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GoetheInstitute

19/05/2006

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, 19.05.2006

Should works of art like the bust of Nefertiti be given back to their countries of origin? For Sonja Zekri, the idea is worth considering. She criticises the museums of the world: "The longer they oppose demands to return the works at least as loans to their country of origin – as is the case with Nefertiti – where some have never been shown at all, the more suspicions arise that it's not to ensure ideal presentation conditions, but to keep the works in their possession." Johan Schloemann is against the restitution of artworks: "The idea that all statues, coins, columns, vases and mosaics should be shipped back to their place of origin is... nothing but a nightmare. This, however, is ultimately what all restitution claims boil down to. We should stop putting in question the state of things handed down to us, and start seeking peaceful diversity and exchange – both here and abroad."


Frankfurter Rundschau, 19.05.2006

Ulf Erdmann Ziegler was in the audience to hear artist Neo Rauch discuss his life and work at Hamburg's Kunsthalle: "He thoroughly amused them, the members of Hamburg's educated middle class. Of course Rauch's paintings cannot be deciphered with what Rauch says about them. No one expected that. The meeting showed a good-humoured, jovial curator and his man of the hour: ironic, vulnerable, brooding, unctuous, playful. He could have come across differently. As an East German painter with sales of four million dollars a year, he is a superstar after all."


die tageszeitung, 19.05.2006


Cristina Nord is disappointed by the first competition films to be screened at the Cannes Festival. Ken Loach's "The Wind that Shakes the Barley," which tells the story of the Irish rebellion against British occupation in 1920 has more "screaming, beating, killing and torture" than she can take. "The press screening began at 8:30 am, half an hour after the morning coffee and the sight of torn off fingernails immobilised my powers as a critic." And Lou Ye's "Summer Palace," the only Asian film in competition, which tells the story of a tortured love affair between two Beijing students in the 1980s, seems to lack direction. "Something is awry in Beijing: the students protest, there are uprisings on campus. Lou Ye cuts in television footage of real demonstrations which is presumably a first in Chinese film. But, as in the case of the emotional lives of the young protagonists, it's not clear what they're after." The couple travel to Berlin, which Lou Ye "presents as a paradise of empty spaces and decaying buildings: the footage of the demonstrations from May 1 on Kreuzberg's Heinrichplatz bear a strange likeness to the Gate of Heavenly Peace."


Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 19.05.2006

Robert Richter presents current Iranian cinema, keeping his fingers crossed for the country's unruly filmmakers. "Films produced in recent months are just as diverse as ever, both in content and form, regardless of reports that pressure from the conservative administration has increased. At the close of this year's Fajr Film Festival in Tehran, Iran's minister of culture and Islamic guidance Mohammed Hossein Saffar Harandi spoke of a 'clash of civilisations.' Whether he can be taken at his word or is just setting himself off from cultural policy under Khatami and the motto 'dialogue between civilisations' is hard to say. The minister added that Iranian cinema should return to its roots. Whatever he meant, Iran's major filmmakers clearly don't want to know anything about it."

80 year old theatre director Peter Zadek explains to Thomas David why he never became a film director. "Theatre happens fast and then it's over. People who want their things to last forever should not do theatre but rather film. I shot a few films but somehow it never really satisfied me, presumably because I'm so close to circus. I just find it great when, for example, an actor who is considered insignificant does something on the stage and is, for a moment, the greatest and most exciting thing that ever was."

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