Flamboyant, ingenious "chronicler of the German soul" who has made some of the most formally arresting films of the New German Cinema. Syberberg made numerous shorts and TV documentaries before direct...
Made nearly 200 documentary shorts for Bavarian TV
Directed first feature film, "Scarabea"
Formed production company
Ran away to West Germany at age 17
Moved to West Germany
Filmed five feature-length "character portraits"; subjects included actor-director Fritz Kortner (1965) and actress Romy Schneider
Met Bertolt Brecht at age 16 and secured permission to film rehearsals of Berliner Ensemble (resulting 8mm sound film later blown up to 35mm and relased in 1970 as "After My Last Move")
Lived in East Germany until early 1950s
Flamboyant, ingenious "chronicler of the German soul" who has made some of the most formally arresting films of the New German Cinema. Syberberg made numerous shorts and TV documentaries before directing his first narrative features, "Scarabea" (1968) and "San Domingo" (1970). Both films foreshadow, to a limited extent, the formal experimentation of his later, better known works, "Ludwig--Requiem for a Virgin King" (1972) and the seven-hour "Hitler--A Film from Germany" (1977). Low-budget, studio-bound features employing Brechtian theatrics, backdrops and rear-screen projection, these films juggle myth, history and psychology to evoke, respectively, the mad King of Bavaria and the mad Fuhrer from Austria. In 1982 Syberberg directed a much-praised, though highly idiosyncratic adaptation of Richard Wagner's "Parsifal".
Constantly critical of his native film industry, Syberberg is regarded as a renegade in German film circles and has gained most of his critical (and financial) support from abroad, particularly from France.