The 120 Days of Bottrop still Filmgalerie 451

Thu, 05/10/2018

TIFF Bell Lightbox

350 King St. W.

Series co-presented with the Laser Blast Film Society & KinoVortex

Iconoclast, enfant terrible, agent provocateur. While many would call German filmmaker-performer-activist Christoph Schlingensief (1960-2010) fearless, he himself said shortly before his untimely death that to make good work, “I have to approach those I fear”. GOETHE FILMS features core Schlingensief projects that tackle the ghosts of Europe's past, present and future – fascism, capitalism, division and reunification – in his signature no-holds-barred splatter style. 

THE 120 DAYS OF BOTTROP (Germany 1997, 60 min) directed by Christoph Schlingensief and Oskar Roehler (screenplay), starring Margit Carstensen, Irm Hermann, Volker Spengler, Udo Kier, Sophie Rois, Martin Wuttke, with music by Helge Schneider.
Introduced by Bruce LaBruce

The survivors of the old Fassbinder crew (actors Margit Carstensen, Irm Hermann, Volker Spengler and many others, playing themselves) get together one last time to make the very last New German Film: a remake of Pasolini's "Salò". Director Christoph Schlingensief, played by Martin Wuttke ("Inglourious Basterds"), gets suddenly replaced by "Sönke Buckmann". Meanwhile, producer Spengler sends an agent (Christoph Schlingensief) to Hollywood where he meets Udo Kier, Kitten Natividad and Roland Emmerich on a mission to raise money and cast ex-Visconti superstar Helmut Berger for the film – all with cameos in the film.
Schlingensief approaches Fassbinder, the idol, with endless references both open and obscure, taking the process of de- and reconstruction just far enough to both completely demystify as well as pay tribute to an era and its heritage. Many cultural icons appear as themselves; but Schlingensief is not afraid to resurrect some of the dead, only to kill them off again.

Introduced by Bruce LaBruce, a Toronto actor-filmmaker who frequently works and screens in Berlin and is considered one of the founders of the queercore movement (see "Queercore" at HotDocs 2018). “Gerontophilia” (2013) played at the Venice Film Festival; “Pierrot Lunaire” screened at the Berlinale Forum 2014 and won the Teddy Award. LaBruce was president of Cannes’ Queer Palm jury in 2014. He is in pre-production for his latest "Saint-Narcisse".

Christoph Schlingensief worked feverishly across opera, installation, theatre, film, political activism, radio play, TV, and writing; immersing himself and his open-mouthed audiences in horror, trash, satire, and the experimental, being honoured for it at ICA London, the Venice Biennial (winning the Golden Lion posthumously), MoMA PS1, Centre Pompidou and other prestigious institutions. Christoph Schlingensief was an ogre as well as an oracle of things to come, from new media movements to right-wing resurgence.
Born in 1960 in West Germany, Schlingensief made his first 8mm film at the age of eight. Since then he created more than 20 films, several with the support of the Goethe-Institut. After learning he had lung cancer in 2008, Schlingensief wrote about his illness and published his diary. He died in 2010. His legacy is the Opera Village Africa, an international art and educational project in Burkina Faso, which he realized together with award-winning Berlin architect Francis Kéré.
The program title "Approach those you fear" references a quote by Christoph Schlingensief in a 3sat TV interview 2008.

All GOETHE FILMS are open to audience 18+. Viewer descretion advised.

Part of the Goethe Institut's focus on German film

Part of the series GOETHE FILMS: Schlingensief: Approach Those You Fear

05/15 | 6:30pm | "Foreigners out! Schlingensief's Container" by Paul Poet
05/17 | 6:30pm | "German Chainsaw Massacre" by Christoph Schlingensief + "Holding of Skulls" by Alexander Kluge