On 12 July Hanna Schygulla was awarded the City of Munich’s Culture Prize at the Munich Film Museum. The actress and singer was presented with the prize, which comes with 10,000 euros, by the city’s mayor, Dieter Reiter. Thomas Becker from the Süddeutsche Zeitung attended the award ceremony and in his report discusses, among other things, Schygulla’s acceptance speech: “Her habit of pulling faces while still in her stroller led her mother to consult a doctor, who simply said, ‘Oh, just let her. Perhaps she’ll become an actress.’” The full article can be read here:
Schygulla concluded her speech with the words “There’s still something to come!” and, indeed, she remains extremely busy. Very recently, she was seen at the Cannes Film Festival in François Ozon’s euthanasia drama EVERYTHING WENT FINE alongside Sophie Marceau and Charlotte Rampling. (A trailer for the film is available at: https://bit.ly/3jkSdvm).
With cinemas at last opening again, the French director’s last film, SUMMER OF 85 (2020), is now showing in Germany. In the film, 16-year-old Alex falls in love with a slightly older boy and at some point has to realize that he is perhaps only enamored with his own wishful projection. The work is a clever reflection on love with a touch of Hitchcock. (See the trailer at:
Ozon is also being drawn back to Fassbinder again. His next film, PETER VON KANT, which is scheduled for release in 2022, is, following WATER DROPS ON BURNING ROCKS (2000), his second adaptation of a play by Fassbinder, whose original film starred Margit Carstensen as the fashion designer Petra and Hanna Schygulla as her muse Karin. Ozon’s new version will star Isabelle Adjani and Denis Ménochet. So far, the director’s only comment on the project has been: “It’s my own vision of THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT, something totally different but close to Fassbinder. But it’s a surprise!”
Until 15 August Hamburg’s Kunstverein is showing THE THREE LITTLE PIGS (2012), Albert Serra’s monumental film made for dOCUMENTA (13). Reviewing the film in Der Standard, Ekkehard Knörer writes of the 101-hour work:
“The title refers to three very different historical figures, namely Goethe, Hitler and Fassbinder. […]. The dialogue […] is all based on words spoken or written by the protagonists […]. These pieces are performed […] in typical Serra style: sitting, standing, lying down – in precisely framed, minute-long shots –the actors speak […] and declaim the text, carefully enunciating each word. […] the calmness of the direction, the enthralling quality of the texts, the superb quality of the performances.” The complete article is available here:
More information on the exhibition and a video conversation with the director are available on the website of the Kunstverein: https://bit.ly/3Af0SXf
Postponed until June due to the pandemic, this year’s Diagonale, a film festival held in Graz devoted to contemporary Austrian film, saw the premiere of a documentary about Volker Spengler. The actor, who died in 2020, appeared in a number of Fassbinder films. Perhaps his most famous role is that of Elvira Weishaupt, a transsexual scarred by life and love, in the film IN A YEAR WITH 13 MOONS (1978). He later worked regularly with Christoph Schlingensief and René Pollesch.
Hans Broich’s HIGHFALUTIN (2021) brings Spengler together with a number of his prominent contemporaries, such as Traute Hoess and Broich’s father Martin Wuttke. In Filmdienst Ralf Schenk reports on the abundance of stories that flood over the audience. Spengler seems like a spirit from another time: “brutal and then scarred by age and life, provocative and always the prankster, hurtful and at the same time so vulnerable himself.” The entire article on this “declaration of love to a character maladjusted in every respect” can be found at: https://bit.ly/2TUxfuL
Hans Neuenfels turned 80 on 31 May, and to mark the occasion the Frankfurter Rundschau invited the theater director and his wife, Elisabeth Trissenaar, to take part in an interview. Trissenaar appears in a number of Fassbinder films and also worked in the theater with him at the Schauspiel Frankfurt. She does not subscribe to his reputation as a tyrant: “I didn’t find Fassbinder dictatorial at all. You could have wonderful discussions with him, and he was a really good director of women. […] He expected his actresses to propose things for their roles, and he took their proposals seriously.” The complete interview can be found here: https://bit.ly/3ynMStu
We are taking our summer break from 2 August till 6 September and wish our readers and friends health and happiness over the coming weeks. We will return in the fall with more news from the world of Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
More on the films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder:
More on the plays of Rainer Werner Fassbinder:
Photo left: THE THREE LITTLE PIGS © Andergraun Films
Photo right: Elisabeth Trissenaar and Hanna Schygulla in THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BRAUN © RWFF