Berlin Alexanderplatz was the finest of his artistic accomplishments: the tragic story of Franz Biberkopf, based on an Alfred Döblin novel, is considered Fassbinder’s most radical and personal work. To mark the 25th anniversary of the death of Germany’s most successful post-war director, his main work has been painstakingly restored for the cinema and will be premiered at the Berlinale.
The premiere of Berlin Alexanderplatz: Remastered on February 9 at 19.00 in the Admiralspalast will be attended by the stars Günter Lamprecht, Hanna Schygulla, Barbara Sukowa, Gottfried John and also Döblin’s son, Stephan Döblin. The Gala –Premiere, which will be screening parts 1 and 2, is organised by the Federal Cultural Foundation, the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation and Bavaria Film International. The evening will be hosted and musically accompanied by Max Raabe & Palast Orchester. Berlin Alexanderplatz: Remastered will be shown as High Definition Projection by Dolby Digital Cinema System. The Admiralspalast will be equipped with a Barco DP 100 Projector for this occasion.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder filmed Alfred Döblin’s avant-garde novel for television. The resulting series was broadcast in 1980 over 13 episodes and an epilogue. The epical film story focuses on the former transport worker, Franz Biberkopf, who is released from Tegel Prison and intends to go straight. Overwhelmed and confused by the hectic Berlin of the 1920s, he finds himself drawn back into a life of crime after all. Its first showing on television caused quite a controversy amongst the general public; critics were thrilled and acclaimed it as having the artistic merit of a late work.
The more than15-hour 16mm material of the television version has now been restored using state of the art techniques. The overall responsibility for the project was taken on by Juliane Lorenz, the original cutter for the film and today President of the Fassbinder Foundation. In order to ensure the new version remained faithful to the old, the original cameraman, Xaver Schwarzenberger was brought on board as art director. The digital re-mastering was made possible by a co-operation between the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation and Bavaria Media GmbH and was realised in collaboration with CinePostproduction and Arri.
The film project Berlin Alexanderplatz: Remastered is sponsored by the Federal Cultural Foundation, the Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen, the German Federal Film Board (FFA), the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, the FilmFernsehFonds Bayern and German Films with the support of the Museum of Modern Art New York and the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation.
Tickets for the Gala-Premiere go on advance sale as of January 18, 2007. The whole series will be shown on February 11 in five blocks from 10.00 a.m. until approx. 2.45 a.m. in the Volksbühne with the actors in attendance. Further screenings will take place from February 12 to 18, daily at 18.30 in CinemaxX 4.
January 16, 2007