Volker Schlöndorff

Volker Schlöndorff

Weitere Namen: Volker Loki (Pseudonym)
Darsteller, Regie, Regie-Assistenz, Drehbuch, Schnitt, Produzent
*31.03.1939 Wiesbaden

Biografie

Volker Schlöndorff was born in Wiesbaden on March 31st 1939. While still in school, he participated in a student exchange programme with France in 1956 – and instead of the planned two months, he stayed for ten years: In 1959, he graduated with the baccalauréat from his school in Paris (with director Bertrand Tavernier being one of his classmates). After also receiving his German school diploma in Frankfurt, he returned to Paris where he obtained a university degree in political science. Subsequently, Schlöndorff enrolled at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinematographiques (IDHEC) in Paris. There he made acquaintance of Louis Malle, with whom he would collaborate on several occasions in the following years.

In 1960, Schlöndorff shot the short "Wen kümmert's" about Algerians living in Frankfurt. The film did not get a certification from the FSK, the German board of film classification, due to its alleged "biased stance against a friendly nation" (e.g. France). In the winter of 1960, he assisted director Ludwig Berger at the Sender Freies Berlin network; and together with Louis Malle, he worked on features about Southeast-Asia and Algeria for French television.

Around the same time, Schlöndorff began to work as an intern and assistant director on productions by emerging and already famous French directors like Malle, Jean-Pierre Melville and Alain Resnais. In 1964, he received a grant of 20.000 Deutsche Mark for his first screenplay "Der junge Törless", an adaptation of Robert Musil's novel "Die Verwirrungen des Zöglings Törleß". After assisting Louis Malle during the shoot of "Viva Maria" in Mexico, he began production on "Der junge Törleß" in the winter of 1965. The film turned out to be a critical success, garnering three German Film Prizes (for Best Film, Best Direction and Best Screenplay), and is today considered to be the first international hit of the New German Cinema. He shot his second feature film "Mord und Totschlag" (1967) in colour, which was unusual for a young director, and followed that with the international co-production "Michael Kohlhaas – Der Rebell" (1968). From 1969 on, Schlöndorff worked closely with Margarethe von Trotta, who started out as an actress and then became his assistant director, co-author and co-director. The two married in 1971.

In 1969, Schlöndorff and fellow filmmaker Peter Fleischmann founded the production company Hallelujah-Film in Munich. And in 1974, he and Reinhard Hauff became majority shareholders in the Bioskop-Film, which to this day is managed by Eberhard Junkersdorf and handles all his productions. From early on, Schlöndorff became actively involved in cultural politics: He participated in the debates surrounding the public funding of film productions and between 1974 and 1978, he was on the German Federal Film Board as a representative of the Social Democratic Party .

In between his films, Schlöndorff frequently ventured into the world of the opera. He directed the 1974 staging of "Katja Kabanova" in Frankfurt, the 1976 Berlin production of "Wir erreichen den Fluß", and in the same year – together with Mathieu Carrière – "Zoopalast" in Montepulciano,. In 1981, again in Montepulciano, he staged Purcell's "Didon et Enée", and in 1984, he directed the production of Puccini's "La Bohême" in Frankfurt.

Schlöndorff's final commercial breakthrough came in 1975 with the adaptation of Heinrich Böll's "Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum", which he co-directed with Margarethe von Trotta (who went on to make her own films). Because of the film, which questions the role of tabloid press and police in the fight against left-wing extremism and alleged Red Army Fraction (RAF) terrorists, and because of his own support for a legal defense fund for political prisoners, Schlöndorff was subsequently heavily criticized by right-wing pundits and the conservative party. In 1978, he was one of initiators and – with Alexander Kluge – producers of the compilation film "Deutschland im Herbst", which dealt with the impact of RAF terrorism on German society. "Der Kandidat" und" Krieg und Frieden" –1980 and 1982 respectively – were another two collaborative semi-documentary works, which tried to counter the televised perspective on political issues.

That time also saw his biggest commercial and critical success to date: The elaborate adaptation of Günter Grass' novel "Die Blechtrommel" won the Golden Palm at the 1979 Cannes International Film Festival (ex aequo with Coppola's "Apocalypse Now") and also received the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in February 1980. This, plus the many more prizes bestowed on "Die Blechtrommel", was perceived as an important sign of New German Cinema's international recognition.

After "Die Fälschung" (1981), which was mainly filmed on location in Beirut, Schlöndorff directed an international all-star cast (including Jeremy Irons, Ornella Muti, Alain Delon and Fanny Ardant) in the lavish French-German co-production "Eine Liebe von Swann", an adaptation of one of the chapters from Marcel Proust's novel "A la recherche du temps perdu".

