Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss (1982)

Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss (1982)

GENRESDrama
LANGGerman,English
ACTOR
Rosel ZechHilmar ThateCornelia FroboessAnnemarie Düringer
DIRECTOR
Rainer Werner Fassbinder

SYNOPSICS

Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss (1982) is a German,English movie. Rainer Werner Fassbinder has directed this movie. Rosel Zech,Hilmar Thate,Cornelia Froboess,Annemarie Düringer are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1982. Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss (1982) is considered one of the best Drama movie in India and around the world.

Munich, 1955: A sports journalist meets Veronika Voss, an UFA actress who supposedly had an affair with Goebbels. Now declining, Voss is kept by her "kind" doctor, Dr. Katz, supplying her house, food, clean clothes and her favourite: morphine. Voss, trying to come back towards the cinema, cannot perform an absurdly simple scene, but it attracts the attention of the journalist, who suspects that something's very wrong regarding her doctor.

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Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss (1982) Reviews

  • Melancholic, Bitter and Depressive Reality of an Era

    claudio_carvalho2007-12-09

    In the 50's, in a rainy night in Germany, the sports reporter Robert Krohn (Hilmar Thate) offers his umbrella to the former successful UFA actress Veronika Voss (Rosel Zech) but he does not recognizes her. Later she calls him inviting for a drink, and he finds an unstable and decadent actress living in her past success. In a mixed sensation of love, empathy and curiosity, Robert has an affair with Veronika, and discloses a dangerous gang leaded by Dr. Marianne Katz (Annemarie Düringer) that addicts wealthy patients in morphine to get their fortune when they die. "Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss" is a melancholic, bitter and depressive tale based on the reality of an era, and the association with "Sunset Boulevard" is immediate. The story is based on the last years of the German actress Sybille Schmitz (1909-1955), who died due to an overdose of sleeping pills. The performance of Rosel Zech is impressive, showing the glamour of a former star in the Nazi period and the depression of an addicted woman in the 50's. Hilmar Thate is also perfect in the role of a simple innocent man that faces a greedy world of pain and death. The magnificent cinematography in black and white, using perfectly light and shadows, is homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood. My vote is eight. Title (Brazil): "O Desespero de Veronika Voss" ("The Despair of Veronika Voss")

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  • Memories are made of this

    dkbs2005-05-25

    Like many other Fassbinder films "Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss" tells about a decline and is very depressing. It is a visually stunning film that shows how much Fassbinder admired the classical Hollywood cinema and especially the films of Douglas Sirk. Like the films of his idol this film is stylish and artificial to an extreme extent which creates quite a distance between itself and the audience. Probably an even greater distance, since the style and the artificiality are used more consciously here, even as a instrument of alienation. So it is more fascinating than touching or even moving and might leave one even cold. Nevertheless the story is intriguing and it really tells something about the post war society in West Germany, so the film is interesting and even fascinating to watch. The scene where Rosel Zech as Veronika sings "Memories Are Made Of This" is very haunting, a gem.

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  • Third film in Fassbinder's trilogy

