Schlingensief’s 2nd feature film is made in 1985 and much of the dialogue consists of the exclamation, “Mama!”. A young boy is lying in bed screaming for his mother. But mama is away performing military exercises in a meadow with a sect like group. People yell, fleeing through dark basements to the thunder of bomber planes and an insistently peppy, upbeat jazz score. Voices echo, tinny and distorted, as in early talkies; there are chases and orgies. It is a nightmare of grainy black and white, reminiscent of silent movies. A similar mood prevails in 100 Jahre Adolf Hitler – Die letzte Stunde im Führerbunker (100 Years of Adolf Hitler. The Last Hours in the Fuhrers Bunker), shot in 1989: Hitler, Eva Braun, Goring, Goebbeis, and others are playing “Death in the Fuhrer’s Bunker” and celebrating Christmas. Sex and violence mingle with petty bickering and silly games. It is pure insanity, performed by the actors in a straightforward manner, as if their behavior was perfectly normal. This early movie already shows an interior, a hermetic logic that is relentlessly followed through. The director is well aware of the inherent contradiction. He finds Menu Total funny. But during the premiere, fights broke out in the audience, and Schlingensief’s father was so horrified he cried.
Christoph Maria Schlingensief (born October 24, 1960 in Oberhausen) is a German film and theatre director, actor and author. Because of his often controversial work he has often been called a “scandal-maker”.
As a young man he organized art “events” in the cellar of his parents house and artists such as Helge Schneider or Theo Jörgensmann performed in his early films.
Schlingensief considers himself a “provocatively thoughtful” artist. He has created numerous controversial and provocative theatre pieces as well as films, his former mentor being filmmaker and media artist Werner Nekes. One of his main works, the so-called Germany-Trilogy, which deals with three turning points in 20th century German history: the first movie Hundert Jahre Adolf Hitler (Adolf Hitler – A Hundred Years) covers the last hours of Adolf Hitler, the second Das deutsche Kettensägenmassaker (The German Chainsaw-Massacre), depicts the German reunification of 1989… read more
Strange second feature by Schlingensief that really doesn't even try to make any narrative sense. Mixture of time periods doesn't help in tale of a strange extended family, weird Nazi doctors and bearded ladies that plays like some drug addled nightmare. Has its interesting moments but not enough of them to advise sitting through 86 minutes.