DFT @ Home | Paris Calligrammes

(France/Germany/2020—directed by Ulrike Ottinger) 

A rich, kaleidoscopic torrent of archival audio and visuals, Paris Calligrammes is German filmmaker Ulrike Ottinger’s love letter to the city where she came of age, and her explorations of her own artistic growth, fueled by bookstores, jazz clubs and cafés. “Calligramme” is the term coined by Guillaume Apollinaire for his poems featuring stunning visual typography. Like a series of calligrammes, this film is divided into poetic segments covering the period from Ottinger’s arrival in Paris in 1962 to her return to Germany seven years later.

They include her time at a legendary bookstore, her embrace of French New Wave cinema via the Cinémathèque Française, and the cafés where personal artistic ferment bled into political action against the war in Algeria and to the protests of May 1968. She compellingly resurrects the old Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Latin Quarter, with their jazz clubs, and revisits encounters with Jewish exiles, Parisian philosophers, and the legacy of the colonial era.

Official Selection, Berlin, San Francisco, and DOC NYC film festivals. NOTE: When purchasing your ticket, you’ll have the option to choose between two soundtracks: English narration read by Jenny Agutter, or German narration read by Ulrike Ottinger with English subtitles. (131 minutes) 

“One of the great works of first-person cinema. Ottinger's personal and political masterwork. Extraordinary; a work of vital and energetic modernism.” —Richard Brody, The New Yorker 

“Enriching, stimulating; vital and contradictory. Captures the zeitgeist as experienced by a young woman eager to soak up the cultural riches around her, which she then distilled through her own sensibility to create paintings reflecting the era’s upheavals.”  —Jay Weissberg, Variety 

 

 

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