    rosscinema2003-11-18

    This is the third and last film in the trilogy that included "Marriage of Maria Braun" and "Lola". This also turned out to be one of the last films Rainer Werner Fassbinder made before his sudden suicide in 1982. Story takes place in 1955 where a former German movie star named Veronika Voss (Rosel Zech) is now a morphine addict and she gets her shots from a doctor who specializes in hooking wealthy clients on morphine to the point where they sign over their homes and belongings to pay for their shots. Veronika use to be a star in the 40's for the state run UFA studios that made Nazi approved dramas. Now ten years after the war and unable to further her acting career Veronika is dependent on Dr. Marianne Katz who lets her stay in a backroom of her office. One rainy night Veronika runs into Robert Krohn (Hilmar Thate) who is a simple sportswriter for a newspaper and he offers her his umbrella. She is taken in by his kindness and the next day she calls him for drinks. Robert lives with his girlfriend Henriette (Cornelia Froboess) and she is curious about what will happen between them. Robert gets involved with Veronika and learns of her addiction and he seems to think that he can help her. He meets her ex-husband Max Rehbein (Armin Mueller-Stahl) and he warns him that there is nothing he can do. Robert learns of Dr. Katz and what she has been doing but he cannot prove to the authorities of her intent. This film was shot in black and white and its Fassbinder's homage to old films like "Sunset Boulevard" but the black and white cinematography actually resembles the look of the films that the UFA Studios made in the 30's and 40's. The film for the most part is very dark looking except for the scenes in the office of Dr. Katz. All the decor in this place is very shiny and white and I think Fassbinder wanted this area to appear dreamlike or heavenly and its in stark contrast to the very dark tone of the outside world. The character Robert wants to try and save Veronika but its to no avail and Fassbinder wanted him to symbolize how people wanted to change and save others through their own selfish reasons. Not that they necessarily want to do harm but for their own sake of humanity. Fassbinder was a die hard cynic and he portrays Roberts efforts to save Veronika and expose Dr. Katz as pathetic and futile. This simple everyman was in way over his head and its a jab by Fassbinder to the common man who tries to stand up to corruption. The story is loosely based on a real German actress named Sybille Schmitz. This film is not in the same league as "Marriage of Maria Braun" and even though Zech is pretty good she doesn't give the commanding performance that Hanna Schygulla did. This is still a very interesting film to watch and all three films in this trilogy should be viewed. Fassbinder has once again directed a visually striking film and gives the viewer another look at a character that has sold their soul in the war.

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  • Fassbinder's bleakly bitter examination of guilt, greed and exploitation

    ThreeSadTigers2008-03-23

    Veronika Voss (1982) was the final part of director Rainer Werner Fassbinder's celebrated trilogy of films that looked specifically at the period following the end of the Second World War, and in particular, the socio-political and economic re-birth of Germany following the Wirtschaftswunder. All three films in the trilogy look at these situations through the eyes of a strong-willed, arrogant and determined female-protagonist who strives against all odds to achieve the kind of lifestyle that she has always desired, but, once she does, finds herself still feeling empty and lacking in spirit. The characters in these films come to represent Fassbinder's own feelings about the Germany of this particular period, whilst simultaneously acting as an allegorical portrayal and deeper interpretation of the qualities and characteristics of the country itself. The first film in this loose, thematic trilogy, The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979), looked at the ideas of determination and the triumph of will that would go towards rebuilding Germany from the ashes of the Second World War through the eyes of resolute young woman willing to push her own emotional stability to breaking point in order to secure a better future for her and her incarcerated husband. The second film, Lola (1981), which took its inspiration from Josef von Sternberg's The Blue Angel (1930), looked at how that same sense of opportunism, greed and determination can be used for more selfish reasons, sowing the seeds of tragedy and eventual air of blind exploitation that will come full circle here. Veronika Voss exists in very much the same cinematic universe as the two other films that would come to form the backbone of what would eventually become known "the BRD trilogy"; though Fassbinder himself had often talked of plans to make more films in a similar vein - analysing post-war German history through to the present day - but was unable to continue the theme due to his untimely death in June of 1982. It would have been interesting to see where Fassbinder would have taken these continuing themes following Veronika Voss, which ends on a perfect note of heartbreaking cynicism, very much in tune with the Germany, and indeed, the world itself at the end of the 1970's; representing in a sense the same emotional landscape of cold desperation and political confusion presented in his more personal, contemporary-set films of the same era, such as In a Year of 13 Moons (1978) and The Third Generation (1979). Like those films, Veronika Voss continues Fassbinder's reputation as probably the greatest exploitation filmmaker who ever lived, in the sense of the crushing despair and continual disappointment that befalls his various characters whenever they put their trust in the hands of others. This can be seen as far back as the masterful Fox and his Friends (1975) as well as the underrated Mother Kusters' Trip to Heaven (1976), with Veronika Voss continuing the themes of those particular films, but with the greater sense of visual experimentation and bold use of mise-en-scene that would be found in his last few films following The Marriage of Maria Braun. Whereas that film employed a much grittier use of production design and almost unglamorous use of cinematography - the complete antithesis to the subsequent Lola and its gorgeous kaleidoscope of luminous colours and expressive use of shadow - Veronika Voss is presented in cold, stark, gorgeously textured black and white. The use of photography combined with the costume and production design not only give us a definite feel for the period in which the film is set, but also a great understanding of the moods of the characters and the atmosphere of the world in which they inhabit. It also allows Fassbinder and his cinematographer Xaver Schwarzenberger to draw parallels, not only to the 40's and 50's set Hollywood melodramas that have seemingly inspired the plot and use of character - I'm thinking specifically of references to Sunset Blvd (1950) - but also capturing the very iconic style of the early, pre-Second World War cinema of the UFA film studios, which plays an important part in Veronika's spiral into the pits of despair. Fassbinder incorporates other elements such as a romantic subplot and traces of a perhaps volatile love triangle with more elaborate references to detective fiction, cinema and the blurring of the past with the present. These stylistic devices help to keep the film moving with a brisk enough pace, while the continual use of confinement and claustrophobic camera angles that exaggerate how close, yet similarly disconnected the characters are from one another, help to convey the more hopeless and alienated aspects of Veronika's internal state-of-mind. Without question, this is one of Fassbinder's most interesting films; a bleak and bitter minor masterpiece that continues the themes and ideas behind The Marriage of Maria Braun and Lola, whilst also bringing to a close, in hindsight, a number of reoccurring themes familiar to anyone with a fondness for or interest in Fassbinder's life and work. Veronika Voss is intelligent and deeply emotional film-making rife with ideas that are still relevant, both socially and historically; such as the aforementioned allusions to the UFA film studios as well as Veronika's hinted affair with Joseph Goebbels and the broader, more controversial historical implications suggested therein. As with the majority of the Fassbinder's work, Veronika Voss is intense, evocative and unbelievably well acted - particularly by Rosel Zech, Himar Thate and Annemarie Düringer - though it is perhaps worth mentioning that the bleak arch of the narrative combined with the almost despairing allusions to the again aforementioned Sunset Blvd (and films of that ilk) may be a little too formidable or uninviting for some. Although Fassbinder would go on to produce one more film before his death, the dizzying and surreal adaptation of Genet's Querelle (1982), Veronika Voss - along with the other two films in the BRD trilogy - is a fitting testament to his enormous talent and under-appreciated genius.

