In a rich torrent of archival audio and visuals, paired with extracts from her own artworks and films, Ottinger resurrects the old Saint-Germaindes-Prés and Latin Quarter, with their literary cafés and jazz clubs, and revisits encounters with Jewish exiles, life with her artistic community, the worldviews of Parisian ethnologists and philosophers, the political upheavals of the Algerian War and May 1968, and the legacy of the colonial era.
“I followed the footsteps of my heroines and heroes,” Ottinger narrates. “Wherever I found them, they will appear in this film too.”
SCREENINGS & AWARDS
2020 World Premiere: Berlin Film Festival – Berlinale Special
- 2020 FID – Marseille, France
- 2020 Melbourne International Film Festival (Australian Premiere)
- 2020 Ankara International Film Festival
- 2020 European Film Festival Palić
- 2020 Berwick Film Festival
- 2020 Vancouver International Film Festival
- 2020 Moscow International Film Festival
- 2020 Brisbane International Film Festival
More: Batumi International Film Festival
Upcoming: Pink Apple FF (OCT 20-DEC-15), IDFA – Masters Section, IDFA Competition for Creative Use of Archive Nominee (NOV 18-29), DOC NYC (NOV 11-19), DocLisboa
- Ulrike Ottinger honored with The Berlinale Camera Award 2020, February 2020
- SWR Documentary Festival – Ulrike Ottinger receives the Norbert Daldrop Prize for Promotion of Art and Culture for her astonishing work on PARIS CALLIGRAMMES, July 2020
Reviews: The Variety (EN), Cineuropa review (EN), The New Yorker (EN), Filmuforia (EN), Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE), Berliner Zeitung (DE), Spiegel (DE), Berliner Morgenpost (DE), Artechok (DE), El Universal (ES), Frieze (EN), Epd-Film (DE), Taz (DE), Culturopoing (FR)
“‘Paris Calligrammes’ – A declaration of love for Paris that is as clever as it is critical” MDR culture, Knut Elstermann
” ‘Paris Calligrammes’ shows and says what is ‘wrong today’ and where the historical causes are” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Ulrike Ottinger films in the same genre as Luis Buñuel or Jacques Rivette, Jean Vigo or Agnès Varda – a very special feel-good cinema that changes from the absurd to the intellectual, from the fantastic to the political, from picturesque to perverse.” Süddeutsche Zeitung, Fritz Göttler
“Paris Calligrammes is an homage to the intellectual and artistic life of the city in the 1960s.” Frieze Magazin, Amy Sherlock
“An enriching journey through Ulrike Ottinger’s Paris of the 1960s, told in a way that deftly balances past and present to paint a picture of a threshold era of positives and negatives.“ Variety
“ULRIKE OTTINGER’S PERSONAL AND POLITICAL MASTERWORK”
“The film is an extraordinary sort of aesthetico-political nonfiction bildungsroman”
“a work of vital and energetic modernism” Newyorker.com
Aleida Assmann’s review:
With Eyes Wide Open in Paris, the Chamber of Curiosities
In many of her films, exhibitions, and books, Ulrike Ottinger has portrayed herself as an ethnographer who takes us on long journeys to foreign cultures, showing herself participating in people’s daily lives and rituals. We sat together in Mongolian tents and attended the ceremonies of the female shamans; we were eyewitnesses to the winter rites which are celebrated amidst the Japanese New Year festivities; we retraced the tracks of the great global explorers; and we were introduced to the northernmost inhabitants of the Arctic, observing them fishing and going about their daily work. With her new film, Ottinger opens a very different chapter to these expedition films. We now embark on a journey through time, leading us back to Paris in the 1960s. Utopian research
differentiates between spatial and temporal utopias, but this film is both. It is a spatial utopia going, not to the ends of the world or into uncharted territory, but into the heart of the Parisian metropolis, and also a temporal utopia whose time lies, not in the future, but in the past. It is an autobiographical journey back to her own youth, to the years of her all-important coming of age. Focusing specifically on this phase of her life, Ulrike Ottinger’s film forges a bridge between the then and now. Images intersect, meld, and overlap.
