together out at the park, watching a game, playing with children, speaking to societal needs, and it’s a fascinating watch from that perspective.

But after Sunday, everything goes back to the way it was, and all the souls in the film strive and aim for the next Sunday, and what freedom and excitement that will bring.

In fact, as enjoyable as the slim story is, I like when the film cuts away from the main tale, and gives us a look at life in Berlin during the 1930s.

This one was interesting, wasn’t quite as captivating as previous entries, but fascinating for its examination of life, and how people thrived for a day off, and the adventure that could bring, and the people that it brought into your life; possibilities of hope and love, laughter and times well spent.

And like the rest of the world, they too just aim for that next day off. Sometimes it seems to be the only thing we can hold onto, and how we spend it serves as a release for the days leading up to it.

This one is an examination of the human need for release, good and bad, and is yet another fascinating title to watch thanks to DK Book’s The Movie Book. Pick one up today, and find something amazing to watch.

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