Plenert, Thomas

Biography:

Thomas Plenert was born in Nauen, East Germany, on February 1, 1951. From 1972 to 1976, he studied cinematography at the Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen (HFF, now: Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad Wolf) in Potsdam-Babelsberg and at the Film Academy in Łódź, Poland.

 

At the HFF he met Jörg Foth, who was studying directing, and they started a collaboration that lasted throughout their careers. Among other student films, Plenert filmed Foth’s short documentary Blumenland. When director Jürgen Böttcher saw this film, he invited Plenert to work with him on his upcoming documentary, Im Lohmgrund. Plenert and Böttcher have worked together on ten films since 1976, including internationally recognized masterpieces such as In Georgien, Rangierer and Die Mauer.

 

In East Germany, Plenert shot both documentary and feature films and worked in both television and cinema. His feature film debut—shown at the 1982 Venice International Film Festival—was Die Beunruhigung, by director Lothar Warneke. Critics praised Plenert’s poetic and intense black-and-white images, as well as the authenticity of his filming of original locations. The Warneke-Plenert team also worked on the love story Eine sonderbare Liebe and on the literary adaption of Omar Saavedra Santis’ novel Blonder Tango, a story about a Chilean who feels isolated in East German exile.

 

Plenert became the regular cameraman for several other important German directors as well, including Lutz Dammbeck (Das Netz, Zeit der Götter) and Helke Misselwitz (Winter Adé, Herzprung and Engelchen). Since 1987, Plenert has photographed almost all of Volker Koepp’s documentaries, including the award-winning films Holunderblüte (Grand Prix at the 2008 Cinéma du Rèel) and Herr Zwilling und Frau Zuckermann (nominated for the 1999 European Film Award); in 1996, Plenert received the German Film Award in Gold for Best Cinematographer for Koepp’s Kalte Heimat.

 

More recently, Plenert has been the director of photography for many feature film directors, including Peter Kahane and Bernd Böhlich. He also filmed the international co-production Nuit de chien, Werner Schroeter’s last film, a dark and surreal tale of a man determined to rescue a lost lover from violence.

 

Thomas Plenert, who lives in Berlin, is one of the most talented and accomplished living cinematographers in Germany.

 

Awards:

2008 DEFA Foundation Award for the Fostering of German Film Art
1996 German Film Award in Gold for Cinematography, Kalte Heimat

 

Filmography:

2015 Als wir die Zukunft waren (When We Were the Future, episode 4, doc.) 
2013 Family Business (doc.)
2015 In Samartien (In Samartia, doc.)
2012 Livland (Livonia, TV, doc.)
2011 Lagos – Notizen einer Stadt (Lagos–Notes on a City, doc.)
2010 Auf Doktor komm raus (No Matter What, TV)
2009 Berlin-Stettin (doc.)
2009

Meine schöne Nachbarin
(My Beautiful Neighbor)

2009 Sehnsucht Berlin (City Named Desire, doc., TV)
2009 24 h Berlin – Ein Tag im Leben (24 Hours Berlin, TV, doc.)
2008 Nuit de chien (This Night)
2008 Memelland (Memel Territory, doc.)
2007 Holunderblüte (Elder Blossom, doc.)
2007 Du bist nicht allein (You Are Not Alone)
2006 Eine Liebe in Königsberg (A Love in Königsberg, TV)
2005 Schattenland – Reise nach Masuren (Shadowland–Trip to Masuria, doc.)
2005

Pommerland (The Land of Pomerania, doc.)

2004 Dieses Jahr in Czernowitz (This Year in Czernowitz, doc.)
2004

Das Netz (The Net, doc.)

2002

Uckermark (doc.)

2001

Fremde Oder (Strange River Oder, doc.)

2001

Kuhrische Nehrung (Courland Spit, doc.)

2001 Konzert im Freien (A Place in Berlin, doc.)
2000 Zurück auf los! (Return to Go!)
1999

Herr Zwilling und Frau Zuckermann (Herr Zwilling and Frau Zuckermann, doc.)

1999-2001

Die Kommissarin (Lady Cop, TV series)

1998-2003

Im Names des Gesetzes (In the Name of the Law, TV series)

1998 Das Meisterspiel (The Master Game, doc.) 
1996 Engelchen (Little Angel)
1996

Meine Liebe, deine Liebe (My Love, Your Love, doc.)

1995

Dürers Erben (Dürer’s Successors, doc.)  

1995 Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas Church, TV)
1994 Kalte Heimat (Cold Homeland, doc.)
1993-2011 Polizeiruf 110 (Police Call 110, TV series)
1993 Die Wismut (The Wismut, doc.)
1993 Zeit der Götter. Der Bildhauer Arno Breker (Time of the Gods: The Sculptor Arno Breker, doc.)
1992 Herzsprung
1992 Sammelsurium. Ein ostelbischer Kulturfilm (Hodgepodge: An East Elbian Culture Film, doc.)
1991 Märkische Gesellschaft mbH (Mark Brandenburg Company, doc.)
1990 Verriegelte Zeit (Locked-Up Time, doc.)
1990 Letztes aus der DaDaeR (Latest from the Da-Da-R)
1990 Die Mauer (The Wall, doc.)
1990 La Villette (doc.)
1990 Sperrmüll (Bulky Trash, 
doc.)
1990

Märkische Heide, märkischer Sand 
(Mark Brandenburg Heath, Mark Brandenburg Sand, doc.)

1989 Wer fürchtet sich vorm schwarzen Mann (Who’s Afraid of the Bogeyman, doc.)
1989 Ach du jeh – Ein Hans Dampf und Wurst Dokument (Oh Dear! A Jack-of-All-Trades Document, doc.)
1989 Tuba wa duo (short)
1989 Märkische Ziegel (Mark Brandenburg Brick, doc.)
1988 Winter Adé (Winter Adé, doc.)
1987 In Georgien 
(In Georgia, doc.)
1987 Feuerland (Land of Fire,doc.)
1987 Rock 'n' Roll (doc.)
1986 Blonder Tango (Blond Tango)
1984 Kurzer Besuch bei Hermann Glöckner 
(Hermann Glöckner: A Brief Visit, doc.)
1984 Eine sonderbare Liebe 
(A Strange Love)
1984 Rangierer (Shunters, doc.)
1983 Sylvia (doc.)
1983 Das Eismeer ruft (The Arctic Sea Calls, doc.)
1981 Hommage à La Sarraz (Homage to La Sarraz)
1981 Die Beunruhigung 
(Apprehension)
1981

Verwandlungen: Venus
nach
 
Giorgione, Potters
Stier, Frau am Klavichord

(Transformations: Venus
by Giorgione, Potter’s Bull,
Woman at the Clavichord
)

1977 Im Lohmgrund (In the Lohm Valley, doc.)
1975 Blumenland (Land of Flowers, doc.)

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