Tag Archives: Volker Schlöndorff

Volker Schlöndorff – Die Moral der Ruth Halbfass AKA The Morals of Ruth Halbfass (1972)

from Hans-Bernhard Moeller and George Lellis, “Volker Schlöndorff’s Cinema”

Volker Schlöndorff based his film “Die Moral der Ruth Halbfass” on a rather spectacular murder case that involved a rich Düsseldorff industrialist’s wife, Minouche Schubert. The case was the stuff of tabloid newspaper exposés, and to some extent “The Morals of Ruth Halbfass” was a calculated attempt by Schlöndorff to win over a popular audience. Read More »

Volker Schlöndorff – Der plötzliche Reichtum der armen Leute von Kombach AKA The Sudden Wealth of Poor People of Kombach (1971)

From Amos Vogel’s Film as a Subversive Art:
An excellent example of a particularly interesting new genre of young German cinema; bizarre, deadly serious variations on the reactionary German “Heimat” films of yore – those insufferable, sentimental “kitsch” prosodies to Fatherland, Soil, and Family. This fully realized work effectively upsets this tradition by recounting a tale of oppressed 19th-century German peasants who become rebels against the state out of poverty, revealing (instead of romanticizing) the brutal degradation of German rural life at the time. Particularly audacious is the presence of an itinerant Jew peddler as mastermind (!) of the conspiracy, predictably leading to (unfounded) charges of anti-semitism against a young director who has dared to reintroduce the Jew into German dramaturgy. Read More »

Volker Schlöndorff – Ulzhan (2007)

Somewhere in the endless steppes of Central Asia lies a treasure. One man holds the key to it, a fragment of an ancient map. But in his restless quest, Charles isn’t looking for fame or glory. He’s looking for a way to heal his wounded soul. He’s looking for love. Ulzhan felt it the first time she laid eyes on him. Read More »

Volker Schlöndorff – Die Blechtrommel AKA The Tin Drum [Director’s Cut] (1979)

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Quote:
“A country unable to mourn,” Volker Schlöndorff wrote in his journal as he adapted Günter Grass’ novel, The Tin Drum. “Germany, to this day, is the poisoned heart of Europe.” When the film premiered in West German cinemas in early May 1979, it figured within a country’s larger (and, in many minds, long overdue) reckoning with a legacy of shame and violence. Indeed, the Nazi past haunted the nation’s screens, more so than it ever had since the end of World War II. The American miniseries Holocaust aired that year on public television in February and catalyzed wide discussion about Germany’s responsibility for the Shoah. Later that month, Peter Lilienthal’s David gained accolades at the Berlin Film Festival for its stirring depiction of a young Jewish boy living underground in the Reich’s capital during the deportations to the camps. History returned as film; retrospective readings of the Third Reich by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Alexander Kluge, Edgar Reitz, Helma Sanders-Brahms, and Hans-Jürgen Syberberg (among others) would become the calling card of the New German Cinema and bring this group of critical filmmakers an extraordinary international renown. In 1979, The Tin Drum won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. A year later, it would become the first feature from the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) to receive an Oscar for best foreign film. Read More »

Volker Schlöndorff – Diplomatie (2014)

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Diplomatie (2014)
As the Allies march toward Paris in the summer of 1944, Hitler gives orders that the French capital should not fall into enemy hands, or if it does, then ‘only as a field of rubble’. The person assigned to carry out this barbaric act is Wehrmacht commander of Greater Paris, General Dietrich von Choltitz, who already has mines planted on the Eiffel Tower, in the Louvre and Notre Dame and on the bridges over the Seine. Nothing should be left as a reminder of the city’s former glory. However, at dawn on 25 August, Swedish Consul General Raoul Nordling steals into German headquarters through a secret underground tunnel and there starts a tension-filled game of cat and mouse as Nordling tries to persuade Choltitz to abandon his plan. Read More »

Volker Schlöndorff – Der Fangschuß AKA Coup de grâce (1976)

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Synopsis wrote:
Coup de Grâce (German: Der Fangschuß, French: Le Coup de grâce) is a 1976 West German film directed by Volker Schlöndorff. It was adapted from the novel by the same name by the French author Marguerite Yourcenar. The title comes from the French expression, meaning “finishing blow”.

Synopsis: A countess’ unrequited love for an army officer leads to disaster. Latvia, 1919: the end of the Russian Civil War. An aristocratic young woman (brilliantly played by Margarethe von Trotta) becomes involved with a sexually repressed Prussian soldier. When she is rejected by her love, the young woman is sent into a downward spiral of psychosexual depression, promiscuity, and revolutionary collaboration. A startling tale of heartbreak and violence set against the backdrop of bloody revolution, Volker Schlöndorff’s Coup de grâce is a powerful film that explores the interrelation of private passion and political commitment.
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