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More Volker Schlöndorff Bios & Profiles


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Biography #2

Director VOLKER SCHLONDORFF's production of The Tin Drum became the first film by a German director to be awarded the Golden Palm (shared with Apocalypse Now) at the Cannes Film Festival. It also was the first German film to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film since 1927.

Born in Wiesbaden, Germany, Schlondorff and his family moved to Paris in 1956, where he studied political science and economics at the Sorbonne. He followed that with classes in direction at the prestigious film school, IDHEV.

His professional career began as an assistant to such famous directors as Jean-Pierre Melville, Alain Resnais and Louis Malle. In 1960, he made his first short film, Wen Kommert's, followed by TV documentaries about the conflicts in Algeria and Viet Nam.

Schlondorff returned to Germany in 1965 and directed his first feature, an adaptation of Robert Musil's novel, The Young Torless. For his first directorial effort, Schlondorff received the German Film Award and the 1966 Cannes Film Critics Prize.

He has since become known as a master of literary adaptations with films such as The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum, Circle of Deceit, Swann in Love, The Handmaid's Tale, and most recently, The Ogre, starring John Malkovich.

For television, he directed the critically acclaimed adaptation of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, starring Dustin Hoffman as well as the Hallmark Hall of Fame production, A Gathering of Old Men. Between the years 1974 and 1984, he also directed numerous operatic productions.

For the past five years, Schlondorff has spearheaded and presided over the $100 million renovation of Germany's Babelsberg Studio, the production facility where such classics as Metropolis and The Blue Angel were filmed.

updated 21-Aug-2002