In 1985, Schlöndorff helmed the film adaptation of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" starring Dustin Hoffman. "Ein Aufstand alter Männer", "Die Geschichte der Dienerin" (1990) and the award-winning "Homo Faber" (1991) were also German-American co-productions and featured prominent actors. In 1991, his marriage to Margarethe von Trotta was dissolved; in 1992, he worked with film critic Hellmuth Karasek on "Billy, How Did You Do It?", a six-part TV series on legendary director Billy Wilder.

"Der Unhold", starring John Malkovich, premiered at the 1996 Venice International Film Festival to mixed reviews and did not fulfil the box office expectations. Shot in the US, the neo-noir "Palmetto" (1997) featuring Woody Harrelson and Elisabeth Shue also did not live up to its potential. Success and critical acclaim returned with "Die Stille nach dem Schuss", a gripping drama about West-German left-wing terrorists who found refuge in the German Democratic Republic of the 1970s. The film was in the competition of the 2000 Berlin International Film Festival, and garnered lead actresses Bibiana Beglau and Nadja Uhl a Silver Bear. Equally successful was the multi-award winning "Der Neunte Tag" (2004), an intense drama about the Holocaust, starring Ulrich Matthes and August Diehl.

"Strajk – Die Heldin von Danzig" (2006), was a dramatisation of the real-life struggle of Anna Walentynowicz, who was one of the founders of the Polish workers movement Solidarnosc. This was followed by "Ulzhan – Das vergessene Licht" (2007), a poetic drama set in the prairie of Kazakhstan which dealt with the peculiar relationship between a nomad woman and a life-weary European.

With Peter Greenaway and other filmmakers, Schlöndorff contributed to the 2010 release "Michael Nyman in Progress", a film portrait of the eponymous composer and musician. Two years later, the WWII drama "Das Meer am Morgen", written and directed by Schlöndorff, premiered at the Berlin IFF. His next film also screened in Berlin and again, the story – based on the stage play by Cyril Gély – was set in WWII: "Diplomatie" (2014) depicts a (fictitious) argument between the Swedish consul general and the German army commander of Paris in the year 1944, just as Hitler has ordered the total destruction of the city.

Filmografie

2017 Der namenlose Tag
Regie, Drehbuch
 
2016/2017 Rückkehr nach Montauk
Regie, Drehbuch, Produzent
 
2016 Töne bedeuten mir mehr als Worte
Mitwirkung
 
2014/2015 Fassbinder
Mitwirkung
 
2013/2014 Von Caligari zu Hitler
Mitwirkung
 
2013/2014 Diplomatie
Regie, Drehbuch, Adaption, Dialoge
 
2011/2012 Das Meer am Morgen
Regie, Drehbuch
 
2010 Michael Nyman in Progress
Mitwirkung
 
2008 Michael Ballhaus - Eine Reise durch mein Leben
Mitwirkung
 
2006/2007 Ulzhan - Das vergessene Licht
Regie, Drehbuch-Mitarbeit, Co-Produzent
 
2006/2007 Fritz Lang
Mitwirkung
 
2005/2006 Strajk - Die Heldin von Danzig
Regie
 
2005 Knef - Die frühen Jahre
Mitwirkung
 
2005 Enigma - Eine uneingestandene Liebe
Regie, Drehbuch, Dialoge
 
2003/2004 Der neunte Tag
Regie
 
2002/2003 Die Verhoevens
Mitwirkung
 
2002-2005 Wer ist Helene Schwarz?
Mitwirkung
 
2002 Ein Produzent hat Seele oder keine
Mitwirkung, Regie
 
2001/2002 Ten Minutes Older - The Cello
Regie
 
2001/2002 The Enlightenment
Regie
 
2001/2002 Marlene Dietrich - Her Own Song
Mitwirkung
 
1999/2000 Die Stille nach dem Schuß
Regie, Drehbuch-Mitarbeit
 
1999/2000 Ein Mann für jedes Alter
Mitwirkung
 
1998-2000 Schrott. Die Atzenposse
Darsteller
 
1997/1998 Palmetto
Regie
 
1997 Perfect soldier
Regie
 
1996-2002 Jedermanns Fest
Produzent
 
1996 Ein unbequemer Moralist. Wolfgang Staudte. Filmregisseur in Deutschland
Mitwirkung
 
1995/1996 Der Unhold
Regie, Drehbuch
 
1995 Die Eisprinzessin
Executive Producer
 
1994/1995 Die Nacht der Regisseure
Mitwirkung
 
1994/1995 Eine französische Frau
Co-Produzent
 
1993 UFA. Mythos und Wirklichkeit
Mitwirkung
 
1992 Ich will nicht nur, daß ihr mich liebt. Der Filmemacher Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Mitwirkung
 
