Daniel Schmid – Le chat qui pense

Daniel Schmid - Le chat qui pense

Daniel Schmid – Le chat qui pense

               Genre: Documentary
               Director, the Berlinale 2010, Daniel Schmid, Werner Schroeter, Rainer Werner Fassbinder

The power of imagination

  He was one of the most innovative filmmakers of the 1970s and 1980s. But is his work, like that of his friend, Werner Schroeter, only to insiders familiar: Daniel Schmid. With her insightful documentary Swiss Pascal Hofmann and Benny Jaberg draw an atmospheric portrait of her compatriot.

Connie Stevens, the lead actress in several movies Schmid, who was initially quite skeptical about the project, as they at the premiere of the film The Berlinale known. Although she was interviewed for the film, she had her doubts about whether the young filmmaker (it is her feature film debut) are in the spirit of 40 to 50 years ago would be able to empathize. But the film and chanson diva was visibly pleased and touched by the outcome.

Pascal Hofmann had actually ideal conditions for the film. He comes from Flims, the same village in the mountains of Grisons, where Daniel Schmid grew up as a hotelier’s son. Hofmann had learned as a young filmmaker to know and started in winter 2006 with the project. But six months later, Daniel Schmid died from the consequences of returning cancer. The project was in the balance. With older interview material made it into a different form but still realize – not least thanks to the current involvement of Ingrid Caven, Werner Schroeter, the actress Bulle Ogier and the cinematographer Renato Berta.

The film chronicles the life and work chronologically according , interspersed with film clips and poetry (urban) landscapes. In the two documentary filmmakers succeed in something very remarkable: they take up the mood and sometimes the visual language of Schmid’s work in her film. So they make the cause of Schmid, Schroeter, Caven, Fassbinder and partly for a brief moment on her own, leave it for 83 minutes back to life: A stylized, artificial, created a new reality, to bring a truth to light, which in the normal reality remains hidden.

Even in his childhood and youth, Daniel Schmid, who lived in a world where the fantasy was becoming a priority. The commotion in the lobby of the posh hotels, one in which artists and artists living in and out, he compares to a stage with theatrical performances, with the desire to get dressed up to display it. Of course, Schmid and Schroeter lay with her love of opera is not on the class line of the 68 movement. Nevertheless, they were like the gay Fassbinder also part of this emergence, which opened up to them entirely new freedoms, especially in the sexual sense.

The movie shows the conflicted friendship with Rainer Werner Fassbinder, the great provocateur, whose self-destructive tendencies Schmid, fortunately, did not share. He also tells of the Paris Urbanization, in the Schmid and Schroeter and Caven lived. Most importantly, Daniel Schmid offers – Le chat qui pense a glimpse of the dreamy, opulent style of Schmid’s major films, including La Paloma (1974), Shadow of Angels (1976), The Kiss of Tosca (1984), Jenatsch (1987 is) and Berezina, or the Last Days of Switzerland (1999 ).

Prominently placed in the film by Daniel Schmid, a remark about the nature of portraiture, “If you describe someone you really describe yourself” This sentence, the filmmakers have taken very seriously and clearly known to their subjectivity. But even if her film can provide no objective truths, as Schmid’s dictum applies to this document perhaps the least, and much to their advantage. Whoever described with great warmth and compassion – and it is really Daniel Schmid.

(Peter Gutting)

Title: Daniel Schmid – Le chat qui pense Country of production: Switzerland Year of production: 2010 Length: 83 (min) ( #) Distribution: Salzgeber

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