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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

Tuesday, November 13, 1979
7:00 p.m. The Little Godard (Der Kleine Godard)
Hellmuth Costard (1978)

Hellmuth Costard & Eckart Stein in Person!


“A film about a film, both theory and practice, about indirect forms of censorship, about the possibility or impossibility of making films in Germany today. A dialectical home movie that is both a witty suspense story and the most radical challenge to screen conventions in the Federal Republic since Straub moved on to Rome. The parable is autobiographical (i.e. concrete/contradictory). In 1977, Hamburg filmmaker Hellmuth Costard was refused funds by the Kuratorium Junger Deutscher Film to develop and film with a four-camera super 8 system on the grounds that money could only be allocated for ‘finished scripts’; at the same time, Costard anomalously found himself on a municipal committee in Hamburg that was interested (to the tune of 40,000 pounds) in acquiring Godard as an artist in residence but nervous of his film project: ‘Is it possible to make films in Germany today?’ Connecting the fates of the two Godards (Costard was labeled ‘Der Kleine Godard’ by an ambivalent critic in 1976) is the theme that ‘the text predetermines the image.’ With both the poverty of his resources and his innovatory super 8 system as an integral part of his subject matter, Costard... (uses) multiple cameras, montage and cross-cutting to create the effect of mise-en-scene, of giving the spectator the illusion that he’s caught up in the story.”

—Jan Dawson

• Produced and Directed by Hellmuth Costard in collaboration wth ZDF. ZDF Script Editor: Eckart Stein. Photographed by Bernd Upnmoor, Hans-Otto Walter, Hanno Hart, Hellmuth Costard. Super 8mm Camera System created by Herbet Jeschke, Winnie Wolf, Jochen Leydecker, Walter Huntenburg, Hellmuth Costard. With Hellmuth Costard, Bernhard Kiesel, Hilka Nordhausen, Andy Hertel, Jlena Kristl, Werner Grassmann, Herbert Jeschke, Marie-Luise Scherer, Hedda Costard, Hans-Otto Walter, Curt Costard, Hark Bohm, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Andrea Ferreol, Jean-Luc Godard. (1978, 81 mins, super 8mm blown up to 16mm, color, Print Courtesy of filmmaker and The Goethe Institute)