Tag Archives: Film

Finding Franz Marc’s House in Pasing

Franz Marc's family home in the München suburb of Pasing.

Franz Marc’s family home in the München suburb of Pasing.

I’ve written a little bit about (we’re saving our full repertoire for our even-bigger-screen reveal) the accidental hobby of my creative partner and myself, a sort of reverse geocaching + film. Basically we found out we like to research the addresses of art-historical places and find the spot on the earth where they once stood. In most of these cases, such as the pop-up gallery in Berlin search which ended up being recorded during a blizzard, or the colorful studio here in München destroyed in the war, we had city records and things like invitations to or posters for exhibits to go on, and it was possible to figure out, even where addresses had changed or buildings had been demolished, where they once stood. Sometimes we were able to use GPS coordinates, tagging our own maps as we went along, and sometimes we just used a compass, building keystones, and asking questions. Most of these excursions took a couple days of research and a one-shot hike.

Franz Marc’s family house in the München suburb of Pasing turned out to be our biggest challenge, though, and somewhat unexpectedly since Pasing was never destroyed and a lot of the old buildings have been preserved. However, perhaps not surprisingly, neither were Sophie and Wilhelm Marc, the parents of Franz, nor Paul, Franz’s brother, either very good with managing money nor with keeping records. Thus as it turns out the Marcs owned the house through a chain of convoluted machinations, so the normally very useful city and state records were not helpful. We assembled our clues – fragments of notes and letters mostly, and importantly, photographs showing  the house and the yard – and set off to Pasing with only a couple of bottles of water because “how big can Pasing be?”.

Well, Pasing is not that big, but, never underestimate the amount of confusion Franz Marc can cause. On our first journey (like, on the Straßenbahn Linie 19 so not that far) we walked around the neighborhood with the most Altbauten – nothing. The second day we knew to bring some snacks, but, still, after many hours – nothing. We were getting a bit anxious time-wise, and looked over all our notes again. I kept going back to the photographs, which showed very clear views of the property including which way the shadows were falling, and, since they photos were clearly taken in summer, and then in winter, you could see which way the house itself faced. We decided on the third trip to just be more playful and counterintuitively left everything at home but the camera, and getting off the tram just walked in a direction that seemed, for lack of a better way to describe, enticing and pleasant.

Not even half an hour into the walk, we turned a corner, and there it was. The other times we had been going completely in the wrong directions, by the way. Even if I didn’t know from the photographs, I would have just known, I think, that this was a place the Marc family would have lived. It’s a comfortably large enough home, but kind of secluded, even though it’s on city block, with many trees that were saplings in the photographs, a sort of open gazebo, and many eaves and places for birds to live. It definitely had an aura and I was very happy to have found the place – it made me feel very light at heart – and happy that the Marcs had lived there. Sophie Marc stayed on at the house after Wilhelm Marc died in 1907 until she went to stay with Maria Marc later in 1914 (yes, Sophie Marc outlived Franz by just a few months).

Unfortunately, as you can see from the photos, the home is abandoned and in desperate need of some repairs. It’s probably not habitable the way it is now. I dearly hope someone will lovingly restore this historic treasure. If that person is you, please write to me and I will send you the address!

Once my heart had turned to being interested in “recovered biography” I realized how important it is to actually physically experience places and things important in the life of Franz Marc. It’s incredible to me that in a place as self-consciously “historic” as Bayern so many things are falling away. In 2013, the Goltz book store closed its physical location on the Türkenstraße, which should really have been outlawed or something. We did make some documentation of that location, too, though. But that is another story.

UPDATE: May 2015

In some recent research I was doing about some other property records and dates of births and things, I ran across an interesting fact: Around 1885-1900, Annette von Eckardt and her family, which then would have included her baby daughter Helene and husband Richard Simon, a professor at Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, lived in Pasing. By this time Richard Simon would’ve known Paul Marc, Franz Marc’s brother who also taught at the university, and who still lived with the family in Pasing, too. I’m writing something for publication about these interconnected relationships for soon, so…watch this space. The implications are interesting, and a little disturbing, too, but my intuition has been givine me this message for a long time…

Better Parted?

 

Centurion is supposed to be historical fiction about the disappearance of the Legio IX Hispania in the third century in something like the Battle of Teutoberg Wald but it kind of lapses into … semi-fantasy. There is a lot of snow and awesome alpine scenery and fun costumes. Basically the only reason to see Centurion is for Dominic West in one of his typically movie-stealing supporting roles (as “General Titus Flavius Virilus” – really!) and Etain, the “guerra picta” played by Olga Kurylenko. Etain doesn’t speak, takes the wolf as her attribute animal, and endures a strange sort of Penthesilea-like death. She has fantastic Pict ordnance and body decorations.

I was sort of half-waking up, half-dreaming about the movie when the song “Signs” came on the former dataheaven.us  I haven’t paid much attention to Bloc Party previously but I was blown away by this particular song. Maybe it was just the combination of sound and imagery but it really shook me up.

