Volker Schlondorff's Cinema: Adaptation, Politics, and the "Movie-Appropriate"

By Hans-Bernhard Moeller; George Lellis | Go to book overview

13
Coup de Grâce

Despite its modest claims, Volker Schlöndorff's twelfth film, Coup de Grâce (Der Fangschuss, 1976), can be considered a jewel among his creations. 1 This film brings the 1920s heritage to life, thanks to quilted jackets, frozen landscapes, impersonal firing squads, uniformed soldiers folk dancing at warravaged estates: images, sound, and texture evocative of revolutionary Russia (Grélier 70–71). In addition, actress Valeska Gert, 1920s exponent of avant-garde pantomime, expressionist dance, and women's liberation, graces the screen in one of her final performances. It marks, at the same time, Schlöndorff's return to and recapitulation of his own cinematic methods from Törless and Kombach. It presents Margarethe von Trotta, here also Schlöndorff's screenwriter, in some of her most convincing scenes as an actress. It carries on the portrayal of rebel women in the line of A Free Woman and Katharina Blum, though in more spartan visual style. In all its simplicity, this is a key work by a pivotal literary filmmaker of Young and New German cinemas (Cattini 103).

Coup de Grâce places the reader or viewer in conditions of near civil war that raged in the Baltic provinces near Riga in the early twenties, with a confusing array of alliances and coalitions, similar to that of Beirut in the 1980s or the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Radical Bolsheviks, Estonian and Latvian nationalists, German Junkers, and White Russians, as well as fortune hunters and volunteer militias, attack each other. One reactionary stronghold is the castle Kratovice, ancestral home of Konrad von Reval (Rüdiger Kirschstein), who returns as an officer and finds his sister Sophie (Margarethe von Trotta). She falls in love with his comrade Erich von Lhomond (Matthias Habich), also a childhood friend. She politically sympathizes with village Bolsheviks, and when Erich does not return her love, she moves to the communist camp. When her troop falls to Erich's unit, Sophie insists that he personally execute her.

This chapter introduces and provides critical exegesis of this less well known Schlöndorff film: how does it relate to its 1939 literary model, Coup de

-144-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Volker Schlondorff's Cinema: Adaptation, Politics, and the "Movie-Appropriate"
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 370

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.