DRAW TILL YOU DROP - THE PAINTER ERNST LUDWIG KIRCHNER
1999/2000, Documentary, 80'
Script/Director: Michael Trabitsch
Catpics Coproductions AG, Alfi Sinniger
In coproduction with:
Prounen Film, Michael Trabitsch/Germany
ARTE / Straßburg / Frankreich,
WDR / Köln / Deutschland,
ORB / Potsdam / Deutschland,
SFB / Berlin / Deutschland &
Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen
In other words, the intention and form of Kirchner's art are so deeply rooted in reality, yet his life was such a dramatic reaction to critical upheavals, that one can conclude: few artists yield so much of themselves that their work could be described as the focus of an epoch. At the end of the century we can take Kirchner as an example to make a film about the beginning of the century. No one succumbs to the city as fully as he did: enamored, lonely, swept off his feet, lost, disillusioned, fascinated.
Berlin is Kirchner's city. His streetscapes are considered the culmination of his work. They are a highlight of the history of modern painting and the backdrop in our mind's eye when we seek to capture big-city life in the first half of the century.
Kirchner is the unvarnished perception of modern life. It hits him in the eye, he reacts, he seeks a form: size, speed, machine, man-eating monster, whore, crowds, razzle dazzle, synchronization of sensations, surrender to the show: cabaret, dance, circus.
Kirchner's art begins in Dresden and the Moritzburg ponds. Berlin is his urban awakening. The war crushes him. He retreats to the Swiss mountains. The span of tension in Kirchner's life and work makes for suspense-filled drama and yields an intense film portrayal.