What do these two things have in common that together they should make such a resonant impression? I don’t know.

Here is the link to “Signs” on Soundcloud, and a snippet of lyric: “I  could sleep forever these days because in my dreams I see you again.”

Swede Film Festival Tampa

So the Swede Film Festival Tampa was last night at the Muvico in Ybor City.

It seemed like about 100 people and hipsters showed out which mainly included the filmmakers and casts and their friends. Still it was fun in the way that comic events are more entertaining with a group who is into it.

Of course I was one of the animals in Dumbo.  Jim Reiman made this film but his voices for the various characters are what blew me away. Adam Kitzerow and Deon Blackwell are especially hilarious in Top Gun and Robb Fladry has incredible fun original music for Weekend at Bernie’s. The Sweded Apocalypto and The Shining were pretty madcap, too.

I think it would be fun to work on a version of There Will Be Blood.

Suspiria (!) (2011)

Königsplatz, München

Glyptothek

 

It would be impossible ever to say what the most exciting thing about visiting Munich was since it was all the most exciting thing, but one of the most most exciting things was visiting the Propyläen and Glyptothek “temples” of the Königsplatz featured in Dario Argento’s Suspiria. (The scaffolding behind the Propyläen is at the Lenbachhaus.)

Suspiria just celebrated its 35th anniversary. Here is the spectacular scene in which Daniel (Silvio Bucci) crosses the square with his German Shepherd dog:

David Gordon Green (George Washington, Pineapple Express) is doing a remake of Suspiria, and of course Argento purists hate this — on its face this film is desperately not in need of a do-over — but Green has said his version will be shot in Munich, and, I mean, George Washington and Pineapple Express are great, so, I’m for it…

 

Fassbinder Film Festival May 2010

Phassbinder Philm Phestival

Phassbinder Philm Phestival

Whity, (1971); Warnung vor einer heiligen Nutte, (1971); Faustrecht der Freiheit, (1975); Angst vor der Angst, (1975); Liebe ist kålter als der Tod, (1969); Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss (1982); Die Ehe der Maria Braun, (1979); Lola (1981).

Rainer Werner Fassbinder: Few filmmakers so powerfully manage to subvert desire for cathartic drama while simultaneously fulfilling it.

Movies, July 2008

Mexican red wolf, courtesy U.S. Department of the Interior

Following, Christopher Nolan, (1998) ••••; Haven, Frank E. Flowers, (2004) ••••; Love Liza, Gordy Hoffman, (2002) •••••; Armistead Maupin’s Further Tales of the City, Pierre Gang, (2001) ••; Disturbia, D.J. Caruso, (2007) •••; The Last Emperor, Bernardo Bertolucci, (1987) ••••

Normal Adolescent Behavior

It was so encouraging when Lifetime began airing movies having some resonance to the lives of real teens; a particular highlight was Speak, the wonderful adaptation of the teen fiction novel by Laurie Halse Anderson. Less well-executed but at least somewhat credible was Augusta, Gone, but this aught-year Don’t Ask Alice also benefited from the literary skeleton of Martha Tod Dudman’s autobiographical work of the same name.

Normal Adolescent Behavior however is so sordid, so nasty, that even adults will come away from this two-hour skank fest (significantly padded by endless montages of the core group of six teens dressing, undressing, “hanging out,” and in one particularly creepy aside having a Cabaret-motifed karaoke party).

The plot of this movie basically concerns a sextet of polyamorous high school students (though the word polyamorous never is uttered) which is nasty enough. The girls who proclaim that they’re special because they don’t do pole dances and stuff like that are insanely surgically enhanced, particularly the borderline blonde.

A lot of the group sex is pretty much shown, as much as can be on regular cable, but as if that’s not sick-making enough, there’s an even weirder scene (which has no relevance to the plot) of Amber Tamblyn begging an “outsider” boy to spank her as she wiggles her floral-grandma-panties-clad ass).

The moral of the story seems to be that polyamorous relationships aren’t bad, just temporal, and that if your little brother spends all his time cooking for the Desperate Housewives-style neighbor and babbling about frisee, well, that’s about the best the burbs have to offer.

Despite is queasiness-inducement this film is also very boring; the two hours will seem like five. Must to avoid.

Primer

This film is criminally underknown, if that’s the right word…despite winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance , there just doesn’t seem to be even any underground buzz, not even amid the scifi community. Primer is wholly the creation of Shane Carruth, an actual engineer from Dallas, and he did the entire production – editing, script, direction, music, bulidng the machine – entirely himself. This is a cerebral, non-special-effects-driven science fiction piece which appears at first to be about time travel, but its more accurately should be described as cloning, and the moral (and practical) ramifications thereof.

Carruth, who greatly resembles the other great underrated actor of horror and scifi, Jeffrey Combs from ReAnimator, is a genius, but is frustratingly apparently laying low. He hasn’t commented, even on his own message board, about whether he will make another movie.