Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wild West at the Düsseldorf Film Museum

Düsseldorf (RP). An exhibition on the myth of the Wild West in Germany can be seen from today in the old town of Düsseldorf. The trip begins and ends with the first settlers in modern computer games. Winnetou and Old Shatterhand are naturally there.

Freedom, success and adventure, friendship and bandits - that's the Wild West. But why does the myth of the American West to cowboys and Indians in Germany is so successful? The exhibition "The Treasure of Silver Lake - Myth of the American West in Germany," traces the development of the Wild West in the perception of the Germans. It also goes to movies, but the organizers Bernd Desinger, director of the Film Museum, and Matthias Knop, curator of the exhibition, a cross-media show have planned. "We want to retrace the footsteps of the film," says Knop.

In the early German immigrants were painted pictures of the Wild West. But they were still inspired by the landscape paintings of the 18th European or 19 Century and were therefore often set a romanticized idyll. "If one compares it with movies that were shot later," says Knop, "we see an incredible resemblance."

For example, in the adventures of the Indian chief Winnetou and his friend Old Shatterhand, a German-born trapper. The movie "The Treasure of the Silver Lake" was filmed in 1962 in the former Yugoslavia and is based on the stories of Karl May, who lived from 1842 to 1912. The books were successful throughout the world, just as the movies. But they were not always implemented realistically. "Winnetou was Apache, and the clothes were much too thick, which he wore in the movie," said Gojko Mitic, who was next to one of the most famous Pierre Brice Indian Actor. Mitic played in three films together with Brice. His breakthrough came in 1965 when he a bigger role in the movie "Under vultures" occupied. He then worked for the East German DEFA and turned more "Indian films".

In contrast to American films, where it goes to the cowboy who discovers the country and is harnessing it in the German films rather about the role of the Indians. "At that time, the Cold War, the East wanted to show that the Americans have done something wrong," says Mitic. "That was a genocide. Pierre and I have always represented the Indians." The German-born immigrants have taken in reality, the mediator knows Desinger.

The exhibition leads up to the present generation of Western: Recent productions such as "True Grit" to attack the motives of the past and continue to be very successful - especially in Germany. "Unlike the Americans," says Desinger, "We hung our German weapons never to quit." Because this country has always been in Western fashion. Also, it had not always deadly serious to go: Back in 1939, Marlene Dietrich played in the Western comedy "Destry Rides Again". More than 60 years on, Michael "Bully" Herbig in "Der Schuh des Manitu" as Winnetouch front of the camera. The parody of the Karl May movies of the 1960s was one of the most successful German movies after the Second World War.

The exhibition of the Film Museum, there are not only the history of the Wild West to look at the screen. The reality of what the Wild West means, is mediated: Three big guns hang in a glass case. The smallest on top, the bottom is the greatest. Some one - rangy - Visitors may be awesome at this sight: The weapons seem too heavy that you could lift it.

Never experienced the visitors not only the fiction of the Wild West as it was portrayed in the films, but also gets an insight into the reality. There are, for example, an information board about the coyote, the prairie dog. With little text and many pictures and posters, the exhibition takes in the past, also of Buffalo Bill's Western Show, but brings one right back into the here and now, where there are computer games for the Wild West. The myth lives on.

Treasure of Silver LakeThe exhibition runs until 9th October - at the Film Museum, 4 School Street, telephone 899-3768 0211.

Opening times Tuesday to Sunday, 11-17 Clock, Wednesday to 21 clock. The entrance fee is three euros, reduced 1.50 euros.

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