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A Tribute to Das Kleine Fernsehspiel/ZDF: Alternative Filmmaking in Television

A Tribute to Das Kleine Fernsehspiel/ZDF: Alternative Filmmaking in Television

Sunday, November 11, 1979
6:25 p.m.
9:35 p.m.
Jane Is Jane Forever (Jane Bleibt Jane)
Walter Bockmayer, Rolf Buhrmann (1977)

The first feature by the team of Walter Bockmayer and Rolf Buhrmann (who made twelve films together in 8mm between 1970 and 1976), Jane Is Jane Forever was hailed by Fassbinder (in an article written for Die Zeit) as “one of the most beautiful and most important new German films.” An outrageously campy film, Jane Is Jane Forever takes a simple but extravagant idea and develops it with skill and verve.
David Wilson, writing in Sight and Sound, described it this way: “...an old lady, newly ensconced in a pensioner’s home, is so persuaded she is Tarzan’s mate that she tends to lapse into jungle talk. Furnishing her room with parrot, potted palms and Tarzan posters, she unblinkingly offers a home-made banana liqueur to a journalist who befriends her. Apart from the parrot and a stuffed chimpanzee (she balks at a python, too real for the comfort of illusion), the journalist is her only companion. The other pensioners think she’s mad and torment her accordingly; but the film deftly suggests that there is a kind of sanity in her fancy, or at least the safety-valve of a harmless caprice.... At the end she boards a plane for Africa, changes into her leopard skin costume and assures a worried fellow passenger that she needs no help from mere humans.”

• Directed by Walter Bockmayer and Rolf Buhrmann. ZDF Production Executives, Maya Faber-Jansen and Annegret Even. Screenplay by Buhrmann and Bockmayer. Photographed by Peter Mertin. With Johanna Konig, Karl Blohmer, Peter Chatel. (1977, 85 mins, color, 35mm, English titles, Print from New Line Cinema)