Hans Jürgen Panitz, MATTHIAS FANCK

Germany / 2008 / 59'

Vertical walls, shivery highs, snow, ice and the firm desire to reach the peak. Extreme climbers try to surpass themselves, by surpassing nature. The adventure often ends in a tragedy. Thus many people die on the Mount Blanc. Even during the first climb to the Mount Cervino in 1865 four participants of the Swiss-English roped- party fell over 2,000 metres from the North wall. For more than one hundred years, climbers and mountaineers have taken cameras in their backpacks trying to film climbers and roped-parties as well as the beauty and charm of the mountain. For the German audience, mountain movies have been a well-known genre since the 1920s and 30s. The names of Luis Trenker and Leni Riefenstahl have always been linked with each other and movies like, Berge in Flammen and Das blaue Licht e Der Berg ruft are cinema cult-movies.
The mountain film production also continues in the new millennium and through an excellent reconstruction in this movie the two authors track and highlight all the prerogatives and rules set out by Arnold Fank and Luis Trenker for the classic mountaineering documentary film.


Hans Jürgen Panitz

Hans Jürgen Panitz was born at Ludwigshafen am Rhein. After completing his high school studies he worked at the Bayerischer Rundfunk until 1965, in the programme acquisition and international relationship departments. Since 1968 he has been producer, director and screenwriter for Omega Film and has also been in charge of the acquisition and sale of movies and television rights. In 1970, he met Luis Trenker. From then until the death of the great German director he devoted himself to making his work known through both cinema and television. He wrote a biography of Trenker with Notteboh titled Fast ein Jahrhundert. In 1989, in Trento, he presented a film about Arnold Fanck’s life, the pioneer of the mountain cinema, titled Wer war Arnold Fanck. He also participated at the TrentoFilmfestival in 1996 with Luis Trenker Project: I am a movieman and in 1999 with the movies Matterhorn - Das ist der Gipfel and In Eis und Schnee.


Matthias Fanck was born in Berlin, in 1951. He lives and works in Oberfranken. Grandson of the great director Arnold Franck, he studied Graphic Design at the Graphic and Advertising Academy of Berlin, graduating as a graphic designer. Since 1978 he has been a freelancer working on the preservation of Arnold Fanck’s movies, as well as a graphic designer and consultant for exhibitions and museums. He promotes retrospectives, exhibitions, publications and reports concerning the work of his famous grandfather.

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