This is at its most evident when the artist reappropriates the shop window of the former Librairie Calligrammes — in Saint-Germain-des-Prés quartier, Paris — for her own exhibition. Momentarily, the window display is swept clean and adorned with her own treasures: the collection of books she acquired at the time and which she has assiduously cultivated throughout the intervening years. Just like the window display, the entire film abounds with impressions, experiences, and memories. Yet, the period fifty years ago, the ”past present“ that she so vividly brings back to life, is receptive in equal measure to both the burden of a traumatic history and to the allure of an experimental and vibrant future.
DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY
Ulrike Ottinger has been a unique and provocative voice in German cinema since her debut in the early 70s. Over the past 40 years, she has directed 26 films, including feature length fictions and experimental documentaries. She received numerous awards, including the Audience Jury Prize in Montréal, the Bundesfilmpreis and the German Film Critics Award. Her films have been shown at many retrospectives, including the Cinémathèque française and Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Reina Sophia in Madrid and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Ulrike Ottinger has been a photographer throughout her career presenting works at the Biennale di Venezia, the Documenta, and the Berlin Biennale, among others. She has also worked as a theatre director and ethnographer and she has published several books.
2019 Paris Calligrammes. Digital, Farbe und s/w, 129 min
2016 Chamissos Schatten. Digital, Farbe, 720 min Preis der deutschen Filmkritik 2016
2011 Unter Schnee. 35mm, Farbe, 103 min
2009 Still Moving. HD Cam, Farbe und s/w, 29 min
2008 Die koreanische Hochzeitstruhe. 35 mm, Farbe, 82 min in Zusammenarbeit mit dem International Women’s Film Festival Seoul Seoul Women Happiness. HD, Farbe, 16 min
2007 Prater. 35 mm, Farbe, 104 min Preis der deutschen Filmkritik 2007
2004 Zwölf Stühle. 35 mm, Farbe, 198 min
2002 Südostpassage. DigiBeta, Farbe und s/w, 363 min Das Exemplar. DigiBeta, s/w, 18:26 min Ester. DigiBeta, s/w und Farbe, 31:30 min
1997 Exil Shanghai. 16mm, Farbe, 275 min
1992 Taiga. 16 mm, Farbe, 501 min
1990 Countdown. 16 mm, Farbe, 188 min
1989 Johanna d’Arc of Mongolia. 35 mm, Farbe, 165 min Deutscher Filmpreis 1989 – Filmband in Gold für visuelle Gestaltung Publikumspreis, Festival International du nouveau Cinéma, Montreal 1989 “Outstanding Film of the Year”, London Film Festival
1987 Usinimage. 35 mm, Farbe, 10 min Kurzfilmpreis des HDF Hauptverband deutscher Filmtheater 1987
1986 Superbia – Der Stolz. 35 mm, Farbe, 15 min
1985 China. Die Künste – Der Alltag. 16 mm, Farbe, 270 min Preis der Deutschen Filmkritik 1986
1984 Dorian Gray im Spiegel der Boulevardpresse. 35 mm, Farbe, 150 min Spezialpreis der Jury für künstlerische Gesamtkonzeption, Florenz 1984, Publikumspreis Festival Sceaux/Paris 1984
1981 Freak Orlando. 35 mm, Farbe, 126 min Publikumspreis Festival Sceaux/Paris 1983
1979 Bildnis einer Trinkerin. Aller – Jamais Retour. 35 mm, Farbe, 107 min Publikumspreis Festival Sceaux/Paris 1980
1977 Madame X – Eine absolute Herrscherin. 16 mm, Farbe, 141 min
1975 Die Betörung der Blauen Matrosen. 16 mm, Farbe, 50 min
1972/73 Berlinfieber – Wolf Vostell. Happening-Dokumentation. 16 mm, s/w, 12 min Laokoon & Söhne. Die Verwandlungsgeschichte der Esmeralda del Rio. 16 mm, s/w, 50 min
Written and directed by Ulrike Ottinger
DoP Ulrike Ottinger
Editing Anette Fleming
Sounddesign & Re-Recording Mix Detlef Schitto
Original Sound Timothée Alazraki
Archive Marguerite Vappereau
Line Producer Corina Ziller, Claire Lion
Commissioning Editor ZDF/3sat: Udo Bremer
Coproducers Pierre-Olivier Bardet, Gérald Collas
Producers Thomas Kufus, Kornelia Theune
PRODUCER’S BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY
Thomas Kufus, Kornelia Theune
zero one film GmbH
Lehrter Strasse 57
Fon: + 49 – 30 – 390 663 30
Fax: + 49 – 30 – 394 58 34
Contact: Julia Arika, PR & Festivals | tel: +49 – 30 – 390 66 3-30 | firstname.lastname@example.org
zero one film is an independent film production company based in Berlin, producing cinema and TV documentaries as well as art house fiction for the German and International market. Over the past 25 years the company produced more than 120 documentaries, documentary television series and feature films. Many of them won international awards, among these BEUYS by Andres Veiel, 24 WEEKS by Anne Zohra Berrached, THE PEOPLE VS. FRITZ BAUER by Lars Kraume, MORE THAN HONEY by Markus Imhoof, THE FLAT by Arnon Goldfinger, GERHARD RICHTER PAINTING by Corinna Belz. The collaboration with Aleksandr Sokurov on films like MOLOCH or FATHER AND SON and FRANCOPHONIA was highly acclaimed and awarded in Cannes.
