Author Topic: Christian Petzold  (Read 2367 times)

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wilder

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Christian Petzold
« on: July 02, 2012, 06:35:20 PM »
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Christian Petzold was born September 14, 1960, in Hilden, as the oldest of three sons. He grew up in Haan, where he went to school and finished his high school degree in 1979. After finishing civil service, Christian Petzold went to Berlin in 1981 and started to study German studies and dramatics at Freie Universität Berlin. After his graduation in 1989, Petzold continued to study at Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (dffb). During his studies, Christian Petzold worked as an assistant director for Hartmut Bitomsky and Harun Farocki – who contributed to all of Petzold’s later feature films – and worked as a film critic for several newspapers and magazines.

After several short films, including Süden and Das warme Geld, Petzold finished his graduation film for dffb, Pilotinnen, in 1994. The film production company Schramm Film Koerner & Weber participated in the production of Pilotinnen and Petzold continued to collaborate with the production company.

In 2000, Petzold followed his critically praised TV movies Cuba Libre and Die Beischlafdiebin with the movie production Die innere Sicherheit (The State I Am In). Besides the German movie award in Gold for best film, the intense drama about a young adolescent and her parents who are wanted as terrorists won numerous awards and finally turned Christian Petzold into one of the most influential filmmakers of contemporary German cinema.



Theatrical Films

Phoenix (2014) - Criterion Blu-ray, UK Blu-ray
Barbara (2012) - Blu-ray from Kino
Jerichow (2008) – Cinema Guild DVD
Yella (2007)  - Cinema Guild DVD, also available from Artificial Eye (superior transfer)
Gespenter (2005) – Cinema Guild DVD
Wolfsburg (2003) – German DVD (no subtitles)
The State I Am In (2000) – Cinema Guild DVD

TV Movies

Kreise (2015), Polizeiruf 110 s44e03 - no official release
Beats Being Dead (2011) – German Blu-ray (no subtitles)
Something to Remind Me (2002) – German DVD (no subtitles)
Die Beischlafdiebin (1998) – no official release
Cuba Libre (1996) – no official release
Pilotinnen (1995) – no official release

Documentaries on Petzold

Der Filmemacher Christian Petzold AKA Kinomagazin: Passages - The Filmmaker Christian Petzold (2005) – no official release


Articles and Interviews

The Cinema of Identification Gets on my Nerves: An Interview with Christian Petzold
Passages - The Filmmaker Christian Petzold or PDF (translated)
Intensifying Life: The Cinema of the Berlin School by Marc Abel

Interview - with MMeansMovie
Interview - for Jerichow
Interview - for Jerichow with Schnitt
Interview - for Yella with TimeOut London
Interview - for Yella with Sign and Sight
Interview - Christian Petzold, Hans Fromm (DP), and Bettina Böhler (Editor) for Gespenter (PDF)

Yella Essay – German Desire in the Age of Venture Capitalism by Marc Abel
Gespenter Director’s Notes


Video Interviews

Christian Petzold on Communication
Brief video interview for Jerichow


Short Video Essay – Deceptive Surfaces: The Films of Christian Petzold


« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 07:06:00 PM by wilder »

wilder

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Re: Christian Petzold
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2013, 04:08:16 PM »
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Article from the Goethe Institut.

In the Realm of the Shades: Christian Petzold’s Films

Christian Petzold, native son of provincial Germany, paints a very precise picture of small-town life in his films: witness his latest, “Jerichow”, which hit German cinemas in early 2009.

If one had to say what’s distinctive about Christian Petzold’s films, it might be that he gives a more exact picture of Germany than anyone else. You can’t helping feeling that, if in a hundred ears someone wanted to know what it was like here at the beginning of the millennium, all they’d have to do is watch Die innere Sicherheit or Gespenster, Yella or Jerichow. And that’s like as not the reason why he’s the only German director whose every motion picture has been screened at major festivals, whether at the Berlinale or the Venice Biennale, which focus more than other festivals on films that are somehow edifying, somehow revealing, about their country of origin.

Searching for his own angle on the world

So Petzold’s own provenance may signify: he was born in Hilden, North Rhine-Westphalia, in 1960, and grew up in neighbouring Haan: two small towns between Düsseldorf and Solingen, in his own words “a petty-bourgeois in-between part of Germany sectioned up into terraced houses and housing estates, a dormitory suburb with a big junction box and a pond at the town library where you sit on the bench with a couple beers of an evening and tell stories.” He says he’s always been interested in exploring what it means to have spent his youth there and searching for his own angle on the world and on life.

At least that was reason enough for him to head off for Berlin at 20 to study at the German Academy of Film and Television (Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie, dffb), graduating in 1994 with a TV movie called Pilotinnen (“Pilots”). Had the movie reached more than just a TV audience, Petzold’s exceptional talent would have been spotted back then: it tracks two travelling perfume saleswomen of different ages trying to hold on to their dreams between cheap hotels, roadhouses and small town drugstores. What was new about the picture was not the focus on the dreariness of their everyday existence, but a curiosity about living conditions that tend to get sketchy treatment, at best, in other German films. After two more pictures for television, Cuba Libre and Die Beischlafdiebin, Petzold made the breakthrough into the world of German cinema – and to the Venice Biennial with Die innere Sicherheit (“The Inner Security” aka “The State I Am In”).

