September 2013, arsenal cinema

Gerd Kroske's Hamburg trilogy

WOLLIS PARADIES, 2007

In September, a DVD boxset of 12 films by Gerd Kroske is being released in absolut MEDIEN's "Die großen Dokumentaristen" series. This offers us the occasion to screen contiguously his Hamburg trilogy, which was made between 1999 and 2012, and to discuss it with him. In his un-agitated and reserved manner, Kroske dedicates himself here to outsiders, masters in the art of living, enfants terribles, all colorful characters with disrupted lives. At the same time, the three film portraits are also studies of a particular era and milieu that give an insight into West German subcultures and social conditions.

DER BOXPRINZ (The Boxing Prince, G 1999/2000, 12.9.) is Norbert Grupe, aka Prinz Wilhelm von Homburg – the pop star of German professional boxers. Whether dressed in ermine-trimmed shorts or as a dandy wearing a morning coat and carrying a cane, he was a gifted showman. The film talks about his activities in the red light district of St. Pauli, as well as his involvement with the Hells Angels, and of his trip to Hollywood when he was an actor, and of his legendary silent appearance on ZDF's TV program "Das aktuelle Sportstudio."

WOLLIS PARADIES
(Wolli in Paradise, G 2007, 13.9.) is a portrait of the former Saxon brothel and porn cinema owner Wolli Köhler, who also paints and writes poetry. From his home in the Hamburg suburbs, he talks about his life, his work in the mines, his socialist brothel in St. Pauli and his trips to India, which were immortalized by the writer Hubert Fichte.

HEINO JAEGER – LOOK BEFORE YOU KUCK (D 2012, 13.9.) re-discovers a forgotten artist: Heino Jaeger, a painter, cabaret artist and radio star who rose to cult status in the 1970s and spent the last years of his life in a psychiatric institution. Discussions with Jaeger's companions, pictures, photos, paintings and audio tapes made by him and also featuring him create a picture of a man difficult to grasp and traumatized by the war who tried to work off the German post-war mentality.