1992 The Michael Nyman Songbook
Regie, Drehbuch
 
1991 Filmstunde 1
Mitwirkung
 
1991 Es wäre besser, ein anderer zu sein. Die filmischen Spekulationen des Volker Schlöndorff.
Darsteller
 
1990/1991 Homo Faber
Regie, Drehbuch
 
1990 Präsentationsfilm
Mitwirkung
 
1989/1990 Die Geschichte der Dienerin
Regie
 
1989 Aspekte: Wilder-Auktion
Mitwirkung, Regie, Drehbuch, Interviews
 
1989 Ching Ling, die Fliege
Sprecher
 
1988-1992 Billy, How Did You Do It?
Mitwirkung, Sprecher, Regie, Drehbuch, Kommentar, Interviews
 
1986/1987 Ein Aufstand alter Männer
Regie
 
1985/1986 Vermischte Nachrichten. Bundeskanzler Helmut Schmidt in der DDR
Sprecher, Regie, Drehbuch, Kommentar
 
1985 Tod eines Handlungsreisenden
Regie, Drehbuch
 
1985 Humor ist eine ernste Sache. Der Filmregisseur Kurt Hoffmann
Mitwirkung
 
1983/1984 Eine Liebe von Swann
Regie, Drehbuch, Deutsche Dialoge
 
1981-1983 Krieg und Frieden
Sprecher, Regie, Drehbuch, Kommentar, Co-Produzent
 
1981-1983 Krieg und Frieden. 06. Episode: Atombunker
Regie, Kommentar
 
1981-1983 Krieg und Frieden. 08. Episode: Libanon
Regie, Drehbuch, Kommentar
 
1981-1983 Krieg und Frieden. 05. Episode: Gespräche im Weltraum
Regie, Kommentar
 
1981-1983 Krieg und Frieden. 07. Episode: Kill Your Sister
Regie, Kommentar
 
1981-1983 Krieg und Frieden. 04. Episode: Abschied von vorgestern
Regie, Drehbuch, Kommentar
 
1981 Die Fälschung
Regie, Drehbuch
 
1980 Der Kandidat
Mitwirkung, Sprecher, Regie, Drehbuch, Kommentar, Interviews, Co-Produzent
 
1978/1979 Die Blechtrommel
Regie, Drehbuch
 
1977/1978 Deutschland im Herbst
Regie, Drehbuch, Interviews, Co-Produzent
 
1977/1978 Deutschland im Herbst. Episode 14: Die Beerdigung in Stuttgart
Regie
 
1977/1978 Deutschland im Herbst. Episode 13: Die verschobene Antigone
Regie
 
1977/1978 Deutschland im Herbst. Episode 01: Prolog: Beerdigung von Hanns Martin Schleyer
Regie
 
1977/1978 Deutschland im Herbst. Episode 03: Staatsakt für Hanns Martin Schleyer
Regie
 
1976/1977 Nur zum Spaß - nur zum Spiel. Kaleidoskop Valeska Gert
Mitwirkung, Sprecher, Regie, Drehbuch, Kommentar, Interviews
 
1976 Der Fangschuß
Regie
 
1975 Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum
Regie, Drehbuch
 
1974/1975 Black Moon
Deutsche Dialoge
 
1974/1975 Georginas Gründe
Regie, Drehbuch-Mitarbeit
 
1973/1974 Übernachtung in Tirol
Regie, Drehbuch, Produzent
 
1973/1974 Lacombe Lucien
Deutsche Dialoge
 
1972 Strohfeuer
Regie, Drehbuch, Produzent
 
1971/1972 Die Moral der Ruth Halbfass
Regie, Drehbuch, Produzent
 
1970/1971 Mathias Kneißl
Darsteller
 
1970/1971 Herzflimmern
Drehbuch
 
1970/1971 Der plötzliche Reichtum der armen Leute von Kombach
Regie, Drehbuch, Produzent
 
1970 Rio das Mortes
Idee
 
1969 Warum läuft Herr R. Amok?
Darsteller
 
1969 Baal
Regie, Drehbuch, Produzent
 
1969 Michael Kohlhaas - Der Rebell
Regie, Drehbuch
 
1967 Der Paukenspieler. 3. EP: Ein unheimlicher Moment
Regie, Drehbuch
 
1966/1967 Mord und Totschlag
Regie, Drehbuch
 
1966 NDF-Report
Mitwirkung
 
1965/1966 Der junge Törless
Regie, Drehbuch
 
1960 Die Nacht in Zaandam
Regie-Assistenz
 
1960 Wen kümmert's?
Regie, Drehbuch, Schnitt
 

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