The ghost of terrorism

That was back in 2000, and the film did a brilliant job of bridging the chasm between the Neuer Deutscher Film (New German Cinema), which in the 1970s had made no bones of its sympathies for the RAF (Red Army Faction), and the present age, in which terrorism can be viewed in historical perspective. “The State I Am In”, about a terrorist couple who go underground in Portugal, is told from the viewpoint of their daughter, who yearns for nothing more than the normal life of a teenager. Petzold was the first to call the ghost of terrorism by its proper name, something a whole generation of German filmmakers before him had shrunk from doing, and he encapsulated it in the story of a family seeking a place to call home between the legacy of Germany’s past and present-day German reality in the new millennium.

In his subsequent TV feature, Toter Mann (“Dead Man” aka “Something to Remind Me”), Petzold pays homage to Helmut Käutner’s forgotten masterpiece Unter den Brücken (“Under the Bridges”), which attempted a kind of flight from Nazi reality into poetic realism in the penultimate year of the war. And that Petzold’s his first picture with Nina Hoss, who was to become his leading lady and his muse of sorts.

In Wolfsburg she confronts the hit-and-run driver who ran over her son, but for Petzold the drama is not more important than the setting – hence his refusal to move the story to Ingolstadt to get federal funding: he was interested in the special atmosphere in the test-tube town of Wolfsburg, its drawing-board architecture that strives to find just the right procrustean form for everyday life, which is constantly eluding it, however, whether through a tragic accident or otherwise.

Homeless spirits

The “in-between Germany” Petzold conjures up is by no means a wilful fabrication, but the real lie of the land once you get past its tourist sights. But German filmmakers generally avoid these parts of the country, where there is supposedly nothing to see: only Petzold feels at home in this “in-between” realm, which provides the ideal backdrop for his homeless spirits.

So it is in Gespenster (“Ghosts”), in which his heroines find an unlikely home in the surreal architecture of Potsdamer Platz. Or in Yella, set in depopulated Eastern Germany, whose anonymous hotel and office buildings provide a home for a woman who is no longer of this world. Or now in Jerichow, which replays the story of Visconti’s Ossessione between currywurst stands and the Baltic Sea strand in the deserted town of Prignitz. Nina Hoss – in the lead once again – plays a woman who, to escape a shady past, weds an older Turkish small-time businessman – only to fall for a younger man, whom she then lures into committing murder. A drama of passion at first glance – but on closer scrutiny we find it is the landscape that tells the real story: windswept Prignitz in-between Berlin and the Baltic.

And so Christian Petzold wends his solitary way through this “in-between” land of the shades, which he treats with touching and trenchant tenderness – though it is always a matter of life and death.

Michael Althen (1962–2011)
worked as film editor for the German newspaper FAZ and directed the film “Auge in Auge - Eine deutsche Filmgeschichte” (with Hans Helmut Prinzler).

Translation: Eric Rosencrantz
Copyright: Goethe-Institut e. V., Online-Redaktion

wilder

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Re: Christian Petzold
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2013, 06:23:08 PM »
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Match Factory rises with Petzold's Phoenix
via ScreenDaily

EXCLUSIVE: German sales outfit The Match Factory has launched sales on Phoenix, the new feature from Silver Bear winning director Christian Petzold.


The film, at financing stage and due to shoot in the autumn, will again star Petzold’s regular collaborator Nina Hoss, who also appeared in Yella (2007), Jerichow (2008) and in last year’s Berlinale and box-office success Barbara (2012).

The Match Factory has already sealed pre-sales for France (Diaphana), Benelux (A-Film), Italy (BIM) and Switzerland (Look Now!). Further territories are expected to be concluded in Cannes.

While Barbara was set in the German Democratic Republic of the early 1980s, Phoenix goes back to the post-Second World War era, focussing on a woman who has survived the Holocaust. Presumedly dead, she returns home under a new identity to find out if her husband betrayed her.

Hoss stars alongside Ronald Zehrfeld.

“We are looking forward to another cooperation with Florian Koerner von Gustorf and Michael Weber of Schramm Film,” said Match Factory MD Michael Weber (no relation).

“We have worked with Christian Petzold on four films now are excited and confident about the reception of Phoenix on the international market.”

Barbara was a big seller for The Match Factory, going to 40 territories and generating significant box-office receipts worldwide.

wilder

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Re: Christian Petzold
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2013, 04:14:47 AM »
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PDF for Gespenter containing extended interviews with Petzold, his cinematographer Hans Fromm, and his editor Bettina Böhler detailing their work process.

wilder

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Re: Christian Petzold
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2013, 09:47:23 PM »
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MoMA is doing a Berlin School retrospective this month, and along with the event they've published a great new book full of color photographs and essays by the filmmakers themselves.

I took some pictures of the introduction, as this book seems a perfect response to what Pubrick posted in the Barbara thread over a year ago.

the interviews were fun to read, the first one was one of the most intellectual discussions I've read in promotion of a film. You'd never see an American director talk like that about movies, not outside a specialized documentary anyway, like Scorsese given free rein to talk about his favourite colours and where he got them from.

