In the run up to the UK release of Valeska’s widely acclaimed Western by New Wave Films and our preview screening of the film
we will show the director’s previous feature, her graduation film Mein Stern
(Be My Star, 2001) and Sehnsucht
(Longing, 2006), her first full length feature.
7.00pm Mein Stern
(Be My Star), 61 mins
(Longing), 88 mins
Mein Stern (Be My Star)
© Still: Be My Star, Regie: Valeska Grisebach
A love story. A boy and a girl. They set off on the adventure of a relationship. Nicole is fourteen years old and is sure that something important will soon happen in her life. This expectation becomes reality when she meets a boy of the same age named Christopher. He is one of the celebrities of the neighborhood. They become a couple. The fact that Nicole's mother started working nights presents the perfect opportunity: Her parents' apartment is available as a stage on which Nicole and Christopher play husband and wife. They attempt to realize the ideas of love they have formed by observing adults. But things are not as simple as they may seem. This story takes place during a time in the young peoples' lives in which everything seems possible, they hang around public places as if they were movie stars expecting autograph hunters at any minute. At the same time, a job, their own bank accounts, and adult life is waiting. Or maybe it isn't. Time is running out.
Austria / Germany 2001, Colour, 16mm (Blow-up 35mm), 61 mins, German with English subtitles. Written and directed by Valeska Grisebach. With Nicole Gläser, Christopher Schöps, Monique Gläser, Jeanine Gläser, Sebastian Rinka, Christina Sandke.
Awards (selection): First Steps Award Best Fiction up to 60’, FIPRESCI Special Mention (Toronto), Best Film (Torino)
© Still: Longing, director: Valeska Grisebach
A man and a woman live in a village not far from Berlin. Out here, it feels as though the city were miles away. The couple have loved each other since they were children. They are inseparable. Both are now in their early thirties; he is a welder and a member of the auxiliary fire brigade. She works a few hours a week as a home help and sings in the choir. Their blissful relationship is so untrammeled by life’s little ups and downs that others regard them with a mixture of astonishment and mistrust. They give the impression of being as innocent and unsuspecting as a couple of children. One day, the man goes on a business trip to a large town with the fire brigade. After a night of heavy drinking and carousing he wakes up in another woman’s apartment. He can barely remember what went on. His efforts to find out what did occur lead to a passionate affair.
Germany 2006, Colour, 35mm, 88 mins. German with English subtitles.
Written and directed by Valeska Grisebach. With Andreas Müller, Ilka Welz, Anett Dornbusch, Erika Lemke, Markus Werner, Doritha Richter, Detlef Baumanngi. UK Release May 2007, BFI Distribution.
Awards: Special Jury Award Buenos Aires 2006, Filmkunstpreis Ludwigshafen 2006, Alice Award Copenhagen 2006, Special Jury Award Warsaw 2006, Best Film & FIPRESCI Jury Award Gijon 2006
About the Director
Valeska Grisebach was born in Bremen, Germany. She is a graduate of the Vienna Film Academy, where she trained in directing under Michael Haneke. Her features include Be My Star
), which won a FIPRESCI Critics' Award at the Festival, and Longing
, her latest film, premiered in the prestigious Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival in 2017.