CORVALLIS, Ore. – A retrospective of films from Jürgen Böttcher, the East German filmmaker best known for his documentary “The Wall,” will be shown Oct. 3, Nov. 17 and Dec. 2 in Corvallis.
All films are free, open to the public and will show at the Darkside Cinema, 215 S.W. 4th St. The films will be introduced by Sebastian Heiduschke, an assistant professor of German at Oregon State University. Heiduschke organized this series to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall by showing its influence on this East German filmmaker and artist.
Böttcher worked as a director at the DEFA Studio for Documentary Films. DEFA stands for Deutsche Film Aktiengesellschaft – the state-run East German studios where films were made from 1946 to 1990.
Böttcher has attained cult status among cinema fans and is also a respected painter.
The screenings in Corvallis include:
- 7:15 p.m.: “A Place in Berlin”: (West Coast premiere): The 2001 experimental documentary tells the history of the Marx-Engels-Forum, an ambitious monument project in Berlin. The screening will be shown on the only 35mm print of the film with English subtitles left in the world.
- 9 p.m.: “The Wall”: This 1989 documentary, considered a masterpiece by many critics, puts the Berlin Wall into the spotlight, exploring its meaning as a monument and using the Berlin Wall as a canvas on which to “paint” German history.
- 7:15 p.m.: “Born in ’45”: The only narrative feature film by Böttcher, it was banned until 1990 by East German authorities. This film screened at the Museum of Modern Art in 2005 as part of the film retrospective, “Rebels With A Cause: The Cinema of East Germany.” Inspired by Italian neo-realism, Böttcher developed a sensitive style characterized by social observation and poetic verse.
- 7:15 p.m.: Art/Work: Six Shorts (West Coast premiere): Six film milestones by Böttcher include: the banned 1961 film “Three of Many,” “Venus after Giorgione,” “Potter's Bull,” “Woman at the Clavichord” (1981), “Shunters” (1984) and “Short Visit with Hermann Glöckner” (1985).
This series is sponsored by OSU’s School of Writing, Language, and Film, the OSU School of Language, Culture, and Society, OSU’s Center for the Humanities, Zeitgest Northwest, the German Consulate in San Francisco, and the DEFA Film Library.