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GoetheInstitute

14/02/2007

From the Feuilletons is a weekly overview of what's been happening in the German-language cultural pages and appears every Friday at 3 pm. CET.. Here a key to the German newspapers.

Berliner Zeitung 14.02.2007

In an interview with Ralf Schenk, director Christian Petzold talks about his work with Nina Hoss. Their new film "Yella" premieres at the Berlinale today. "We are both fond of the idea of the 'Italian rehearsal,'" which Jean Renoir invented. This means that before filming starts you have to mentally and emotionally empty yourself, free yourself from all previously collected reflections. From within this emptiness, you start cautiously to formulate, to have ideas. Nina is unbelievably radical in this respect. She loathes all useless gestures, all idle talk. You have to find something together, something that reveals the tension at the core. It was fascinating to watch how Nina and Devid Striesow freed the script from all unnecessary words."


Die Welt
14.02.2007

Hungarian filmmaker Marta Meszaros has been awarded a "Berlinale Camera" prize at this year's Berlin International Film Festival. Jörg Taszman looks back over her long career: "Like most films from Eastern Europe, Meszaro's works were almost never shown in West German cinemas, but they were regularly screened in the GDR. Meszaro was above all interested in portraying the woman's point of view, and long before 'Adoption' (winner of the Golden Bear at the 1975 Berlinale) she filmed filmed the collective memories between the Soviet Union and Hungary. For many years it was impossible to find money for her 'diary films'. 'Much was allowed in the Kadar era, but you couldn't do anything that dealt with the Soviet Union or the Party,' she explains. So she escaped in films about young women, workers, simple people. In 1982 she got the green light for 'Diary for my Children', which then lay on the ice for two years. Then in 1990 she shot 'Diary for My Father and Mother.' Today she reflects on the mood in Hungary on the eve of the revolution: 'At that time, nobody even dreamed there could be a change of system.'"


Die Tageszeitung 14.02.2007

The 1977 film "Killer of Sheep" by Charles Burnett, once dubbed the "one man Afro-American New Wave," is being shown again at the Berlinale. Andreas Busche talks to him about the meaning of independent black cinema. "We were a small group at the time, with a lot in common; not so much stylistically, but because we were all thinking about how to best portray Afro-American life. We thought that our image had been distorted by Hollywood. What we see today in the black communities – the violence, the self-destructive tendencies – is not least the result of Hollywood's influence. The people of our generation were simply robbed of their place in history. So we had to go out ourselves to find and fix this history.... We did a lot of talking, but we never managed to find a name for our group. Aside from issues like 'What constitutes black experience?' there were also some fundamental questions like: 'Can a film by a white director about the life of black people be called a 'black film'? It was over questions like this that we basically annihilated ourselves."


Die Welt 14.02.2007

In view of the riches that Vladimir Putin has heaped on Russia, writer Viktor Erofeyev admits that things would "really not be so bad" in Russia "if Putin were to find an opportunity to draw on the Russian democratic elite that arose during perestroika. But he clearly holds them responsible for the chaos and loss of prestige under Yeltsin." Which is why in the fight against oligarchs, mafia and corruption, he has fatally sided with his old KGB comrades and the Orthodox Church. "So it comes as no surprise that in Russia anti-Western forces are increasingly gaining the upper hand, with their dream of restoring the Russian empire. As a result nationalism and the belief in the uniqueness of the Russian spirit is spreading like wildfire. This is a new messianism and a new utopia, based on the old dreams of the Holy Rus'. The Russian cult of unrestrained prayer and unrestrained debauchery, in other words Rasputin's ideal, the connection of God's house wtih the public house, the ardent service to the homeland and at the same time the enjoyment of uninhibited exercise of power – these are the virtues that today are going to the heads of many a high-ranking Russian soul."


Süddeutsche Zeitung 14.02.2007

Reinhard J. Brembeck is wowed by the new recordings of Beethoven's piano sonatas by Dutch pianist Ronald Brautigam. "From the very first note of the Sonata Op. 2 in F Minor, Brautigam makes abundantly clear the mad pretences with which Beethoven made his appearance as a composer. The f minor key, at the time construed as remote and full of pathos, is the point of departure for revolutionary, romantic adventures. Brautigam's densely-packed rendition shows the work for what it is, a new departure, an eruption unparalleled in the history of music. Breathlessness is the very least this recording evokes in the ears of listeners. This is pure musical sturm und drang. Every note storms peremptorily into the consciousness, every chord emphatically stresses the young Beethoven's lunatic earnestness. He was starting not only a career, but also an artistic revolution. With stunning virtuosity, Brautigam's spectrum of sound stretches from a stinking, hellish black to a screeching, strident yellow."


Neue Zürcher Zeitung 14.02.2007

In a "spotlight on South Korea," Hoo Nam Seelmann writes on the huge hunger for education in the country. Nowadays mothers regularly move abroad with their children (mostly to English-speaking countries) to have them grow up bilingual. The fathers can only visit their offspring while on holiday. "It started among the small upper class in the 1990s, then spread quickly to the middle classes. There are hardly any reliable statistics, but surveys indicate that one in five families with a monthly income of over 5,000 euros live separated. Some politicians are now expressing concern about the currency drain."

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