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Andreas Dresen


Edited By Julian Preece and Nick Hodgin

Andreas Dresen is a leading European filmmaker whose œuvre now spans three decades and includes some of the most acclaimed German films of recent times, such as Halbe Treppe (Grill Point, 2002), Sommer vorm Balkon (Summer in Berlin, 2005) and Halt auf freier Strecke (Stopped on Track, 2011). The essays collected in this volume by leading scholars from the USA, UK and Ireland place him in the tradition of auteur cinema while emphasising his roots in the pre-1990 film industry of DEFA in the GDR. Dresen works with an established team of performers, technicians and scriptwriters, uses improvisation and non-professional actors, and makes music and song an integral component of many of his films. He is a scholar-filmmaker who pushes at the boundaries of his chosen modes and genres (documentary, neo-realism, films about films or literary adaptation); he is socially committed, casting a Brechtian eye on interpersonal encounters in neoliberal environments; and he is always interested to tell universal stories from the localities he knows best, the working-class milieus of Germany’s east.

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‘Every time a film gets made, an amazing miracle has occurred’: Interview with Andreas Dresen (Julian Preece / Andreas Dresen)


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‘Every time a film gets made, an amazing miracle has occurred’: Interview with Andreas Dresen1

1 Conducted on 25 February 2016 in Potsdam. Translation by Nikola Wochele.

2 From the children’s novel by James Krüss, first published in 1962 (Hamburg: Oetinger). Timm Thaler has never been translated into English but the ZDF television series from 1979 was broadcast by the BBC in 1988 as The Legend of Tim Tyler: The Boy who Lost his Laugh.

3 He mentioned to David Lode that he had always wanted to make a film of fairy tale. David Lode, Abenteuer Wirklichkeit. Die Filme von Andreas Dresen (Marburg: Schüren, 2009), p. 226

4 First published by Kinderbuchverlag in East Berlin in 1965 and re-issued several times. Timm Thaler was popular across the Soviet bloc and the former Yugoslavia and translated into Serbo-Croat (1964), Russian (1966), Lithuanian (1969), and Latvian (1970).

5 Dheepan (dir. Jacques Audiard) went on general release in the UK in April 2016 when it proved both a commercial and critical success.

6 24 Wochen / 24 Weeks (dir. Anne Zohra Berrached).

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