RIP Altman, hello Konrad Wolf

Yesterday marked the anniversary of Robert Altman’s death in 2006. I’ve spent so much of the last year reading about this man and watching his movies that I retrospectively feel sad at his passing. I had always known his movies, especially M*A*S*H* and Popeye, but it wasn’t until revisiting his work this year that I appreciated how much of a unique character he was in what has become quite a bland industry. It’s his rebellion I believe is missing, and the desire to experiment and see where stories go, out of respect of the audience capacity to stay with his storytelling. A brave man. It’s a shame these ‘creative industries’ cannot be a little bit more creative methinks.

I’ve just returned from Berlin where I visited the Konrad Wolf film school in Babelsberg and met the delightful Veit Quack. He’s a lecturer there and we immediately understood our shared desire to explore the new spaces that filmmaking is creating. He took me to see some incredible experiments that they were making in camera, sound and projection technologies. I was as happy as a pig in shit. They’ve invited me to talk next February before Berlinale about the 72 project. I’m honoured and privileged. It adds another date to an already manic schedule of presentations, as I’m in RIMAD in Luton in December, MeCCSA in Derry in January and now Potsdam. It’s the very familiar burn of a 72 project heating up. Just to keep this visual I’ve included a picture of me with my study group outside of the Babelsberg Studios:

 

I also had a lovely chance to catch up with 72 veterans Jette and Ben. This made me very happy! It’s always nice to keep in contact, especially with the people you’ve shared a creative experience with.

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