Johannes Sievert

Dominik Graf & Johannes Sievert – Verfluchte Liebe deutscher Film (2016)

Don’t we all feel the same longing for German films that break ranks, that are wild and sensual, that possess a true physicality? Dominik Graf’s thrillers, the articles he’s written on cinema and his new documentary all tell of this longing. What happened to this section of our film tradition, which in the 1970s and 80s brought forth a genre cinema that showed a very different Germany, one looking into the abyss?
Even before Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, there were reflections of neon signs in nocturnal streets and a dark angel who wanted to rescue a prostitute in Roland Klick’s Supermarkt (1973). Klaus Lemke and Roland Klick sit before Graf’s camera as nonchalantly as their heroes and rave about how actors who make full use of their bodies. At first, post-war Germany did not want maimed bodies sweaty with exertion, until Mario Adorf and Klaus Kinski brought back the need for the physical. Suddenly, there was space for violent, bloody and dirty stories, with the RAF’s first department store bomb reverberating through films such as Blutiger Freitag (1972). This is another way of telling German history. [Berlinale.de] Read More »

Dominik Graf & Johannes Sievert – Offene Wunde deutscher Film (2017)

We already know just how wild, unpredictable, sensual, audacious and bursting with life German cinema can be from the film essay Verfluchte Liebe deutscher Film. Now Dominik Graf and Johannes Sievert continue their archaeological adventure tour to the margins, the underbelly, but also to the heart of German film and television, posing some valid questions along the way: why does public television no longer commission such prescient science fiction films as Smog (1973)? Why isn’t German cinema able to establish a more audacious relationship to genre? As in Carl Schenkel’s Abwärts (1984), for example, all it takes is a lift that gets stuck in an office building to make a claustrophobic psycho-thriller. Why do young directors not follow in the footsteps of the unruly Klaus Lemke, who simply shoots his films from the hip? And why do those who do get denied funding? The excerpts from these film and television marvels – such as Slavers – Die Sklavenjäger or Liebling – Ich muss dich erschießen – certainly make one want to run out and see them at once. Sadly, in many cases all that’s left of these lost treasures are the trailers or posters.[Berlinale.de] Read More »