Berlinale: Programme

Film File


The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Die Tiefseetaucher

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In search of the tiger shark that ate his best friend, oceanographer and documentary filmmaker Steve Zissou embarks on an expedition that he hopes will buoy his becalmed career. But both on land and on the high seas, intense conflict ensues with his domineering wife, an irksome competitor, a pregnant journalist, and a purported son. Then there’s the encounter with Philippine pirates, and soon the ambitious undertaking threatens to break up on the rocks … “Klaus Daimler, 40, engineer, calm, collected, German”, is how Steve Zissou characterises the former bus driver and dependable first mate of the “Belafonte” played by Willem Dafoe in one of his few comedic roles – with a credible German accent, thanks to his German heritage. He embodies the sensitive, emotionally shaky, almost childishly naive camera assistant, perpetually clad in a silly outfit of turtleneck and shorts, without ever allowing the character to become laughable. Instead “Klausie”, who looks up to Zissou as a father figure, easily wins the favour of both the boat crew and audiences.

USA 2004


118’ · Colour · 2K DCP

Rating R12


Bill Murray
Owen Wilson
Cate Blanchett
Anjelica Huston
Willem Dafoe
Jeff Goldblum
Michael Gambon
Bud Cort
Seu Jorge


Wes Anderson
Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach
Robert Yeoman
David Moritz
Mark Mothersbaugh
Pawel Wdowczak
Production Design
Mark Friedberg
Art Director
Mark Friedberg, Marco Trentini
Milena Canonero
Gino Tomagnini
Wes Anderson, Barry Mendel, Scott Rudin

Produced by

Touchstone Pictures für/for Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc.