A Credible Utopia: Essays on Selected Films of Werner Schroeter

A Credible Utopia: Essays on Selected Films of Werner Schroeter offers a unique and personal insight into Schroeter’s cinematic universe. Many of the films discussed in this book are those upon which Schroeter’s worldwide reputation rests. Der Bomberpilot is an absurdist comedy, The Death of Maria Malibran is a film about ecstatic redemption in death, Willow Springs is about the complex relationships between men and women, Day of the Idiots is a visually baroque, operatic and highly dramatic film about madness, The Kingdom of Naples is Schroeter’s visually stunning depiction of Italy in the post war years, and Palermo or Wolfsburg, for which Schroeter won the Golden Bear, is an epic film about love, violence, and cultural malaise. The early experimental films, Aggression, Neurasia, and Argila, are about the struggle between repression and desire. Deux is a late film that Schroeter considered his masterpiece; it is a fascinating film about the double, and the ways in which identity is formed by integrating the abject part of ourselves with the good. Nuit de Chien is his final film, a powerful summation of a live devoted to art, music, literature, and film. But linking all these films together is Werner Schroeter’s desire for a “credible utopia,” despite the awareness of disaster, torture, viciousness, and political corruption in the world.

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