Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

New Nanovic Fellow Film

Posted on February 27, 2014 in Film

germany-morel Olivier Morel, Assistant Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and Film, Television & Theatre, will soon release a new documentary, entitled GERMANY: as told by writers Christoph Hein, Wladimir Kaminer Emine Sevgi Özdamar and Bernhard Schlink.

Marked by very different backgrounds (East Germany, Russia, Turkey, and West Germany, respectively), these influential writers are key figures whose works bear witness to a new way of depicting Germany’s trauma in modern literature and culture. Their work is also part of the move in contemporary German literature towards transnationalism, reflecting Germany’s transition toward an increasingly multicultural, multiethnic, and multilingual society. Its contemporary literature increasingly looks beyond the geographic limits of the German state.

The film’s world premiere took place on February 21, 2014 in New York City, which was attended by Professor Morel, along with featured writer Bernhard Schlink and two of the protagonist-writers of the film.

The film is set to premiere on television on the European channel ARTE next fall.

Morel’s films include the award-winning documentary On the Bridge (2011), The Twentieth Century, three survivors (1999), The Last from World War I (2000), and Farewell 14 (2006). He is also the author of Visages de la Grande Guerre (1998), Berlin Légendes (2014), as well as a graphic novel, Revenants (with drawings by Maël, 2013).

Steinbichler at Notre Dame

Posted on March 9, 2012 in Film, Social and Political Geographies, Students

Hans Steinbichler just spent a few days with us to discuss his work and present his new film, DAS BLAUE VON HIMMEL (“Promising the Moon”). We are still getting excited emails from faculty and students who met him and were inspired by his film and his combination of passion and intelligence.

Hans had been here ten years ago to make a short film about Vittorio Hösle, a philosopher from Germany who has now been at Notre Dame for many years. Returning after a decade, he marveled at the tools and resources available at Notre Dame. But more than that, he felt inspired by the community of students and scholars who explored so eagerly with him the history and complexity of Heimat (roughly, the concept of “home” as in “homestead” or “homeland”), the relationship between memory and forgiveness, of history and place, of legacies in German film, of acting and filmmaking technique, and the potential of film as a medium, especially at a university. In short, Hans excited everyone who met him.

We look forward to seeing him and his work at Notre Dame again soon.

Michelangelo Frammartino

Posted on March 2, 2012 in Events, Film, Opinion, Religion & Secularization

Every semester the Nanovic Institute organizes a European film series which galvanizes what has come to be a sizable audience. Last semester, the series was guest curated by film producer Leslee Udwin (a friend of the Institute) and focused on Europe, Beyond Borders. This semester, as is our practice  every other semester, we pull together a Best of Recent European Film to keep the series fresh and current.

The first film of this semester was Michelangelo Frammartino’s QUATTRO VOLTE (“The Four Times”).

ND Italianists, always in piazza, were out in full force for this one. John Welle (Professor of Italian) gave a gentle introduction which set the tone for this unusual film, which is nearly silent, poetic, and has no human dialogue. Frammartino’s use of Pythagoras’s theory of the fourfold transmigration of the soul (hence the title) made me care about the shepherd, the sheep, the tree, and (yes) charcoal. How is this possible? By following how one is shown to mingle with the other.

There is something medieval about this film, not only in its intuition of the Great Chain of Being, but also in its cinematography. Several fixed-camera shots are composed so that you follow movement on the screen as if you were following a narrative placed on a two-dimensional surface, as in a gothic painting. Frammartino’s shots are beautifully composed. I wouldn’t be surprised if many were consciously or unconsciously arranged in Golden Sections. (He does have a background in architecture.) You have to watch the film in a different way. It is organized by repetition. Props to Frammartino for taking these kinds of risks.

It’s great for students looking for fresh ways of thinking about the kind of experience one can have in a cinema.