Do you sell tickets for an event, performance or venue?
Find out more about Eventfinda Ticketing.

You missed this – Subscribe & Avoid FOMO!
NZIFF Live Cinema: Variety


Sun 24 Jul 2016, 1:30pm–3:05pm

Where: SKYCITY Theatre, Cnr Victoria and Federal Sts, CBD, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Adult: $30.00
  • Child: $22.00
  • Student: $26.00
  • Senior: $26.00
  • Additional fees may apply


This will be a stunning restoration of this classic tale of backstage passions from Weimar-era Berlin is accompanied by a new chamber orchestra score composed by Johannes Contag, commissioned by NZIFF and the Goethe-Institut.

Set in Weimar-era Berlin, Variety is at once a dazzling celebration of the cabaret milieu and a cautionary tale of the emotional turmoil experienced in love when you want to have your cake and eat it too. Told as a flashback from prison, trapeze artist Boss (first-ever Oscar recipient Emil Jannings) recounts fleeing his role as family breadwinner in favour of a younger woman, only to see her slip away. Berta-Marie (Lya De Putti) falls prey to a sophisticate from their show troupe, and being in no position to deny his forceful advances, she gives in to the lure of social opportunity at the expense of working-class Boss.

Framed by the tense acrobat act the three work on together, and juxtaposed by the exhilarated bustle of their fellow performers, personal dynamics are brought to a head (claustrophobically so – the close-ups of Once Upon a Time in the West find a worthy predecessor here), and the trajectory of infidelity and jealousy must lead to disaster.

This is not a film about narrative subtlety – although there are a few surprising twists – but rather an allegorical play on the compulsions of morality and ego at their barest. While emotional essence rather than realism is the focus here, the characters’ social subtext seems all the more authentic; the volatile class differences between Boss and his antagonist are drawn sharply and critically.

Nestled between expressionism and film noir, Variety is perhaps the most sumptuous cinematic testament to the thriving cultural landscape of urban 1920s Germany, and more than worth watching for this alone. On top of that, the ‘unchained camera’ pioneered here – such as in the breathtaking trapeze scenes – is simply sensational. — Johannes Contag

NZIFF will begin its 48th year in Auckland on the 14th July at the magnificent Civic Theatre and various other venues across the city. Keep up to date with festival news and events at

Restaurants to book near NZIFF Live Cinema: Variety