10.05. ‐ 15.05.2022

Fritz Lang

Gordian Maugg

_“It's there all the time, driving me out to wander the streets, following me, silently, but I can feel it there. It's me, pursuing myself!”_ Berlin in 1930: After numerous silent movie hits, *Fritz Lang* wants to set new standards with his first sound film. When he reads about a series of murders in Dusseldorf the appropriate subject matter seems to be found. The deeper he immerges into the events, however, the stronger grow the daemons of his own past. The lines of perception become blurred and when the murderer turns out to be an ordinary man next door the question about the nature of evil eventually drives Lang to his own emotional abyss. A perfidious murderer who stirs up hysteria, whistles Grieg’s famous melody of the Mountain King, and kills because he cannot help it – since its premiere in 1931 *Fritz Lang’s* *M* ranks among the masterpieces of cinema. On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of this influential moviemaker’s death director *Gordian Maugg* tells the fascinating origin story of this virtuosic-ingenious crime film in his biopic sponsored by the *Hessische Filmförderung (Hessian film subsidy)*. Shot in black-and-white and studded with numerous original scenes, the real template becomes the character Hans Beckert, which turned *Peter Lorre* into a star. *Music:* Tobias Wagner

_“My film M is a documentary about the times in Germany then. I have talked to two or three serial killers. I have seen dreadful things and in my opinion I have aptly described the murderer with the words: It's there all the time, driving me out to wander the streets, following me, silently, but I can feel it there. It's me, pursuing myself!”_ (Fritz Lang in an interview with Peter Bogdanovich, 1967) The character Hans Beckert in *M* is based upon several murder series, which made headlines at the beginning of the 20th century, but mainly upon the case of the serial killer Peter Kürten, who has been given the title “the vampire of Dusseldorf.” His extremely brutal method, the hysteria of the population and also the international media attention made this series of murders one of the most noted criminal cases of the Weimar Republic. Up to the present day it provides the subject matter for theater, music, and literature.

02. April 2016

20:00 h, Kino des DFF - Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum

More information Lichter FilmfestLichter Filmfest

Regie Gordian Maugg
Year D 2015
Category Extra Regional
Duration 104 min
Language German OV
Produktion Nicole Ringhut
Cast Heino Ferch, Thomas Thieme, Samuel Finzi, Johanna Gastdorf, Michael Mendel and others
Camera Lutz Reitemeier, Moritz Anton
Script Gordian Maugg, Alexander Häusser
Schnitt Florentine Bruck, Olivia Retzer

Presented by:

Out of Competition