Not so much an adaptation of Heinrich Böll’s novel, Billiards at Half-past Nine
as it is a distillation of its essential elements, Straub/Huillet’s second short is about the continuity of fascism in the post-war era, the inescapable persistence of the past in the present. It is a reflection on German life as it is refracted through the lives of three generations of the Fähmel family, an excavation of German history, and the city Cologne.
West Germany 1965, 55 min, b/w, DCP, German with English subtitles. Written and directed by Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, based on a novel by Heinrich Böll. Cinematography by Wendelin Sachtler, Gerhard Ries. With Henning Harmssen, Karlheinz Hargesheimer, Danièle Huillet.
Silver City Revisited
An experimental short from his student days in Munich, Wenders directs his camera out the windows of the various apartments he lived in across town. Empty dawn streets, an endless flow of traffic and lights, a rural train station and other views punctuated by brief fades to black imitating an eye-blink. A study in the act of seeing and perception, a yearning to be elsewhere, away from the city, a film to daydream oneself into. As the original reviewer wrote: “…a film which expresses the longing for a prelapsarian speechlessness, a film of complete peacefulness.” – Gerhard Theuring, Filmkritik
West Germany 1968, 25 min, colour, DCP. Directed by Wim Wenders.
This screening is part of the event series Neue Welt: Radical Visions in New German Cinema.