blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

To capture fleeting life

"Die glückliche Stunde, nach der wir uns immer gesehnt haben, ist schon vorbei, 
wenn wir anfangen, sie zu erkennen. 
Auch das Unglück zerrinnt und lässt uns ratlos zurück. 
Nur die Kunst vermag es, den Augenblicken Dauer zu verleihen. 
Das Großartige an der Filmkamera ist, dass sie Zeit abbilden und speichern kann. 
Wir Filmemacher besitzen damit ein Instrument, das uns auf magische Weise befähigt, 
das flüchtige Leben zu bannen."

Edgar Reitz

Roughly translated that means:

The happy hour we have always longed for, is already over when we begin to recognize it. Unhappiness fades too, leaving us baffled. Only art can make the moment last. The great thing about the movie camera is that it can depict and store time. We film makers are able, with this magic tool, to capture fleeting life.

Edgar Reitz is the director of the famous film series Heimat (30 films televised so far). Heimat 1 appeared in 1984. Heimat 2, which I'm watching on DVD at present, came out in 1992 and Heimat 3 was produced in 2004. The series seems to be an obsessive attempt at fictionalised autobiography, encompassing the lives of all the characters who have (or could have) influenced a man born in Germany in the 20th century. Hermann, Reitz' central character in the films, is a composer rather than a film maker, a decade or so younger than his creator, but his driving force is the same.

The crucial moments are shown in colour, the rest in black and white. The film music, composed by Nikos Mamangakis, a Cretan composer, is phenomenal, as is the acting.

A chronological order of historical events is not essential to Mr. Reitz, who writes his own screenplays. Heimat 1 ends in the 1980s and Heimat 2 returns to the 1960s. The latest episodes, Heimat 4, will be screened this year, set in the 1840s.

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