Schoeters hymn to the place of art in life, and the wonder of a life of art, filmed during the 1980 Experimental Theater Festival of Nancy, France. Less straight documentary than a personal, weirdly sweet vision of the human comedy(J. Hoberman, Village Voice). (90 mins)
As part of our series - Werner Schroeter: Magnificent Obsessions
Werner Schroeter has been described as one of the truly revolutionary artists of our age by filmmaker Hans-Jürgen Syberberg. His heady mix of experimental aesthetics and operatic excess, whether in film, theater, or opera, has provoke(d) either intense admiration or outraged hostility (author Ulrike Sieglohr). In 1967 Schroeter first encountered the films of the New York underground; his early fragmented, stylized melodramas with their magnificent stars (notably his muse Magdalena Montezuma), sumptuous color, and intoxicating use of music (from Elvis Presley to Maria Callas) suggest the impact of Gregory Markopoulos, Andy Warhol, and Kenneth Anger. Schroeters films, in turn, influenced fellow Germans Hans-Jürgen Syberberg, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and Wim Wenders.
Schroeters marvelous nonfiction films are free-ranging explorations of philosophy and culture, while later films moved toward art cinema, weaving more complex, dark narratives (some remain enigmatic), while continuing to draw on idiosyncratic sources from high and low culture. He eschewed a naturalistic style in favor of treat(ing) cinema as a declaration of personal obsession (James Quandt). Schroeter wrote, all my films bear witness to my quest for a form that communicates vitality, the pleasure of creativity and beauty, but ultimately, as Wenders noted, death is the important topic in Werners films. Schroeters own, from cancer, came too soon; he died in 2010 at the age of sixty-five. From January through March, we remember him with a selection of his visionary films.
$5.50 BAM/PFA members, UC Berkeley Students, $9.50 Adults, $6.50 UC Berkeley faculty, non UCB students, seniors, youth, and disabled