04 February 2013

Graphic Novels! evening, this Sat. 9th Feb, Projektor, Hamburg.

Filmmaker, graphic novelist & storyteller Bernard Caleo

This Saturday, 9th Feb, at 8 pm, is your chance to experience an evening devoted to graphic novels, at a film & discussion evening I'm hosting. The venue? - The Projektor, Sternstr. 4, on the first floor, directly above Cohen + Dobernigg book shop. We'll be showing the documentary film "Graphic Novels! Melbourne!" on a big screen, but before that there's a panel discussion with the filmmakers Bernard Caleo & Dan Hayward, & with satirist, children's book writer / illustrator & poet, Andreas Greve. Entrance for whole evening - discussion + film - costs € 10. Hope to see you there!

Karl Kraus bio-pic set to smash Arendt flick

        In one of the most unlikely cinema stories of the new year, we can exclusively reveal that leading Holywood studios are lining up to scoop the rights for a bio-pic about the life of the early 20th century German intellectual, Karl Kraus. With movie-theatre screens still warm with the release of the Hannah Arendt movie, Holywood bosses, dealing over their decafs, have been saying things like, ''If not now, when?” and ''What is to be done?”, the thought that in so doing they may be quoting Lenin nibbling only at the corners of their minds.
        Karl f *** ing who? I got onto reading Kraus through a sixteen year old series of connected accidents, which I now feel grateful for and flattered by, leading as they did to the Santa Barbara agent phoning me up, asking me if I thought the slim, regional, small-press and German language Kraus biography could work converted for world-wide cinema release. The first accident: Alison, who my sister shares a house with in Oxford, subscribes to the LRB & leaves it in the Oxford loo, where I find it during my visits from ’97 onwards, & get hooked on it. The second accident, also from 97: I fall in love with & pledge allegiance to the woman I’m now married to; she’s German. Over a geologically slow time period  I learn to read enough German to be bothered to confront the middle-class middle-brow German literature that her generation carry with them from their parents: Stefan Zweig, Hesse, Günter Grass (always there on the shelf: do find me someone who’s reading him in bed), a few woman poets like Ingeborg Bachmann, Nelly Sachs & Rose Ausländer thrown in. Before we grew older, happier, wiser, we tried to get each other to read stuff that was important to us, so she tried to get me to read Stefan Zweig. A pressure which I resisted, apart from one lapse on a fearful winter night in 2004, before the morning on which I was due to teach the whole history of the colonisation of South America to a class of badly-educated, undisciplined twelve year olds. (Part of my training in flagellation / Steiner-Waldorf teaching). Genuinely not knowing how to whip the appropriate worksheets out of the net in those days, I thought I’d whip through Zweig’s historical novel about Magellan, the south American explorer, instead: perfect teaching prep. I could still only read German at snail speed in 2004, the heart banging away like the clappers all the while with the thoughts of the kids the next day.