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Christoph Schlingensief

“Fassbinder said ‘I don’t throw bombs. I make films’, and I would have loved to tell him, ‘I make films, too’.”

About the director

With his works, Christoph Schlingensief has shaped the cultural and political discourse in Germany for more than two decades. He always insisted that he was first and foremost a filmmaker. His GERMAN CHAINSAW MASSACRE presents our first  VHS release; since then we released all of his films – from feature films to his early 8- and 16mm short films and also produced some of his later films such as THE AFRICAN TWIN TOWERS.
Growing up in the shadow of the New German Cinema, Schlingensief was deeply influenced by the likes of Rainer Werner Fassbinder – many of Fassbinder’s actors such as Udo Kier, Margit Carstensen, Irm Hermann or Volker Spengler later became regulars in Schlingensief’s films. THE 120 DAYS OF BOTTROP (special guest appearance by Helmut Berger!) is Schlingensief’s hommage to this peroid of cinema as well as its final coup de grace. In much the same way he dealt with German avant-garde cinema 15 years earlier with his first feature film TUNGUSKA – The Crates are Delivered starring Alfred Edel. Other influences are Luis Buñuel, Werner Schroeter or Herbert Achternbusch.
It was with his “Germany Trilogy”, consisting of 100 YEARS ADOLF HITLER, THE GERMAN CHAINSAW MASSACRE and TERROR 2000 that Schlingensief came to prominence. Since then he established himself as one of the country’s most important and versatile artists. On August 21st 2010, during his preparations on the German Pavilion for the Venice Biennale 2011, Christoph passed away far too early. We miss him dearly – and will continue to take care of his filmic oeuvre.

Biography

Christoph Maria Schlingensief was born in the western German city of Oberhausen on October 24, 1960. His artistic roots were in the medium of film. After the films TUNGUSKA – THE CRATES ARE HERE (1985), EGOMANIA – ISLAND WITHOUT HOPE (1987) or MOTHER’S MASK (1988), he became known to a wider audience via his “Germany Trilogy” of films: 100 YEARS ADOLF HITLER (1989), THE GERMAN CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1990) and TERROR 2000 (1992); UNITED TRASH (1995) and THE 120 DAYS OF BOTTROP (1996) – Schlingensief’s last full-length film, followed. At this point, working with physically and mentally disabled individuals was already a regular and characteristic part of his productions.
From 1993 onwards Schlingensief featured increasingly at major theatres in the German-speaking world, with e.g. 100 JAHRE CDU, ROCKY DUTSCHKE ’68 (1996), SCHLACHT UM EUROPA (1997), ROSEBUD (2001), ATTA ATTA – ART HAS BROKEN LOOSE (2003), ART AND VEGETABLES, A. HIPLER (2004) at the Volksbühne Berlin, BAMBILAND (2003) at the Burgtheater in Vienna, HAMLET (2001) and ATTABAMBI – PORNOLAND (2004) at the Schauspielhaus Zürich. Schlingensief also made a number of contributions to TV, such as TALK 2000 (1997), U 3000 (2000) and FREAKSTARS 3000 (2002). Schlingensief was a co-founder of the CHANCE 2000 party, which contested the 1998 German elections. The project is documented in the documentation CHANCE 2000 – FAREWELL TO GERMANY He courted controversy with his 2000 portacabin project BITTE LIEBT ÖSTERREICH in Vienna. Paul Poet documents the projekt in his film FOREIGNERS OUT! With the CHURCH OF FEAR he organised a polesitting contest at the 2003 Venice Biennale. In 2007 he presented the installation 18 BILDER PRO SEKUNDE at Munich’s Haus der Kunst. At the 2004 Bayreuth Festival Schlingensief staged PARSIFAL – his first opera production. It was followed in 2007 by THE FLYING DUTCHMAN at the Teatro Amazonas in Manaus, Brazil. In 2005 Schlingensief developed the ANIMATOGRAPH, “a walk-through photo plate”, which was staged at the Reykjavik Art Festival, Neuhardenberg, Lüderitz (Namibia) and Vienna’s Burgtheater.
Productions of DER ZWISCHENSTAND DER DINGE (Maxim Gorki Theater, 2008), the Fluxus Oratory A CHURCH OF FEAR VS. THE ALIEN WITHIN (Ruhrtriennale, 2008) and the ready-made opera MEA CULPA (Burgtheater, 2009) saw Schlingensief incorporate the subject of his cancer illness (which he had been diagnosed with in early 2008).
In 2008 Schlingensief began working on the OPERA VILLAGE FOR AFRICA idea, which he saw as a platform for intercultural dialogue and experimentation. On February 8, 2010 the foundation stone was laid in Burkina Faso. The connected school was opened on October 8, 2011. His final production, VIA INTOLLERANZA II (2010), featured performers from Burkina Faso and Germany and received an invitation to the 2011 Berliner Theatertreffen.
Schlingensief was no longer able to himself realize the plans he had already drawn up for the German Pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale. Under the artistic direction of his wife Aino Laberenz, an alternative project involving an exhibition of his latest works was realised. The pavilion was awarded the Golden Lion at the 54th Venice Biennale.
Christoph Schlingensief passed away in Berlin on August 21, 2010.

