A film full of loving forgeries and equally loving moments of truth. Die Gebrüder Skladanowsky may well be the most original and committed contribution made for the centenary of cinema. In the face of the baroque festivities around the Lumière Brothers, the winning film pioneers, this film provides a modest and humorous homage to the film pioneers who lost: the brothers Max and Eugen Skladanowsky. The Skladanowskys claimed to have held the first public film screening, but were not able to perfect their system as much as their French competitors. In addition, they missed the true commercial instinct. The film was made by Wim Wenders with students from the Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film (Munich) and is at long last another successful Wenders film. The makers used two very different kinds of material. They interviewed the ageing daughter of Max Skladanowsky and show old photos and authentic film fragments. In addition, events from the lives of the brothers are dramatised. To achieve this - and that is the best and most relevant material for this programme - they reconstructed old films or rather: they made up and forged them. Udo Kier, the cult actor specialised in demonic and perverted roles, plays a strikingly sympathetic and pleasant Max Skladanowsky. The newly-made supposedly-old material is of a very high quality both technically and ironically. A masterpiece of forgery. (GjZ)

International title
A Trick of the Light
Filmmaker
Wim Wenders
Premiere
-
Country
Germany
Year
1996
Medium
35mm
Length
79’
Language
German
Producer
Veit Helmer, Hochschule für Fernsehen & Film
Sales
Road Movies Filmproduktion
Writer
Wim Wenders
Cast
Udo Kier