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Werner Schroeter: Magnificent Obsessions

Saturday, January 26, 2013
6:00 p.m. Mondo Lux
Elfi Mikesh (Germany, 2011)

Some of the key figures of the German avant-garde—among them Rosa von Praunheim, Ingrid Caven, and Wim Wenders—gather to pay tribute to the legendary iconoclast Werner Schroeter in this moving documentary, made by one of Schroeter’s closest friends and colleagues. Caven remembers, “Werner always said, ‘I have to make films differently.’” Following this key figure of New German Cinema (and great influence on Fassbinder) in the months before his early death, as he works on a new theatrical piece, the film captures his fascinating rehearsal and collaborative methods, as well as his insights and musings on his early years, key works, and cinema and life as a whole. “The artist has to create his own reality,” he states, cheeks gaunt from illness yet eyes still sparkling with wit. “You might call it artificial, but I call it necessary.”

• Written, photographed by Mikesh. With Isabelle Huppert, Werner Schroeter, Rosa von Praunheim, Ingrid Caven. (97 mins, In German with English subtitles, Color, Blu-ray, From Filmgalerie 451)