Volker Schlöndorff

Weitere Namen
Volker Loki (Pseudonym)
Cast, Director, Assistant director, Screenplay, Editing, Producer
Wiesbaden

Biography

 

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
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2016/2017
  • Director
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  • Producer
2014/2015
  • Participation
2013/2014
  • Participation
2013/2014
  • Director
  • Screenplay
  • Adaptation
  • Dialogue
2011/2012
  • Director
  • Screenplay
2010
  • Participation
2006/2007
  • Director
  • Co-author
  • Co-Producer
2006/2007
  • Participation
2005
  • Participation
2005
  • Director
  • Screenplay
  • Dialogue
2003/2004
  • Director
2002/2003
  • Participation
2002-2005
  • Participation
2002
  • Participation
  • Director
2001/2002
  • Participation
2001/2002
  • Director
1999/2000
  • Director
  • Co-author
1999/2000
  • Participation
1997/1998
  • Director
1997
  • Director
1996-2002
  • Producer
1995/1996
  • Director
  • Screenplay
1995
  • Executive producer
1994/1995
  • Participation
1994/1995
  • Co-Producer
1992
  • Director
  • Screenplay
1991
  • Participation
1990/1991
  • Director
  • Screenplay
1990
  • Participation
1989
  • Participation
  • Director
  • Screenplay
  • Interviews
1988-1992
  • Participation
  • Voice
  • Director
  • Screenplay
  • Commentary
  • Interviews
1985/1986
  • Voice
  • Director
  • Screenplay
  • Commentary
1985
  • Director
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1983/1984
  • Director
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  • German dialogue
1981-1983
  • Voice
  • Director
  • Screenplay
  • Commentary
  • Co-Producer
1981-1983
  • Director
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  • Commentary
1981-1983
  • Director
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  • Commentary
1981
  • Director
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1980
  • Participation
  • Voice
  • Director
  • Screenplay
  • Commentary
  • Interviews
  • Co-Producer
1978/1979
  • Director
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1977/1978
  • Director
  • Screenplay
  • Interviews
  • Co-Producer
1976/1977
  • Participation
  • Voice
  • Director
  • Screenplay
  • Commentary
  • Interviews
1976
  • Director
1974/1975
  • German dialogue
1974/1975
  • Director
  • Co-author
1973/1974
  • Director
  • Screenplay
  • Producer
1973/1974
  • German dialogue
1972
  • Director
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  • Producer
1971/1972
  • Director
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  • Producer
1970/1971
  • Cast
1970/1971
  • Screenplay
1970/1971
  • Director
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  • Producer
1969
  • Director
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1969
  • Director
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  • Producer
1966/1967
  • Director
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1966
  • Participation
1965/1966
  • Director
  • Screenplay
1960
  • Assistant director
1960
  • Director
  • Screenplay
  • Editing