The 2-disc DVD set presents new restored versions of two rare classics by Werner Schroeter: Willow Springs was shot in a village in the Moravi desert and describes a house run by three man-eaters. In Tag der Idioten a woman experiences psychic disintegration and ends up in a mental institution. Rare short films by and about Werner Schroeter as well as stills from the shooting of Tag der Idioten are added as bonus features.
About Willow Springs
This is the only film which Werner Schroeter has shot in the United States. The scene is a lonely, dilapidated house with a bar on the edge of the Mojave desert; the house, like the place in which it is located, is called "Willow Springs". The three Amazons sit in their lair, waiting for men to rob, love, and kill. But in this "feminist" counter-world, "male" power structures continue to function: the "master thinker" and priestess Magdalena (Montezuma) dominates the ethereal Christine (Kaufmann), who, in love with herself, is the sterile embodiment of an art grown unsensual. At the very bottom of the hierarchy is Ila (von Hasberg), the maid who says next to nothing. She not only finds sexual contact with the stranger Michael (O'Daniels), but also love. The two contrive to flee, but the murderous Magdalena kills them. "Art" also kills herself, before she goes out into the desert as the Black Angel, the title of Schroeter's next film, which was made in Mexico in 1973/74.
About Tag der Idioten
Once Schroeter has presented this ensemble of Women under influence, to use the title of a film by John Cassavetes, in a theater-laboratory fashion, he brings the totally confined characters together polyphonically in the style of an operatic ensemble. In the washroom, amidst running water and steam, he presents in blue-filtered light, which pervades the film, a grotesque witches' coven, a wild Witches' Sabbath, with the voices of suffering and torment, of suppressed desires intertwining with the women's body language, gestures, and facial expression: a cinematographic masterpiece. Day of the Idiots, a fantasy on the torment and joy of yearning, on insanity and reality, transgression and identity of the self ranks among the most mysterious, the most perplexing of Werner Schroeter's narrative films.
Willow Springs - West Germany 1973 - Directed, written and photographed by: Werner Schroeter - Cast: Magdalena Montezuma, Christine Kaufmann, Ila von Hasperg, Michael O'Daniels - Produced by: Werner Schroeter Filmproduktion, Munich - Premiere: April 3, 1973 (ZDF)
Tag der Idioten - West Germany 1981 - Directed by: Werner Schroeter - Written by: Dana Horáková, Werner Schroeter - Cinematography by: Ivan Slapeta - Music by: Peer Raben - Cast: Carole Bouquet, Ida di Benedetto, Ingrid Caven, Christine Kaufmann, Tamara Kafka, Hermann Killmeyer, Magdalena Montezuma, Marie-Luise Marjan, Mostefa Djardam, Carola Regnier - Produced by: OKO-Film Karel Dirka, Munich - Premiere: Oktober 31, 1981 (Internationale Hofer Filmtage)
Dietrich Kuhlbrodt im Gespräch mit Werner Schroeter - Germany 2010 - Edited by: Stefan Drößler, Christian Ketels - With Werner Schroeter, Dietrich Kuhlbrodt - Premiere: May 24, 2012 (Museum of Modern Art, New York)
Wolf Wondratschek: Laudatio auf Werner Schroeter - Germany 2011 - Edited by: Stefan Drössler, Christian Ketels - With Wolf Wondratschek, Werner Schroeter, Monika Keppler - Premiere: May 24, 2012 (Museum of Modern Art, New York)
Das letzte Jahr: Begegnung mit Werner Schröter - Germany 2009 - Directed, written, photographed, edited, and produced by: Klaus Wyborny - With Klaus Wyborny, Werner Schroeter - Premiere: Oktober 29, 2009, (Viennale)
DVD features (2-disc DVD)
- Willow Springs 1973, 78'
- Dietrich Kuhlbrodt im Gespräch mit Werner Schroeter 2010, 8'
- Wolf Wondratschek: Laudatio auf Werner Schroeter 2011, 20'
- Begegnung mit Werner Schröter 2009, 10'
- Trilingual booklet with texts by Werner Schroeter, Wolfram Schütte and Carole Bouquet
- Tag der Idioten 1981, 106'
- Aggression 1968, 22'
- Fotos from the shooting of Tag der Idioten by Digne M. Markovicz
Edited by: Filmmuseum München and Goethe-Institut Munich
DVD authoring: Tobias Dressel
DVD supervision: Stefan Drössler
First edition January 2014, Second edition July 2014