Günter Stahnke

Günter Stahnke

Darsteller, Regie, Regie-Assistenz, Drehbuch
*10.10.1928 Berlin

Biography

Günther Stahnke, born October 10, 1928, in Berlin, attended drama school at Schauspielakademie in West Berlin after finishing school and started his acting career at theatres in Frankfurt/Oder and in Berlin. Besides, Stahnke studied education and worked as a film and theatre critic for the newspaper "Junge Welt". At the end of the 1950s, Konrad Wolf took Stahnke to DEFA, where he started out as an assistant director and participated in the making of Konrad Petzold's film "Der Moorhund" (1960), among others.

In 1962, Stahke made his debut as a director together with Heinz Mentel with "Peter und das Einmaleins mit der Sieben". In a collaboration with the author and screenplay writer Günter Kunert, Stahnke then finished "Vom König Midas" and the mid-length TV movies "Fetzers Flucht" und "Monolog für einen Taxifahrer" (all 1962). The individual and unconventional style of these two TV movies caused some discontent with those responsible. "Monolog für einen Taxifahrer", in particular, was accused of "formalism" and "decadence". Thus, the film was banned from broadcasting.

Although Stahnke was supposed to redeem himself for his former "misconduct", his next film for the big screen, "Der Frühling braucht Zeit" (1965) again caused heated discussions. It still opened in cinemas but was banned by the 11th plenum of the SED Central Committee. The film about an accident in a power company and its background – negligent decisions and reckless career aspirations – is Stahnke's best known film until today and is considered to be his most important work. As a result from the ban, Günther Stahnke was laid off by DEFA and did not find any work for two years.

In 1968, Stahnke started to work for the Metropol-Theater in Berlin where he brought several productions on stage. He also worked as a director for the GDR television and filmed TV series, musicals, comedies, and New Year's Eve galas. In 1969, Stahnke won the Chaplin award at the TV festival in Montreux for his comical TV movie "Telegenerell". During the next 20 years, he finished more than 100 entertainment films in the "comic drama" genre and ranked among the most successful directors of GDR television. However, he was still liable to censorship: During the 1970s, several of his films were re-edited, projects were cancelled, and his film "Familie Birnchen" was banned.

Occasionally, Günther Stahnke also appeared as an actor and besides his TV work, he works as a director of theatre until today, mainly at Berlin's Metropol-Theater. In 2001, he set up "Theater der Komödianten" with several colleagues.

Günther Stahnke married actress Helga Piur in 1974 and is living in Brandenburg.

The contents of this entry were funded with the support of the DEFA-Stiftung.

Filmography

1989 Der Schlüssel zum Glück
Director
 
1989 Der Mann im Schrank
Director
 
1988 Die Glucke
Director
 
1986/1987 Maxe Baumann aus Berlin
Director, Screenplay
 
1985/1986 König Karl
Director
 
1983 Abends im Kelch
Director
 
1981 Haustheater
Director, Screenplay
 
1980 Wie das Leben so spielt
Director
 
1980 Nicht verzagen, Trudchen fragen
Director
 
1980 Niemand liebt dich - wieso ich
Director
 
1977/1978 Ich bin nicht meine Tante
Director
 
1977 Der graue Hut
Director
 
1973 Fischzüge
Cast, Director, Screenplay
 
1971 Zwei einsame Herzen
Director
 
1970/1971 Ein fremdes Kind
Director
 
1969 Märchenbrunnen
Director
 
1969 Telegenerell
Director
 
1965 Der Frühling braucht Zeit
Director, Screenplay
 
1964 Doppelt oder nichts
Director, Screenplay
 
1962/1963 Vom König Midas
Director, Screenplay
 
1962 Monolog für einen Taxifahrer
Director
 
1962 Fetzers Flucht
Director, Screenplay
 
1962 Peter und das Einmaleins mit der Sieben
Director
 
1961 König Midas
Director
 
1959/1960 Der Moorhund
Assistant director
 
1959/1960 Wo der Zug nicht lange hält
Assistant director
 

Overview

Literature

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