Filme im Programm der Filmgalerie 451

GER 2011, 23 min

Sometimes there is a good moment to say goodbye to the story ...

GER 1986-2010, 5006 min

The first 15 DVDs of the "Schlingensief - DVD Edition" as "package" are only available from us for the price of € 249,00.

GER 2010, 323 min

Christoph Schlingensiefs last play, performed with artists from Burkina Faso, where his “Opera Village Africa” lives on as his legacy to...

D 2008, 375 min

Whoever shows his wound will be healed.

GER 2007, 429 min

The legendary opera performance at the Amazon in Manaus.

GER 2005, 87 min

Christoph Schlingensief's first ur-animatograph installation.

GER 2005, 399 min

Lost in Namibia – a documentary about Christoph Schlingensief’s last, unfinished film – commented by himself.

GER 2005, 232 min

“The Animatograph” is a conglomeration of various media: cinema, theater, performance, installation, painting and opera.

GER 2004, 283 min

Schlingensief’s attempt at self-therapy after the trauma of directing PARSIFAL in Bayreuth.

GER 2003, 962 min

Part one of Schlingensief’s Atta trilogy – set between his parents’ home, an amateur film club and studio.

GER 2003, 75 min

Christoph Schlingensief’s answer to the Talent Show frenzy!

GER 2002, 372 min

Quiz 3000 presents what is for him the only acceptable form of serial dramatic art in this theatrical “televisionary” TV quiz...

GER 2001, 349 min

His staging of “Hamlet” at Schauspielhaus Zurich takes shots at the right-wing populist Swiss People’s Party (SVP).

GER 2000-2001, 305 min

U3000 – the underground talk.

GER 1997, 60 min

The surviver of the Fassbinder family meet on Potsdamer Platz for the shooting of the Last New German Film – a remake of Pasolini’s THE...

GER 1995, 77 min

Christoph Schlingensiefs grotequely erotic, blasphemous, ultraviolent, incestuous,...

GER 1992, 45 min

A film portrait for the WDR! Perhaps one of the best films by Christoph Schlingensief? Unsparing, cheeky persiflage on all homestories and...

GER 1992, 79 min

They sought love and found only hatred the even more disgusting, more evil and more perverse peak of the German...

GER 1990, 60 min

After the German reunification-syrup, here comes the film to wake you up! Loud and aggressive! Christoph Schlingensief’s unscrupulous...

GER 1989, 55 min

One light, one day, one leader. Five men, four women, dragged out of the darkness by a hand-held spotlight. We see the last hour in the...

GER 1988, 85 min

Visconti meets “Dallas” in Schlingensief’s official remake of Veit Harlan’s OPFERGANG (1944)!

GER 1986, 84 min

Dr. Faustus in eternal ice: Udo Kier as the devil's aunt and Tilda Swinton as Brünhilde. A young couple trapped in eternal ice, bound to...

GER 1986, 81 min

Meat, Your Parents: A morbidly wicked parade of ghosts of the past, packed with black humour!

GER 1986, 21 min

Alfed Edel and Udo Kier in front of Schlingensief’s virtuoso handheld camera for the first time!

GER 1985, 6 min

As a goodbye from the HfG Offenbach, Schlingensief and his students converted a projector into a camera.

GER 1985, 14 min

Between Broadway act, classical music and operetta – cinema never came that close to the good old mixtape!

GER 1984, 6 min

“‘Why not’ is not an argument.” Schlingensief’s direct attempt to explore new forms of narration. Instead of logical argumentation and...

GER 1984, 71 min

Schlingensief’s way of getting even with German avant-garde film.

GER 1983, 9 min

Schlingensief shouts into the camera: Everything will be different now! The first film of the “Trilogy on Film Criticism”.

GER 1983, 13 min

The cinema takes off to new possibilities. Part two of the “Trilogy on Film Criticism”.

GER 1982, 2 min

Christoph Schlingensief, 22, on the state of the nation.

GER 1982, 3 min

One of Schlingensiefs first 16 mm short films.

