Bastian is a young boy who lives a dreary life being tormented by school bullies. On one such occasion he escapes into a book shop where the old proprieter reveals an ancient story-book to him, which he is warned can be dangerous. Shortly after, he “borrows” the book and begins to read it in the school attic where he is drawn into the mythical land of Fantasia, which desperately needs a hero to save it from destruction. —IMDb
Growing up in the wake of World War II, talented German director Wolfgang Petersen developed a passion for all things American and by the age of 11 had decided that making movies (to his mind an essentially American art form) was what he wanted to do with his life. Initially drawn to the films of John Ford for their clear presentation of good and evil (in contrast to the messy Europe of the day), he went on to immerse himself in the directors of the French Nouvelle Vague, especially Francois Truffaut, whom he cites as his most important influence, though he is quick to add “there’s nothing German, or even particularly European about my films.” (Los Angeles Times, July 6, 1993) After beginning as an actor and director in Hamburg theater during the 1960s, he enrolled in film school and shortly after graduating made his directorial debut for German TV with “I Will Kill You, Wolf” (1970). He also helmed six 100 minute TV dramas, all with separate stories and casts, for a series of thrillers… read more
Remember finding this an empty, boring and somewhat strange film back in the eighties and rewatching now stand by that assessment. The effects are unique but lost in a story that just doesn't reward with a lead performance that comes across as grating. Along with 'Enemy Mine' Petersen has certainly made a couple of the most strange genre pics.