Archive for August 21st, 2015


by Allan Fish

(West Germany 1979/2010 164m) DVD1/2

Aka. Die Blechtrommel

Somewhere between wonder and disillusion

p Franz Seitz, Anatole Dauman d Volker Schlöndorff w Franz Seitz, Volker Schlöndorff, Jean-Claude Carrière, Gunter Grass novel Gunter Grass ph Igor Luther ed Suzanne Baron m Friedrich Meyer, Maurice Jarre art Nicos Perakis

David Bennent (Oskar Matzerath), Angela Winkler (Agnes Matzerath), Mario Adorf (Alfred Matzerath), Katharina Thalbach (Maria), Charles Aznavour (Sigismund Markus), Heinz Bennent (Greff), Daniel Olbryschki (Jan Bronski), Andrea Ferreol (Lina Greff), Tina Engel (Anna Koljaiczek, younger), Otto Sander (Musiker Meyn),

Gunter Grass’ original novel was always going to be a challenge to adapt for the screen, hence Schlondörff’s gaining the assistance of the author himself, as well as the illustrious Carrière, whose career spanned numerous collaborations with Luis Buñuel, another impossible adaptation for Schlondörff (Swann in Love), and the classic 1990 version of Cyrano de Bergerac. Even with such help, Schlondörff’s film was attacked by the literary purists for jettisoning much of the complexity and detail of Grass’s work. Such charges do seem rather unjust, however, when one considers the time constraints of a feature film. To do real justice to the book would require the sort of running time Fassbinder was giving almost simultaneously to the concurrently set adaptation of Doblin’s Berlin Alexanderplatz. What Schlondörff aims rather to do is use the essence of the story, coupled with his own visual schemas to create a view of the rise of Nazism through the eyes of a child and, in that regard, he could not have been more successful. (more…)

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