GER 1980, 55 min

„Mr. Money“ is watching you.

GER 1977, 20 min

Watching filmmaking through the lens of the camera.

GER 1969, 11 min

Christoph Schlingensief’s short educational play about school. A real rarity for all Schlingensief fans!

GER 1968, 11 min

Christoph Schlingensiefs first film.

Filme im Programm der Filmgalerie 451

GER 2011, 23 min

Sometimes there is a good moment to say goodbye to the story ...

GER 1986-2010, 5006 min

The first 15 DVDs of the "Schlingensief - DVD Edition" as "package" are only available from us for the price of € 249,00.

GER 2010, 323 min

Christoph Schlingensiefs last play, performed with artists from Burkina Faso, where his “Opera Village Africa” lives on as his legacy to...

D 2008, 375 min

Whoever shows his wound will be healed.

GER 2007, 429 min

The legendary opera performance at the Amazon in Manaus.

GER 2005, 87 min

Christoph Schlingensief's first ur-animatograph installation.

GER 2005, 399 min

Lost in Namibia – a documentary about Christoph Schlingensief’s last, unfinished film – commented by himself.

GER 2005, 232 min

“The Animatograph” is a conglomeration of various media: cinema, theater, performance, installation, painting and opera.

GER 2004, 283 min

Schlingensief’s attempt at self-therapy after the trauma of directing PARSIFAL in Bayreuth.

GER 2003, 962 min

Part one of Schlingensief’s Atta trilogy – set between his parents’ home, an amateur film club and studio.

GER 2003, 75 min

Christoph Schlingensief’s answer to the Talent Show frenzy!

GER 2002, 372 min

Quiz 3000 presents what is for him the only acceptable form of serial dramatic art in this theatrical “televisionary” TV quiz...

GER 2001, 349 min

His staging of “Hamlet” at Schauspielhaus Zurich takes shots at the right-wing populist Swiss People’s Party (SVP).

GER 2000-2001, 305 min

U3000 – the underground talk.

GER 1997, 60 min

The surviver of the Fassbinder family meet on Potsdamer Platz for the shooting of the Last New German Film – a remake of Pasolini’s THE...

GER 1995, 77 min

Christoph Schlingensiefs grotequely erotic, blasphemous, ultraviolent, incestuous,...

GER 1992, 45 min

A film portrait for the WDR! Perhaps one of the best films by Christoph Schlingensief? Unsparing, cheeky persiflage on all homestories and...

GER 1992, 79 min

They sought love and found only hatred the even more disgusting, more evil and more perverse peak of the German...

GER 1990, 60 min

After the German reunification-syrup, here comes the film to wake you up! Loud and aggressive! Christoph Schlingensief’s unscrupulous...

GER 1989, 55 min

One light, one day, one leader. Five men, four women, dragged out of the darkness by a hand-held spotlight. We see the last hour in the...

GER 1988, 85 min

Visconti meets “Dallas” in Schlingensief’s official remake of Veit Harlan’s OPFERGANG (1944)!

GER 1986, 84 min

Dr. Faustus in eternal ice: Udo Kier as the devil's aunt and Tilda Swinton as Brünhilde. A young couple trapped in eternal ice, bound to...

GER 1986, 81 min

Meat, Your Parents: A morbidly wicked parade of ghosts of the past, packed with black humour!

GER 1986, 21 min

Alfed Edel and Udo Kier in front of Schlingensief’s virtuoso handheld camera for the first time!

GER 1985, 6 min

As a goodbye from the HfG Offenbach, Schlingensief and his students converted a projector into a camera.

GER 1985, 14 min

Between Broadway act, classical music and operetta – cinema never came that close to the good old mixtape!

GER 1984, 6 min

“‘Why not’ is not an argument.” Schlingensief’s direct attempt to explore new forms of narration. Instead of logical argumentation and...

GER 1984, 71 min

Schlingensief’s way of getting even with German avant-garde film.

GER 1983, 9 min

Schlingensief shouts into the camera: Everything will be different now! The first film of the “Trilogy on Film Criticism”.

GER 1983, 13 min

The cinema takes off to new possibilities. Part two of the “Trilogy on Film Criticism”.

GER 1982, 2 min

Christoph Schlingensief, 22, on the state of the nation.

GER 1982, 3 min

One of Schlingensiefs first 16 mm short films.

GER 1980, 55 min

„Mr. Money“ is watching you.

GER 1977, 20 min

Watching filmmaking through the lens of the camera.

GER 1969, 11 min

Christoph Schlingensief’s short educational play about school. A real rarity for all Schlingensief fans!

GER 1968, 11 min

Christoph Schlingensiefs first film.