Germany – France
2019, HD, col. & b-n / b-w, 130’
German – French – English o.v.
1) What pushed you to make this autobiografic return to Paris in the 60’s? Do you think that it was an exciting and truly revolutionary period in time, a sort of unique Golden Age?
2) In your film there is continuous dialogue between archive images and images shot by you (some of them from your first films). What was the criteria in selecting those images?
3) A possible key reading of your creative journey may be the use of different media, the continuous experimenting with different forms of art. Could this possibly be a key to understanding this film too?
Sceneggiatura, fotografia / Screenplay, Photography: Ulrike Ottinger. Montaggio / Editing: Anette Fleming. Suono / Sound: Timothée Alazraki, Detlef Schitto. Scenografia / Art Director: Aurore Vullierme. Produzione / Produced by: Zero One film. Coproduzione / Co-produced by: Idéale Audience, INA, ZDF/3Sat. Con il sostegno di / Supported by: BKM, FFA, Medienboard Berlin-Brandeburg, DFFF, CNC. Distribuzione internazionale / World Sales: Lightdox.
Ulrike Ottinger is known worldwide as an avant-garde artist and an unconventional filmmaker. In a rich torrent of archival audio and visuals, paired with extracts from her own artworks and films, Ottinger resurrects the old Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Latin Quarter, with their literary cafés and jazz clubs, and revisits encounters with Jewish exiles and the worldviews of Parisian ethnologists and philosophers. Ottinger found them at Librairie Calligrammes, a German-language used bookstore run by the Jewish exiled Fritz Picard. The store became Ottinger’s living room and reading room.
The film premiered at the Berlinale 2020.
“The film combines my personal memories of the 1960s with a portrait of the city and a social cartography of the age. Like Guillaume Apollinaire’s poetry collection Calligrammes: Poèmes de la paix et de la guerre, I have given it the form of a filmic ‘calligram’ in which the words and images, complemented by language, sound, and music, form a mosaic that emerges from the vivacity of those exciting years while speaking to the fragility of all cultural and political achievements.” (U. Ottinger)
Filmmaker and photographer, Ulrike Ottinger was born in 1942 in Konstanz, Germany. Her films have run at the most important international film festivals and tribute has been shown in many retrospective shows. As a photographer Ottinger presented her works at La Biennale di Venezia and the Berlin Biennale, among others. At the latest Berlinale, she received the honorary career award “Berlinale Kamera”.
filmografia scelta / selected filmography
1973 Laokoon & Söhne. Die Verwandlungsgeschichte der Esmeralda del Rio 16mm 1984 Dorian Gray im Spiegel der Boulevardpresse 1985 China. Die Künste – der Alltag; Premi / Awards: Premio dei critici cinematografici tedeschi / German Film Critics Award 1989 Johanna D’Arc of Mongolia; Premi / Awards: London FF – Film dell’anno / Outstanding Film of the Year 1992 Taiga 1997 Exil Shanghai 16mm 2007 Prater; Premi / Awards: Premio dei critici cinematografici tedeschi / German Film Critics Award 2016 Chamissos Schatten; Premi / Awards: Premio dei critici cinematografici tedeschi / German Film Critics Award 2020 Paris Calligrammes
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