Watch a legendary German director’s documentary on Marcos’ fall tonight
Werner Schroeter’s “Laughing Star” is an absolute must-see
May 27, 2019
“What Schroeter does with a face, a cheekbone, the lips, the expression of the eyes, is a multiplying and burgeoning of the body, an exultation,” Michel Foucault once famously wrote of Werner Schroeter’s The Death of Maria Malibran.
Schroeter is one of the most influential German directors you’ve never heard of. A proponent of New German Cinema, his contemporaries were the likes of Werner Herzog, Margarethe von Trotta, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, the catalyst of the film movement and who credited Schroeter as an influence as well as a peer. His films, though many decades old, have just the right radical edge that’s in fashion these days, combining high camp, melodrama, and avant-garde.
As iconic as Schroeter’s films may be, they’re little known to Filipinos. Which is why when he released Laughing Star, a documentary following the fall of the Spanish regime to Ferdinand Marcos’ own fall, in 1988, it received virtually no fanfare. It’s disappointing because Schroeter presented a nuanced and unique vision of our history, a vicious statement on colonialism, the excesses of modernism on the third world, and authoritarian dictatorship set like “a musical collage.” It splices together interviews with “footage from a Fritz Lang film and a clip of Imelda Marcos singing ‘Feelings’.”
You have the chance to view the film tonight, with Archivo 1984 hosting a screening at the UPFI Film Center Videotheque. The screening is open to all, and starts at 7 p.m.
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