Filmmaker's Series


This series was made possible by a wide range of partners. At the University of Massachuetts Amherst: the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, the Fine Arts Center’s “Solos & Duos” concert series, the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies and the program in German and Scandinavian Studies. In the Five Colleges: the Smith College department of German Studies; Amherst College Department of German; Five College Faculty Seminar in German Studies. In Berlin: the DEFA-Stiftung, Icestorm Entertainment, Progress Film-Verleih, and Ö Filmproduktion.

Film + Art + Jazz = Jürgen Böttcher / Strawalde

Premiere 2011
University of Massachusetts Amherst


"For me, the only good painting is one that includes a secret." —Strawalde


The series Film + Art + Jazz = Jürgen Böttcher / Strawalde honors the avant-garde German filmmaker and artist Jürgen Böttcher. A wide variety of events celebrated Böttcher’s 80th birthday in fall 2011. In addition to multiple screenings of Böttcher's films, they included: a lecture by British film scholar Sean Allan; the documentary La Villette (featuring Böttcher) presented by its director, Gerd Kroske; a digital exhibit by video artist Lukas Böttcher; and concerts by the jazz greats Günter "Baby" Sommer and Wadada Leo Smith. The visiting artists also met and worked with students in the Five Colleges.


Internationally known for more than 40 titles, Böttcher has turned the secrets of daily life into painterly films that are known for their striking visual style and remarkable sensitivity. His aesthetically provocative works have earned him cult status among cinéastes and have been shown at many international venues, including at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. This series features ten of his films dealing with art, jazz and Berlin.


As a painter working under the name Strawalde, Böttcher is also one of Germany’s most important contemporary artists, whose work has influenced many successful younger artists, including in the underground arts scene in former East Germany. His paintings belong to important art collections, including in the National Gallery in Berlin, the Albertina in Vienna, Boston Public Library, Museum Ludwig in Cologne and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. 


Watch a short film on Jürgen Böttcher, interviewed by Günter Gaus.

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