Described by filmmaker Herbert Achternbusch as ‘filth for intellectuals’, the films of the late German artist, actor, performance artist, and film and theatre director Christoph Schlingensief (1960–2010) combine over-the-top B-movie aesthetics with a stringent critique of contemporary politics and colonialism. Schlingensief is ‘the very gifted low-budget or no-budget little brother of the great masters of New German Cinema, like Herzog, Wenders or Fassbinder’ (Georg Seeslen). He provides a fascinating link between the trash, DIY aesthetics of the punk underground with more traditional avant-garde approaches. Recently representative for the German Pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale and winner of the Golden Lion for Best National Participation, Schlingensief described his films as ‘Cinema direct’ and always claimed he was ‘first and foremost a filmmaker’. With nods to the New German Cinema and Viennese Actionism, Schliengensief tackled complex themes of nation, violence and Western materialism and used his films to mobilise debates on the spread of far-right political parties acrossEurope, the politics of fear after the events of 9/11, and the legacy of the Third Reich in post-warGermany.
See the full Tate Film programme.