Just for Fun, Just for Play—
Kaleidoscope Valeska Gert,
The Candidate, and
War and Peace
If Schlöndorff in his international period moves in the direction of large-scale international productions, he also takes periodic breaks from bigger budget filmmaking through involvement with more modest documentary projects and contributions to collective filmmaking efforts. We have already mentioned his “Antigone” episode in Germany in Autumn, which becomes a kind of bridge between the second and third periods in the director's work. “Antigone's” Brechtian satire looks back to Schlöndorff's 1970s sensibility, but at the same time its content—a jaundiced observation of working within the self-censoring West German broadcasting establishment—is a commentary on the very situation that was to encourage Schlöndorff to seek more international production situations. In this chapter we consider the nonmainstream output of Schlöndorff's third period: Just for Fun, Just for Play—Kaleidoscope Valeska Gert (Nur zum Spaß, nur zum Spiel—Kaleidoskop Valeska Gert, 1977), The Candidate (Der Kandidat, 1980), and his episodes in War and Peace (Krieg und Frieden, 1983). Together these form an alternative tributary in the river of Schlöndorff's professional career, one marked most strikingly by a strong, assertive antimilitarism and a use of free-form, collagelike structures. Aspects of this alternative cinema provide a good sense both of certain German cultural traditions and of the West German political climate of the time.
Although some of Schlöndorff's earlier work had been inspired by true-life incidents and journalistic faites diverses, Just for Fun, Just for Play—Kaleidoscope Valeska