24/05/2007

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.

Die Zeit 24.05.2007

"No morals without style and no style without morals," actress, chanson singer and between 1970 and '72 wife of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Ingrid Caven, tells Katja Nicodemus about life with the artist group surrounding the director. "What remains of us is that we were wild and full-on and that somehow everything was rock 'n' roll. It was an enormously aggressive force which expressed itself through a style." Then she launches into an attack on Juliane Lorenz - the other, illegitimate widow - and head of the Fassbinder Foundation: "I and many others believe Juliane Lorenz is morally unsuited for managing Fassbinder's legacy, not only because she has constructed the whole thing on the basis of a huge lie. She has shut out almost all the people who worked most closely with Fassbinder, like Peter Berling for example, Isolde Barth, Renate Leiffer, Günther Kaufmann and others. She's running a utterly fatuous genius cult while the people who were the real-life background to his work are being defrauded."


Frankfurter Rundschau 24.05.2007

Daniel Kothenschulte reports from Cannes with a satisfied grin: "There's not been a festival like this in a long time! With Fatih Akin's competition entry 'The Edge of Heaven' it was the 'three outstanding' actors that impressed him most. "Tuncel Kurtiz, ever-memorable from Yilmaz Güney's films, plays Nejat's gentle patriarch father with quiet vehemence. Hanna Schygulla will not only move a nostalgic Cannes with her return as Lotte's mother – she's also telling anyone willing to listen that Akin reminds her of a young Fassbinder. And finally there is an incredibly powerful young actress in the role of the tragic revolutionary. Nurgül Yesilcay is born star material, and this will not go unnoticed in Cannes. The sky's her limit."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
24.05.2007

Michael Althen is thrilled by Fatih Akin's "The Edge of Heaven" at the Cannes Film Festival, which gracefully interweaves two German-Turkish stories, each dealing with a death: "But the real attraction of this film is the actress Hanna Schygulla. She plays the mother of the German girlfriend who comes to Istanbul and tries to find out more about her daughter's life there. She moves into the same accommodation as her daughter did, and when she says hello to two chess players she passes as she leaves the house, she unwittingly repeats her daughter's very gesture. It's not possible to tell in a more beautiful way the inner connection between mother and daughter."

Ryszard Kapuscinski's secret police files have only produced the most inconsequential of comments by the famous reporter, reports Stefanie Peter, who notes a mood change in Poland. "The Kaczynski brothers wrote 'lustracja' - that is lustration, or illumination of the secret police past of their politically unpopular contemporaries - on their flag. However this whole movement of plundering the files has now reached the limit of people's tolerance. This is made clear by the predominant reaction of rejection and outrage at the rampant scandal-mongering that you see these days in the discussion forums of the major newspapers on the Kapuscinski case."


Süddeutsche Zeitung 24.05.2007

"So Ryszard Kapuscinski was at it too!" writes Thomas Urban. "The famous reporter and prize-crowned author, whose books on the Orient, Africa, Latin America and the Soviet Union have been translated into several languages, also wrote reports for the Polish secret police with the code name 'Vera Cruz' and 'Poet'. He is the last in a line of intellectuals who have recently been outed as informers: the novelist Andrzej Szczypiorski, the poet Zbigniew Herbert, the novelist, poet and dramatist Henryk Grynberg, and one of the greatest narrators of Jewish suffering and founder of the famous Wroclaw pantomime theatre Henryk Tomaszewski. The philosopher and sociologist Zygmunt Bauman was even an officer in the secret police during the Stalin era, which he kept very quiet about. All the evaluators of Kapuscinski's files have agreed that 'he harmed nobody.' Yet he was obviously proud that the secret police took him so seriously."


Die Welt 24.05.2007

A revamped Salzburg Whitsun Festival starts tomorrow under artistic director Riccardo Muti. It will feature works from Muti's hometown Naples, many of which have hardly been heard since they were composed in the late 18th century. Muti describes how he discovered the manuscripts - 90 by Domenico Cimarosa alone - in the Biblioteca Girolamini: "Suddenly there you are, in direct contact with the people who closed these volumes 200 years ago. The history literally pours over you, not just as dust particles. Other nations tend to be more careful with their cultural heritage. But here reigns the southern Italian historical insouciance. After the Vivaldi renaissance, and the years I myself spent discovering the very important early classical composer Luigi Cherubini, it's now time for Cimarosa and the Scuola Napoletana. This archive turns you into a sort of joyous archaeologist, and you hardly know which delicacy you should breathe life into first. All the more so because the notes are so perfectly written that all we had to do was copy them, sit down and play. That's why my motto for the Whitsun Festival will be 'Naples - Metropolis of Memory' for at least the next three years, although we've got material for a hundred seasons."

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