16.09.2023 | The aimless Cinema of MARTIN MÜLLER

Hommage | Martin Müller

Today, Martin Müller (*1947 at Pausa/Vogtland) unfortunately is a widely unknown figure of German cinema. Partly, this is probably due to his small oeuvre – he made just under ten short and feature films between 1967 and 1982 (furthermore, he worked numerous times as assistant director and did sound for films) –, but has also something to do with the usual reception of the Oberhausen-group and New German Film. Overshadowed by Kluge, Schlöndorff, Wenders, Fassbinder and Co. up until today, there exist some of the most interesting filmmakers of that time. What is true for Müller, holds also true for the so-called Munich Group, whose youngest member he was. Between 1964 and 1972, young filmmakers like Klaus Lemke, Rudolf Thome, Max Zhilmann, Eckardt Schmidt – and on the periphery May Spils, Werner Enke and Maran Gosov – made films that contrast from both a dignified cinema of the big studios as well as from a political and pedagogic impetus of the self-appointed innovators of German film. Their cinema should come along casually, having to do with their own life and feelings. A modest, often funny contemporary cinema that proudly carried its aimlessness and trendlessness before itself.


DE 1968, D: Martin Müller, A: Veith von Fürstenberg, Klaus Lemke, Sonja Lindorf, Werner Enke, 50’, german OV, digital

The opening titles successively list the names of the participants without functions, mixing film crew and personal idols: Martin Müller, Bob Dylan, Veith von Fürstenberg, Amon Düül II, Sonja Lindorf. This shared flat of Schwabing listens to a lot of music – and lives with it. 

They live without a thought for tomorrow, keep themselves afloat with minor roles (they have a standing for productions with long haired people), call one another from room to room when something is needed, plan a theatre play, whose text simply consists of a collage of ripped out pages from classics. In the end, all that remains from these intentions is the music part. Veith is “more successful” as he has shot a short film called ANATAHAN, ANATAHAN. In it, a slacker played by Werner Enke is roaming through the streets and absolutely refuses to pay for fruit and coffee. In his role of a German Hollywood director, the deceased outlaw-independent-auteur Klaus Lemke is impressed by this debut and promises Veith a career. As a young filmmaker who has made it across the pond with the alias of “Montogomery Hathaway”, he seizes on the Hollywood craze of the Munich Group with a wink. Desire, irony and the reality of everyday life merge in ANATAHAN, ANATAHAN. A forgotten masterpiece of nonconformist, West-German cinema beyond being a social problem film. 

Introducing films:


DE 1967, R: Martin Müller, A: Katja Borsche, Klaus Lemke, Marran Gosov, 10’, german OV, 35mm


DE 1968, R: Martin Müller, A: Uschi Obermaier, Christian Fiedler, 11’, german OV, 35mm


DE 1970, D: Martin Müller, A: Martin Müller, Max Zhilmann, Veith von Fürstenberg, 10’, german OV, 35mm

The mid-length main film will be complemented by three short films by Müller that were made temporarily close to ANATAHAN, ANATAHAN and that stand for his playful dealing with the small form: THE CAPITULATION (1967), THE TIN SOLDIER (1968), and OUR DOCTOR (1970). The rare 35mm copies – unicums! – are provided by Bernhard Marsch, filmmaker and curator as well as founding member of the Cologne Filmclub 813 which is legendary among cinephiles. Like hardly anyone else, Marsch knows his way around the Munich Group and West-German cinema of the 1960ies to the 1980ies beyond Daddy’s, Wenders’ and Schlöndorff’s cinema. He will get into conversation with Müller and you about his work and the time of its creation.

Sat 16. SeptLuru Kino in der Spinnerei
8 PMIn the presence of Martin Müller. In conversation with Bernhard Marsch (Filmclub 813 Cologne).
€ 6,5 (5,5 reduced)