13 April 2010
Auf Wiedersehen, Werner Schroeter
German filmmaker Werner Schroeter, one of the significant queer cinéastes from Germany in the 1970s, died yesterday, just a week after turning 65. Though relatively unknown in the United States, Schroeter began making films in the late-1960s, often collaborations with another important (though still little known in the US) queer filmmaker Rosa von Praunheim. In 1980, his film Palermo or Wolfsburg [Palermo oder Wolfsburg], currently (as of February 2010) the only film of his available on DVD in the US, won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. Schroeter also appeared in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Beware of a Holy Whore [Warnung vor einer heiligen Nutte] as the cinematographer and had a brief role in Fassbinder's television mini-series Welt am Draht [World on Wires]. Since then, Schroeter worked consistently in both Germany and France. His films include the lavish, multilingual musical Der Rosenkönig [The King of Roses], a film adaptation of Ingeborg Bachmann's novel Malina (scripted by Elfriede Jelinek) with Isabelle Huppert and Mathieu Carrière, the documentary Love's Debris [Abfallprodukte der Liebe / Poussières d'amour] in which Huppert and Carole Bouquet interview some of the director's favorite opera singers and Deux, also with Huppert. His last film Nuit de chien, which stars Pascal Greggory, Bruno Todeschini, Amira Casar, Jean-François Stévenin and Bulle Ogier among others, screened at both the 2008 Toronto and Venice Film Festivals.