Newsletter September 2019

We return from the summer break with the happy news that on 29 August the actress Margit Carstensen was awarded the Götz George Prize. The award, which includes 10,000 euros, was founded in 2018 and recognizes “a merited and fascinating artistic life”. Its primary focus is on older actors who are “no longer in the limelight.” As the news magazine Spiegel Online emphasizes, the award is also meant to draw attention “to the precarious conditions under which actors and actresses work and above all also age” (the full text is available at: DE). In his laudation for the prize winner director Leander Haussmann described her as a “star who never wanted to be one,” which made her very likeable but also was perhaps a reason for this occasion, since she had not drawn enough attention to herself (an article on the award evening can be found at
: DE).

However, Margit Carstensen has never really been lost from sight. She appeared in films by Andrzej Zulawski, Romuald Karmakar and Oskar Roehler, worked in the theatre with directors such as Matthias Hartmann and Rene Pollesch, and collaborated over many years with Christoph Schlingensief. Her most recent role was in 2016, in an episode of the famous German police procedural TATORT titled WOFÜR ES SICH ZU LEBEN LOHNT (What’s Worth Living For), in which she appeared with two old acquaintances from her Fassbinder days: Hanna Schygulla and Eva Mattes.

The Austrian newspaper Wiener Zeitung spoke with Eva Mattes in connection with the release of her new film LEBERKÄSJUNKIE (Meatloaf Junkie), which is currently showing in German cinemas. In the interview the actress tells of her time with Fassbinder, whom she found tender and gentle when they were working together: “During the making of WILDWECHSEL (Jail Bait, 1972) I was often naked, and he was very careful to ensure that no one came near me. He often came to the makeup session in the morning and said to the makeup artist, ‘Make her very beautiful,’ which was wonderful. I felt extremely flattered.” The full interview is available at: DE

In our last newsletter we already talked about the publication marking the fiftieth anniversary of the publishing house Verlag der Autoren, and here we would also like to draw readers’ attention the new autobiography by its cofounder Karlheinz Braun. The Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel has taken a closer look at Braun’s book, “Herzstücke – Leben mit Autoren“ (Centerpieces – Living with Authors) and looks back over the decades it covers: from Braun’s “beginning in the student theatre group ‘neue bühne’ to his years as the director of the Suhrkamp Theaterverlag and [..] of the Frankfurt theatre festival ‘experimenta’ to his guest performance as director of the Frankfurt Schauspielhaus and his supporting role as an actor in Fassbinder’s ‘Berlin Alexanderplatz’.” The entire article can be read here: DE
And the book can be ordered, among other places, at: DE

A tip for our French-speaking readers: Along with texts by Jonas Mekas and Benoit Jacquot, the new issue of the film magazine Trafic includes Alexander Kluge’s “Nine Stories for Rainer Werner Fassbinder” (the issue can be ordered at: FR).

The stories deal with themes such as an unrealized film project, an encounter with Andy Warhol, and what it was in Fassbinder’s life that corresponded to the climactic moment or stretto in opera. The German version of the text is available in Logbuch – the online magazine published by Suhrkamp Verlag: DE

We wish our friends and readers a pleasant start to the autumn and will be back again soon with exciting news from the world of Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

More on the films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder: DE EN FR

Photo left: Margit Carstensen © Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation
Photo right: Cover of Karlheinz Braun‘s autobiography “Herzstücke – Leben mit Autoren” © Schöffling & Co. Verlag