Navigation überspringen

The 120 Days of Bottrop

THE 120 DAYS OF BOTTROP (Die 120 Tage von Bottrop) Christoph Schlingensief, D 1997, 60 min

The Last New German Film!

The survivors of the old Fassbinder crew (Margit Carstensen, Irm Hermann, Volker Spengler and many others, playing themselves) get together one last time to make the very last of the New German Films: a remake of Pasolini's "Salò". Director Christoph Schlingensief (played by INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS fame Martin Wuttke) gets suddenly replaced by Sönke Buckmann (FREAKSTARS 3000's Mario Garzaner), who just won the Bundesfilmpreis.
Meanwhile, producer Spengler sends an agent (Christoph Schlingenisef) to Hollywood where he meets Udo Kier, Kitten Natividad and Roland Emmerich on a mission to raise money and get ex-Visconti superstar Helmut Berger to appear in the film.
Depicting a German cultural scene at the turn of the century that still has not come to terms with the legacy of New German Cinema, Schlingensief tackles the topic once and for all: with endless references both open and obscure, Schlingensief takes the process of de- and reconstruction just far enough to both completely demystify and pay tribute to an era and its heritage. With appearances from the German film, TV and theatre scene, many actors, contributors and cultural icons appear as themselves; but Schlingensief is not afraid to resurrect some of the dead, only to kill them off again: part parody, part heartfelt homage, THE 120 DAYS OF BOTTROP gives New German Cinema its final coup de grâce.

Restaured version with many extra fetaures out now!

Statements by Christoph Schlingensief on the German theatrical release of DIE 120 TAGE VON BOTTROP, November 1997

My favourite sentence comes from Helmut Berger: "It's never to late to want the impossible, even if you know that you can never reach it." We had to cut ten times, because he was so pissed, that he could only memorize parts. Meaning to say, it's really a nice film.

Mister Schlingensief, you can be seen and heard on all channels at the moment. First you put on "48 hours survival for Germany" at documenta in Kassel, and while doing it, you were arrested, then you hit the headines with your talk show at the German TV-Station RTL, and after your "Railway Mission" at Hamburg Playhouse now the premiere of your new film is coming up. Why this extasy of production?

For me this is a test track. We have just a bit more than two years to go until the turn of the millennium. From 2000 on everything will be different, won't it? Cars can fly, we feed on pills. But until then anything goes, just do it. I'm doing it with a pure lust of doing.

And what will be after the last New German Film?

If they give me the Four Seasons, I would like to become a hotel owner and manage it for half a year. Or I become a bus driver, one of those who drives around with a microphone in their hand and show places to people. I don't like being on earth, but once I'm here, at least I want to experience a couple of things.

What does Fassbinder mean to you?

I like it if somebody does so many things. I believe that he has been misjudged for a cynic who just had a look into all the genres to see what's left, and then blasted himself into space.

When auteurism is over now ... You are an auteur, aren't you?

One should have a castle in Scotland, invite friends, make films, and then send them the tapes. But if that doesn't work, I think one should drag the actors into some village for three weeks and shoot something there on location without screenplay. We don't need to bring ourselves to perfection. We have to raise the quota of mistakes in film. Make mistakes.

Your opinion on the medium TV is very determined ...

If I was the federal chancellor, I would have a few TV-editors brought here to the Grand Hotel in Berlin, would have them arrested behind barbed wire and watchtowers. I would feed them with lobster and caviar all day, and in TV they would have to watch their own productions all the time. Suicide would definitely be in sight here. I would hide a gun for them somewhere.

Have you seen a psychiatrist sometime?

Once. But as I don't want to change, I don't need to go there again. I feel splendid.


read more... hide...