Nijinski at the Laundromat
Bread for the Heroes
(The Strauss-Box), 1999
22 films with no dialogue, each set to an overlooked work by Johann Strauss. Percy Adlon's tribute to the composer on the 100th anniversary of his death.
Eva Mattes • Lolita Davidovich
Herbert Foettinger • Alfred Eschwé
Written by Percy Adlon
Produced by Eleonore Adlon
Cinematography – Percy Adlon, Ila von Hasberg, Johann Strauss Jr.
A pelemele Film/Leora Films production
Shot in DigiBeta PAL, color
Die Strausskiste I
1. "Horsepower" (3:32)
Liebchen, schwing dich,
Polka Mazur, op. 394
Dirtbikers, airshow pilots, and circus horses
compete with the orchestra’s power.
2. "Addio Venezia" (8:37)
Souvenir de Nizza, Walzer, op. 200
A young woman (Lolita Davidovich) recalls
a ball in a Venetian palace.
3. "Inspiration" (4:01)
Bonbon, Polka française, op. 213
An uninspired painter dreams of three
models peeling off their clothes on a
turning platform. The excitement exhausts
him so much that he falls asleep.
4. "Sweet Things" (4:54)
Patronessen, Polka française, op. 286
At the Café Demel in Vienna, patrons
wordlessly share their passionate
indulgence in the world's most sinful
5. "Offenbach Undressed" (5:37)
Orpheus-Quadrille, op. 236
Frolicking and flirtation among the actors
and dancers backstage at a dress rehearsal.
6. "Forever Flirt" (7:16)
Gunstwerber, Walzer, op.4
At a tea dance in a Viennese senior home,
an old waltz brings back bittersweet
memories of the residents' younger days.
7. "Gold!" (5:03)
Figaro-Polka, op. 320
A young upholstery apprentice discovers
that an old sofa holds a staggering treasure.
8. "Rendezvous" (4:41)
Taubenpost, Polka française, op 237
Tourists, regulars, and a mysterious stranger
meet at the golden Strauss statue at the
Volkspark in Vienna.
9. "The Jogger" (2:56)
Herrmann-Polka, op. 91
While her husband is off jogging in the park
of Schönbrunn Castle, a woman enjoys a
magical performance in her royal bedroom.
10."Clara and Claire" (8:16)
Ballg’schichten, Walzer, op.150
Two horse-crazy backpackers are
disappointed that they can’t afford the fare
for a coach tour through Vienna, but
they discover a sisterly soul in one coachwoman.
11."Greenhouse Effect" (2:23)
Ottinger Reiter-Marsch, op. 83
A brass band accidentally ends up in a
greenhouse, and soon becomes hopelessly
lost among the leaves.
Elektrophor, Polka schnell, op. 297
Between the lightning, the musicians, and
the wind farm, there's no energy crisis here!
Die Strausskiste II
1. "Bread for the Heroes" (2:56)
Krönungs-Marsch, op. 183
In an allergy-inducing environment, bakers bake, stainless steel arms turn, Generals march, and filmmakers shoot.
2. “Niagara” (8:06)
Lavaströme, Walzer, op. 264
A Marilyn Monroe look-alike seeks her own movie moment at the top of the famous falls.
3. "Old Acquaintances" (5:10)
Künstler-Quadrille, op. 201
At Death Valley Junction, a deserted opera house is enlivened by the dancing of a septuagenarian ballerina and her faithful stagehand companion.
4. "The Tzitzit Spinner" (9:38)
Patronessen, Walzer, op. 264
In medieval Morocco, a Jewish man spins traditional tassels for religious garments, one of the most important symbols of his ancient faith.
5. "Flying High" (2:23)
Furioso-Polka, op. 260
A training session turns into a competition, as soloists of the Mussorgski Ballet challenge each other to reach ever-greater heights.
6. "Nijinskij at the Laundromat" (5:06)
Seladon-Quadrille, op. 48
A fastidious man finds a creative solution to the problem of cleaning his only set of clothes.
7. "The Autograph" (9:10)
Abschied von St. Petersburg, Walzer, op. 210
Recalls the married Johann Strauss’ love affair with a student in St. Petersburg.
8. "Happy Birthday" (1:59)
Scherz-Polka, op. 72
Meet Gideon, the filmmakers’ granddaughter, as she celebrates her second birthday.
9. "Circuswaltz" (9:59)
In’s Zentrum, Walzer, op. 387
Audience and performers bid farewell at the season's last performance of Circus Roncalli.
10. "Triumph of the Kiss" (3:36)
Kaiser Franz Joseph I
Rettungs-Jubel Marsch, op. 126
Love conquers all with a parade and kissing contest, set to a heroic and patriotic march.