Hellmuth Costard – Fußball wie noch nie AKA Soccer As Never Before (1971)

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The sun shone on Old Trafford on 12th September 1970 as Manchester United beat Coventry 2:0 in a league match. It was not an important victory; that season Man Utd would only be also-rans in the race for the championship. But a record was preserved of the match that is probably unique in the history of film and television. Using eight 16mm cameras, Hellmuth Costard, one of the most important experimental filmmakers in German cinema of the 60s and 70s, followed every move over the 90 minutes of the man in the red jersey with the number 11 – traditionally associated with the conventional outside left, but here worn by the mercurial George Best. Continue reading

Hellmuth Costard – Besonders wertvoll (1968)

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The movie was banned from the Festival in 1968. The Festivalleitung refused showing the film and movie provided a scandal. Costard became one of the most prominent representatives of the German experimental film, but earned problems with financing projects in future.

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Pornography in the service of politics. An outrageous provocation, this attack on reactionary German legislation discriminating against young film directors, features head-on, close-up shots of a penis ‘mouthing’ the parliamentary defence of the law by its author. This is followed by masturbation of the organ by an anonymous female hand, ending with ejaculation into the camera and a close-up of a nude behind ‘blowing’ out a candle (with appropriate sound). A landmark in political pamphleteering, the film was selected for the 1968 Oberhausen International Short Film Festival by a committee of leading German critics, and promptly banned by the (social-democratic!) city government, causing the withdrawal of almost all German directors from the festival and a national scandal. The title satirically refers to the official certificate of ‘Particularly Valuable’ given each year to the best film shorts by an Establishment selection committee.
– Amos Vogel, Film as a Subversive Art
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