The 64th Locarno Film Festival’s Special Program will feature a screening of Daniel Schmid’s SHADOW OF ANGELS (1975) on August 10 at 6.30PM at the Cinema La Sala, presenting a copy with new color grading. It will take place in the presence of Juliane Lorenz, President of the RWFF, Director of Photography Renato Berta, in whose honor the movie was shown in March at the Cinémathèque française in Paris, as well as the leading actress, Ingrid Caven.
SHADOW OF ANGELS was Swiss director Daniel Schmid’s (he died in 2006) film version of Fassbinder’s play GARBAGE, THE CITY, AND DEATH (1975), conceived as the latter’s final work at the Theater am Turm in Frankfurt am Main. However, the piece remained a taboo for well over 25 years and was not produced on a single German stage. Its world premiere did not take place until 1987 under the direction of Nick Fracaro in New York.
At the time of its creation, Fassbinder was fiercely attacked by the Jewish community, who accused him of anti-Semitism as epitomized by the figure of the Jewish real estate speculator and the monologue on the “blood-sucking Jew.” For Germany, it was only in 2009 that Italian director Roberto Ciulli staged the play successfully at the Theater an der Ruhr in Mühlheim, embedding it within the two early Fassbinder plays ONLY A SLICE OF BREAD and the one-act-play BLOOD ON A CAT’S NECK.
This year’s Special Program will also include movies by French director Eric Rohmer who died in 2010, the imprisoned Iranian film director Jafar Panahi, an homage to Jean-Marie Straub, whose films were an important source of inspiration for Fassbinder, as well as RWF’s film DESPAIR (1977). Bavaria Media produced an elaborately restored version of DESPAIR. Shown this May at the Cannes Classics, the Locarno Film Festival film will present it on August 11 at 4PM at the Rialto 1 Theater.
Locarno Film Festival
Photo right: RWF and Ingrid Caven in Daniel Schmid’s SCHATTEN DER ENGEL, 1975 © RWFF