Mon

24/06

Auditorium - DAMSLab > 18:15

LEUCHTTURM DES CAOS

Manfred Blank, Wolf-Eckart Bühler
Introduce

Wolf-Eckart Bühler

Projection
Info

Monday 24/06/2019
18:15

Subtitle

Original version with subtitles

LEUCHTTURM DES CHAOS

Film Notes

Whatever predisposition you may have to the life and ruminations of actor-rebel-latterday-Dutch bargeman Sterling Hayden, this German-made, autobiographical film is the stuff of human, often painful candour. […]
A young German documentary crew climbed aboard Hayden’s colourful barge on a leafy river in Holland, point­ed a camera in his direction, and, to use Hayden’s favourite phrase in the film, “let her rip”. The result is a fascinating confessional, intercut with stills, clips, and garish Commie-hitman headlines from Hayden’s largely B-movie Hollywood career of the 1950s. […]
Hayden, filmed on his boat in sackcloth and beard and alternately swigging from a fifth of Ballantine’s, talks to his filmmakers with almost a paternal urgency. This translates to a remarkably honest self-portrait. Indeed, Hayden occasionally plays the great guru, a self-parodic Ernest Hemingway.
But Leuchtturm des Chaos (the name of his barge) is so full of the cutting edge of self-revelation that there’s a universality in the human spill. Those who have read his autobiographical Wanderer, named for the yacht on which he absconded with his four kids to sail to Tahiti in the late 1950s, will find more updates here. During one dramatic moment in the film, the film­makers interrupt the proceedings to re­count off-screen how Hayden, the evening before, had come aboard his barge so drunk that he fell into the water and had to be rescued by his son (one of his four who still lives with him). We see Hayden deal with this when he regroups the next morning, and his thoughts on alcohol, like his haunted feelings about betraying friends before the House Un-American Activities Committee during the Red Scare in 1951, are voiced with calm but tense laconic struggle. […]
German producer and co-director Wolf-Eckart Bühler never takes the camera off Hayden except for black-and-white Hollywood flashbacks. To see Hayden walking like Moses along a Flemish riverbank and then to cut to an old “Los Angeles Examiner” headline – Four Stars for Hayden! He Names Commies – is a job that keeps the con­tradictions overwhelming.

Loyn., “Variety”, 27 April 1983

Cast and Credits

Scen.: Hella Kothman. F.: Bernd Fiedler. M.: Manfred Blank. Int.: Sterling Hayden. Prod.: Wolf-Eckart Bühler per Bühler Films, Red Harvest Film. DCP. D.: 114’. Col.