Werner Schroeter

Werner Schroeter – Willow Springs [+Extras] (1973)

Schroeter set out to make a film about Marilyn Monroe ten years after her death as a meditation on the new feminism in America. The result was this bizarre chamber melodrama about three women who turn an abandoned shack in the Mojave Desert into a kind of Charles Manson commune. The three lure men to their lair, force them to have sex, then rob and murder them. With a music track that includes Bizet, Yugoslavian folk tunes, the Andrews Sisters and the Blue Ridge Rangers, Schroeter fashions a spectacle of female power which critics have compared to Fassbinder’s The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant and Altman’s Three Women.

– San Francisco Cinematheque Read More »

Werner Schroeter – Palermo oder Wolfsburg AKA Palermo or Wolfsburg (1980)

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This film begins in the town of Palermo, where the film’s central figure, Nicola, is a young victim of Sicily’s high rate of unemployment. He decides to leave Palermo for Wolfsburg in Germany in search of employment. Along with Fassbinder’s Angst essen Seele auf (1973), Schroeter’s film becomes one of a handful of films to broach the subject of the difficulties foreigners faced in their attempts to integrate into German society without the support of the family and community structures they had left behind in their home countries. Like Regno di Napoli, Palermo oder Wolfsburg follows a chronological structure, but Schroeter’s innovation in this film is to divide the narrative into three distinct sections or acts, each having their own particular style. Palermo oder Wolfsburg won the prestigious Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 1980, notably the first Golden Bear ever awarded to a German director. Read More »

Werner Schroeter – Die Generalprobe AKA Dress Rehearsal (1980)

The first of Schroeter’s series of documentaries about theatrical performers, Dress Rehearsal began as a commission by German television for a short report on the 1980 edition of the World Theatre Festival in Nancy, France. Inspired by a number of the performers at the festival, Schroeter created instead a feature-length film essay. In particular, he focuses on Pina Bausch and her troupe from the Wuppertal Tanztheater, the Japanese butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno and the American performance artist Pat Olesko. Out of an engrossing and entertaining collage of various impressions from the festival, including rehearsals, performances, interviews, readings and encounters onstage and off, Schroeter develops a meditation on the relationship between art and politics and presents an early formulation of his ideas about performance as a form of love. Read More »

Werner Schroeter – Argila (1969)

SYNOPSIS
Schroeter’s legendary two-screen projection Argila. Read More »

Werner Schroeter – Eika Katappa (1969)

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Collage of dramatic scenes, some exaggerated to comic effect, with asynchronous sound from well known classic, operatic, and rock and roll music – with different approaches to love, suffering, and death. Read More »

Werner Schroeter – Goldflocken (1976)

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Werner Schroeter’s rhapsody of excess leaps from 1949 Cuba to contemporary France to points in between, while its feverishly shifting visual style evokes and parodies everything from kitschy Mexican telenovelas to silent French art films.

Film en quatre épisodes : Cuba, Drame du rail, Coeur brisé et La Trahison. Dans Flocons d’or, qui traite de la mort, l’héroine Montezuma est l’épouse française d’un gros propriétaire terrien qui se droque. L’action se déroule à Cuba vers la fin des années 40. Des quatre épisodes du film, un seul comporte une ironique lueur d’espoir. Read More »

Werner Schroeter – Nuit de chien AKA This Night (2008)

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Werner Schroeter is one of the German new wave’s prophets without honour. He was too confrontationally weird to take his place alongside Fassbinder, Wenders and Herzog in the international distribution sweepstakes and the disturbingly freaked-out Nuit de Chien goes a long way to suggesting why.

The film posits Pascal Greggory as a man fleeing a nameless fascist dictatorship currently in the throes of a power struggle. Fleeing the nation, he can’t seem to find his wife and in searching for her winds up in brothels, alleys and avenues of power. As in the best magic realism, the country is a place of surreal dislocation, with people doing appalling things apparently against their personal dispositions and making peace with insane circumstances. Read More »