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Born: Wiesbaden, Germany, 31 March 1939.

Volker Schlöndorff (JPG, 14 KB)

German director, whose debut film was Der junge Törless / Young Törless (1966), the first international success of the Young German Cinema. In 1969 he founded (with Peter Fleischmann) the Munich-based production company Bioskop-Film, which since 1974 has produced all his films. Schlöndorff's specialty became literary adaptations, and his film based on a novella by Heinrich Böll, Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum / The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum (1975, co-directed by Schlöndorff's wife Margarethe von Trotta), caught well the mood of latent hysteria in the years of left extremism and conservative witch-hunts. Schlöndorff also participated in topical collaborative projects, such as Deutschland im Herbst / Germany in Autumn (1978). Since winning an Oscar for the Günter Grass adaptation Die Blechtrommel / The Tin Drum (1979), Schlöndorff has preferred to work with large budgets and international stars in Europe and the US, directing films such as Swann in Love / Un amour de Swann (1984, France/UK) with Jeremy Irons, Ornella Muti and Alain Delon, Death of a Salesman (1985, US) with Dustin Hoffman and John Malkovich, and Homo Faber / The Voyager (1991) with Sam Shepard.

— Thomas Elsaesser / Sabine Gottgetreu, Encyclopedia of European Cinema

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