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Werner Schroeter: Magnificent Obsessions

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
7:00 p.m. The Smiling Star
Werner Schroeter (West Germany, 1983)

"A work beyond categorization, more a weave or flow of different beauties that lie therein."—Cinema Scope

(Der lachende Stern, a.k.a. The Laughing Star). While a guest of the Manila International Film Festival, Schroeter began filming the plight of the poor and the power of the rich, often clandestinely. The resulting "kaleidoscope of a ravaged country” (as Schroeter described it) moves among the history of Spanish and American colonialism in the Philippines, Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos’s self-serving pronouncements, and accounts of the escalating opposition movement. This “splendidly eccentric documentary” (J. Hoberman) also includes an interview with Rex Reed, footage from a Fritz Lang film, and Imelda singing “Feelings.” "I tried to look openly at the hybrid identity of this country... to (show) the mentality and the poetry of the people," Schroeter remarked.

• (108 mins, In Tagalog, German, English, Spanish with English subtitles, Color/B&W, Blu-ray, From Munich Filmmuseum, permission film & kunst)