Friedrich Kappeler - Films 1972 – 2007

A deep empathy for his protagonists, a sense of calm towards his own role as a filmmaker, a quiet kind of wit and a classic film language that omits any kind of antics – these are the characteristics of the work of Friedrich Kappeler. We are showing his films, made between 1972 and 2007, newly edited, restored and remastered.

Dimitri – Clown (2004)
Friedrich Kappeler
Switzerland
81′
The image of the ever-laughing clown from Ascona is well known. He is recognised as a national figure. Performing on tours throughout the world has made him renowned. This film by Friedrich Kappeler is a portrait of a clown and a man still with full of ideas and action with almost 70 years.
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Varlin (2000)
Friedrich Kappeler
Switzerland
78′
Born in 1900, Varlin decided he had had enough of Switzerland at about the age of 20 and left for Berlin where he became a painter. He then moved to Paris, remaining there a dozen or so years despite the difficulty of earning enough money to keep body and soul together. When the owner of the gallery in which he usually exhibited his work died, Varlin returned to Zurich. But even in Switzerland he did not feel particularly welcome or at home in any way. The war over, his paintings seemed very much out of place in the cosy, unruffled world of post-war Switzerland. Varlin began to travel extensively, while continuing to paint. Eventually he decided to settle at Bergell in canton Grisons, where a significant portion of his work of later years, in terms of both quality and quantity, was completed. He died in 1977. Friedrich Kappeler gives voice to the Swiss painter Varlin, in encounters with his acquaintances and relatives, in his paintings and writings. In addition to well-known works such as "Die Heilsarmee" and portraits of Hulda Zumsteg, Max Frisch, Hugo Loetscher and Friedrich Dürrenmatt, we discover a man full of contradictions. A courageous and sharp-thinking artist on the one hand, an insecure and vulnerable emotional man on the other - a painter who used brush and paint to capture the splendor of everyday objects, but also the fragility of human existence.
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Der schöne Augenblick (1986)
Friedrich Kappeler
Switzerland
82′
Three old photographers in the mid-1980s - from the patron of a family business spanning several generations to a city original documenting Zurich's nightlife with his Polaroid camera - shortly before the advent of digital photography. Friedrich Kappeler and his cameraman Pio Corradi, both trained photographers, portray their professional colleagues with great empathy, poetry and humor.
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