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  • Haunting and beautiful period piece

    tomgillespie20022011-10-06

    This sumptuous black and white period piece, tells the story of a once famous film star, Veronika Voss (Rosel Zech). After a chance encounter on a bus with Robert Krohn (Hilmar Thate), there lives are entwined, with Krohn finding himself trapped in a cat-and-mouse search for Voss's sanity, her past lives, and the many sycophants and gold diggers in 1950's Germany. Voss, now struggling to find work after a highly successful period, particularly in the 1940's, is addicted to drugs and alcohol and has paranoid delusions when out on the street; Krohn is pulled into this as he did not recognise who she was, and she vaguely sees him as protection. One of the last of Fassbinder's films - he died of an overdose (the official conclusion was suicide) in 1982 - which was also the last of a trilogy focusing on Germany's economic boom in the 1950's (the others being The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979) and Lola (1981)), the film also reflects some of the themes that the New German Cinema at the time. It was a time that Germany was reflective of World War 2, and the trauma that prevailed in a country torn between guilt and a resurgence of decadence and wealth as in the 1920's Weimar Republic. It is stated in the film that Voss's best period was during this period, and that she had been the star of Nazi Germany. After the fall of Nazi domination, she was cast aside. Like Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard (1950), Veronika Voss highlights an industry that can easily create monsters, and also devastate lives. But unlike Wilder's subtle version of lost fame, Fassbinder shows the devastating effects of drug addiction, and the underbelly of society that is encountered in this process. Historically though, this is deeper and a hell of a lot more emotionally charged and interesting than Sunset. After all, this is not a Hollywood story, but is a post-World War 2 story of judgement, and loss after such a integrally debasing event in human history. How do you continue after working under the despotic power of the Nazi party? The elements of Nazi Germany are still in process, in the form of Veronika's control. The film is said to be based upon the real-life German film actress, Sybille Schmitz, who died of an overdose in 1955 at the tender age of 45. The film shows shows that the shadow of the war had a lasting effect on the German nation, that would take decades to come to terms with. This is film making par excellence. Haunting, beautiful, with a climax that is inevitable, shocking, but very satisfactory. Rosel Zech's performance is pitch perfect, her face in a constant state of anguish. www.the-wrath-of-blog.blogspot.com

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