Fritz Arno Wagner

Fritz Arno Wagner (December 5, 1889 - August 18, 1958) is considered one of the most acclaimed German cinematographers from the 1920s to the 1950s. He played a key role in the Expressionist film movement during the Weimar period and is perhaps best known for excelling in "in the portrayal of horror" according to noted film critic Lotte H. Eisner. Born in Schmiedefeld am Rennsteig, Germany, Wagner received his training at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 1910, while still attending the University of Leipzig, he managed to secure a job as a clerk at the Pathé film company. In 1912, he became both secretary and chef at the Pathé offices in Vienna and later in Berlin. Interested in cinematography he became a newsreel cameraman in 1913 and was stationed in New York for Pathé Weekly where he reported on the Mexican Revolution. At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, he returned to Germany to enlist in his country's elite Hussar cavalry whilst still filming war reports. However, after being wounded, he decided to take the job of stills photographer and then 2nd cameraman at Projektions-AG Union [PAGU]. In 1919, he went to work as a primary cameraman for Decla-Bioscop.


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