There's a trend in serious European films where they always feel like they were made for a university course.. from Burnt By The Sun, to The Lives Of Others, even with contemporary films like those of Fatih Akin that have nothing to do with the Soviet era.. anywhere you look they all have this component of political and historical context that is often very obvious and intentionally put there to be discussed.

If anyone wonders why all these "boring" European dramas always win so many awards overseas and then get crammed into the foreign film category in the Oscars, it's not cos they're boring,  just that American audiences have no idea how to approach them.

Introduction:







Beginning around 15 years ago, a loose affiliation of scholars, writers and filmmakers living in Berlin began presenting films that offered a new, aesthetically driven form of political cinema. Abandoning the post-totalitarian context embraced by most commercially popular German films at the time, these films pursued a stylized realism to explore and address a national crisis of identity and purpose. Films like Christian Petzold's Die Innere Sicherheit (The State I Am In) and Angela Schanelec's Mein langsames Leben (Passing Summer) marked the first movement within German cinema to push the art form forward since filmmakers like Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner Herzog and Margarethe von Trotta established New German Cinema in the 1960s and 1970s. Published to accompany the first extensive screenings of these films in the United States, The Berlin School presents an engrossing overview of the movement. Essays by curators, film critics and filmmakers associated with the Berlin School place the movement in a larger historical context and examine the influence of collaborative communities that developed around the Berlin Film Festival. Building on MoMA's long history of research around German cinema, The Berlin School provides a foundation for new scholarship on contemporary German filmmaking.

The Berlin School: Films from the Berliner Schule - Amazon

wilder

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Re: Christian Petzold
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2015, 02:57:21 PM »
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Quote from: repeat, Criterion Forum
Petzold's latest work Kreise (Circles) was aired in Germany last Sunday, it's available for viewing online with German subs (wait, see below) until next Sunday. It's a part of the long-running Polizeiruf 110 cop series, but is for all intents and purposes a stand-alone Petzold film - maybe not a major one, but with all familiar obsessions present and accounted for: work, love and money, forests, cars (the central one, of course, a red one), surveillance cameras - and even a new one: model railways! Killer needle drops (diegetic as always) too, as per usual. Also his funniest dialogue so far.

The story and dialogue is fairly easy follow with the German subs for anyone with any grasp of the language, but for those interested, I'm four-fifths through with translating the subtitles into English, should have them online tomorrow (unless they start debating Heidegger in the last 20 minutes, that is).

There's a good German-language interview in epd-Film, where he also mentions that he's already written a sequel, and mentions the reference films for both Kreise (Le Petit lieutenant, Claude Miller's Garde à vue, and Journey to Italy) and the sequel (Klute, Ferrara's Dangerous Game and Creature from the Black Lagoon - now THIS should be something to look forward to!)

wilder

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Re: Christian Petzold
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2015, 09:32:03 PM »
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Interview begins at 1:38 (in English)

There's also a new book on Petzold by Jaimey Fisher

wilder

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Re: Christian Petzold
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2015, 06:50:25 AM »
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Quote from: The Los Angeles Times
The eerie mood and questions raised by "Phoenix" have intrigued Petzold. He said his next film will be set in the 1940s in the French town of Marseille as refugees hide and hurry to catch boats to Mexico as the German army closes in. Part of him, he said, wants to capture the aura and verve of German filmmakers, such as Fritz Lang and Max Ophüls, who fled to America to escape Hitler.

"The light from Germany went to the U.S.A. in the 1930s," he said. "We have to bring the light and style back to Germany, especially the noir which was created by Austrian and German refugees."

wilder

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Re: Christian Petzold
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2016, 05:45:50 PM »
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‘Barbara’ & ‘Phoenix’ Director Christian Petzold To Helm Refugee Drama ‘Transit’
via The Playlist

Petzold will direct an adaptation Anna Seghers‘s classic novel, “Transit.” Set at the cusp of WWII after Germany invades France, the story follows a man who escapes a Nazi concentration and flees to Marseilles, where he’s tasked with an assignment that will bring him an intimate understanding of the plight of refugees. Here’s the book synopsis:

Having escaped from a Nazi concentration camp in Germany in 1937, and later a camp in Rouen, the nameless twenty-seven-year-old German narrator of Seghers’s multilayered masterpiece ends up in the dusty seaport of Marseille. Along the way he is asked to deliver a letter to a man named Weidel in Paris and discovers Weidel has committed suicide, leaving behind a suitcase containing letters and the manuscript of a novel. As he makes his way to Marseille to find Weidel’s widow, the narrator assumes the identity of a refugee named Seidler, though the authorities think he is really Weidel. There in the giant waiting room of Marseille, the narrator converses with the refugees, listening to their stories over pizza and wine, while also gradually piecing together the story of Weidel, whose manuscript has shattered the narrator’s “deathly boredom,” bringing him to a deeper awareness of the transitory world the refugees inhabit as they wait and wait for that most precious of possessions: transit papers.

 

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