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22/05/2007

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.

Süddeutsche Zeitung 22.05.2007

Tobias Kniebe has seen the first serious contender for the Golden Palm, Ulrich Seidl's "Import/Export". "Seidl's last feature film 'Hundstage' caused a sensation at the Venice Film Festival in 2001. That was six years ago, but that's simply how long it takes to come up with a true Seidl creation. The lay actors have a screen presence that will take your breath away. The absurd locations are taken from real life and the director, according to his long-established moral code, hasn't changed them one bit. Finally, the film blends staged and documentary elements in a way that does away with our fixed notion of genres. 'Import/Export' is blood, sweat and tears. The blizzard in the Ukraine, the bureaucracy at an Austrian hospital and the shame of its protagonists all testify to the film's struggle with the elements, whatever they may be. But that's exactly what gives it its extraordinary vehemence, which couldn't be achieved in any other way."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 22.05.2007

Verena Lueken writes in her Cannes column about Michael Winterbottom's film "A Mighty Heart." The film, produced by Brad Pitt, features Angelina Jolie as the wife of Daniel Pearl, the journalist who was kidnapped and beheaded by Islamists in 2002. Lueken expresses concern about the film's aesthetic, which is centred around original shooting locations. "What does it mean when feature films, shot a few years after events and made as authentically as possible, start taking over the role of historic eyewitnesses? What does it mean when we see Angelina Jolie and think, this is a documentary, and when we can no longer recognise where documentary ends and fiction begins?"


Frankfurter Rundschau 22.05.2007

Daniel Kothenschulte watched Roman Polanski lose his cool at a press conference in Cannes. "There were 32 directors there – 'From A for Angelopoulos to Z for Zhang Yimou'- presenting their short films for the programme 'To Each Their Own Cinema' when Polanski yelled at the assembled journalists: 'You're all asking such inane questions!' And it's true: the questions really were very limited, although pretty standard for that line of journalism. (...) Roman Polanski responded quite pleasantly when asked why he doesn't appear in more films. But that's where he drew the line: 'It's the computer that's reduced you to this level', he fumed. 'You don't write anymore. You copy your articles from the Internet and then send that to your editors. I've had enough. Why don't we go and get some lunch?'"


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 22.05.2007

Artist Neo Rauch is working on 14 new paintings for a small exhibition in the Metropolitan Museum in New York. In an interview with Jordan Mejias he talks about his relationship to tradition and his artistic credo: "I don't want a square of canvas to glorify failure or to be void of meaning or to show the climax of excess. Instead I want to find a formula which enables us to master the incomprehensible and the terrible without succumbing to it. Painting wields power. I am trying to master the unruly things in this world." See our interview with the artist "Nothing can embarrass me anymore."


Die Welt 22.05.2007

Holger Kreitling commemorates the 100th birthday of George Remi, alias Herge. Kreitling may crown him "Europe's best comic artist" for "Tintin", but he makes it quite clear that Tintin is anything but a reporter. "We never see him write. Tintin just has adventures. His work trips never produce any results. Quick, quick, Tintin is always short of time, even if he always stays calm."


Die Tageszeitung 22.05.2007

Inspired by the example of Malian musician Bassekou Kouyate and his Munich producer Jay Rutledge of Outhere Records, Thomas Burkhalter tells just how difficult it is to bring the traditional Griot music onto the world market. "Rutledge had to pay HMV, the biggest British chain of CD shops, 500 British pounds just to have 'Segu Blue' visible in the world music section. And Amazon functions the same way. For a couple of hundred euros more, the Internet dealer sends an email praising the CD to everyone who's previously purchased Malian music. And then when British papers and magazines wanted to write about Kouyate, Rutledge had to fly his new star to London." In a related article, Natalie Wiesmann reports from the first edition of the "Creole" world music prize in Dortmund.

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