This film includes both a representation of the act of censorship and […] an elaborate revenge scenario against that act. The young Filmkleberin (film splicer) of the title is an archetypal Weimar New Woman, whose rather monotonous work is punctuated by extended romantic daydreams that, in seeming to cite directly from Weimar nightlife films, have a distinctly Schund-like quality. A fantasy that culminates with her kissing a handsome young man is interrupted when she finds that the act has been captured on camera. The next scene positions the audience as censor, scrutinizing (through a magnifying glass) a strip of film depicting the couple locked in embrace. We then see a pair of scissors cutting through the strip along a diagonal defined by the meeting of the couples’ lips. The word “Censorship!!” then flashes across the screen along a diagonal that mimics the scissor’s cut.
That awakening from her fantasy is equated with an act of censorship suggests that this act must be understood as an instrument for patrolling the boundaries between civilized society and the realm of unconscious or instinctual life. This is borne out in what follows next: having again drifted into a dream-like state, the young woman accidentally splices together bits of a newsreel with a Lil Dagover film (of the sort that herdaydream had mimicked). The resulting screening is a pure eruption of cinemas anarchic potential: images of African tribespeople and hippopotamuses are mixed up with scenes from Dagover’s boudoir, while a censorious figure frantically blows a police whistle in a futile effort to bring the proceedings to a halt, The connection between the anxieties here evoked and the seeming breakdown of gender norms is made clear in further scenes that depict the Vermännlichung (masculinization) of women. At the end, the screen is pelted by the audience with eggs andfinally left in tatters.
Andreas Killen, Homo Cinematicus. Science, Motion Pictures and the Making of Modern Germany, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017, pp. 96–98
This Dada-inspired film [...] was made in 1925 in the shadow of ENTR’ACTE, the classic French Dada film of 1924 by René Clairand Francis Picabia, which was shown in Berlin in the famous avant-garde film matinee Der absolute Film (“The Absolute Film”) on 3 May 1925. FILMKLEBERIN satirizes avant-garde cinema itself by suggesting that the rejection of narrative is the result of carelessness and blunder. This little-known film, directed by O. F. Mauer and starring Alice Kempen, both minor figures in Weimar cinema, is also a comical take on censorship, film production, and exhibition practices. [...]
[T]he film focuses on a young film cutter who is visibly bored by her work, daydreaming about a young man. The close-up of the couple’s imaginary kiss is interrupted by an intertitle declaring “Zensur,” and an inspection of the kissing scene under a magnifying glass, leading to a pair of scissors destroying the offending frames. The woman awakens from her daydreamand resumes work – now under pressure to finish editing a film by a 6 o’clock deadline. The camera pans across two boxes, one labeled “Diverse Newsreel Clips,” the other “Blossoms That Float in the Mud,” a fictitious revue film whose titillating title alludes to the so-called Aufklärungsfilme (sexeducation films) from the censor-free period between November 1918 and May 1920. Predictably, the film cutter mixes up the boxes and strips from both are spliced into one film, with startling results. The second half of FILMKLEBERIN takes place in a movie theater, where the cutter sits in the audience watching what her distracted editing has produced. Snippets from real life taken from newsreel and Kulturfilm shorts interrupt, undercut, and ridicule the fictional artifice of the revue film. [...]
In the tradition of films that reflect on film, this short teaches the public about the making and breaking of a narrative film. By violating all norms of logic and formal organization, FILMKLEBERIN lampoons and challenges these norms, including censorship, the ultimate norm that determines what can be seen and what cannot.
Anton Kaes, Le Giornate del cinema muto / Pordenone Silent Film Festival catalogue, 2019, pp. 205–206