With 24H BERLIN the team broke new grounds, provoking broadcasters to cast aside the traditional slot structure for the duration of 24h allowing for a so far unprecedented 24 hours documentary. In 2010, 24H BERLIN won the Bavarian TV Award as well as the German TV award. With 24H JERUSALEM wascreated a follow-up of the award winning format created, which has been successfully broadcast on April 12th 2014 and which has won the German TV Award. In 2016 the format continued with 24H BAVARIA, in may 2019 24H EUROPE was braodcasted all over Europe in 7 different languages.
Thomas Kufus is producer and Managing Director of zero one film. He ranges among the most active independent producers in Germany. He is member of The European Film Academy and The German Film Academy. From 2009 until 2015 he had been chairman of the German Film Academy.
6, rue de l’Agent Bailly
75009 Paris – France
Idéale Audience is a Paris based production company founded in 1990 by Pierre-Olivier Bardet and Hélène Le Cœur. Whether producing for the cinema or television, documentary or fictional films, Idéale Audience considers each new production as a film in its own right, unique, original, irrespective
of format. The Idéale Audience philosophy is like that of a small publishing house, with strong, long-term ties with the authors and film directors of the works it produces. Johan van der Keuken, Frederick Wiseman, Alexandre Sokourov, Frédéric Mitterrand, Bruno Monsaingeon, Benoît Jacquot, Gérald Caillat,
Daniel Rosenfeld, Silvina Landsmann, Wang Bing are among our regular partners.
International co-production is an integral part of our production policy. Producers from the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Belgium, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, Israel, and Argentina have been associated with numerous films in the Idéale Audience catalogue, a catalogue which now includes over 200 films, all distributed internationally by loyal partner-distributors. Based in Paris, at 6, rue de l’Agent Bailly for nearly 25 years, the Idéale Audience team continues to serve films, authors and artists, who are their very raison d’être.
In 1962, as a young artist, I came to live and work in Paris. That period until 1969, when I left the city, was not only one of the most formative for me, it was also an era of intellectual, political, and social upheaval in modern history. The film PARIS CALLIGRAMMES combines my personal memories of the 1960s with a portrait of the city and a social cartography of the age. Like Guillaume Appolinaire’s poetry collection Calli- grammes: Poèmes de la paix et de la guerre (Calligrams: Poems of Peace and War), I have given it the form of a filmic “picture-poem” (calligram) in which the words and images, complemented by language, sound, and music, form a mosaic that emerges from the vivacity of those exciting years while speaking to the fragility of all cultural and political achievements. The Ariadne thread through the film is a walk across Paris with many stops where topics are raised out of any chronological order. In the tradition of the flâneur, I visit focal points in the city that were meaningful to me personally and to the story of the 1960s, sites where significant political events transpired, important cultural and artistic encounters occurred, and new communal ways of life evolved. Not only was Paris in that time a “melting pot” of intellectuals and artists from all over the world, it was also undergoing the difficult political era of decolonization. The War in Algeria, and later the Vietnam War, over-shadowed the period of reawakening after the Second World War and brought people from the colonies and political conflicts into the capital. Thus my friendships that developed in those years were so international and colorful, so exciting and intense.