"I was born in Munich, June 1, 1935. Dark times. But the country life south of Munich
between cattle farms, was exciting and still forms the core of what I tried to express
as a filmmaker. My father was an opera singer. Music is very important for my work.
I studied art, literature, acting and singing, worked as a stage actor, and as a
narrator in the radio. I married Eleonore, a classical dancer. She later co-wrote
many and produced all of our films.
At 35 I did my first short documentary for the Bavarian television, followed by about
150 more about art, country life, and the human condition. My first ducudrama about
the Swiss poet Robert Walser won the prestigeous Adolf-Grimme award. The Marcel-Proust
film "Céleste", my feature film debut from 1981, got international attention. For
our film Zuckerbaby (New York Film Festival 1985) I discovered Marianne Sägebrecht,
but the real breakthrough was two years later with "Bagdad Cafe" with Marianne, CCH
Pounder and Jack Palance. Reviews, box office, and awards rained on us. It happens
once in a lifetime, and I'm very thankful for it. k.d.lang played her one and only
lead in Salmonberries in 1991 (Grand prix des Amériques, Montreal). A lucky is my
film about my great grandfather's Berlin hotel "The Glamorous World of the Adlon
Hotel". It became a cult film in Germany. In 1996 I discovered the new possibilities
of digital camerawork for filmmakers, "camera stylo". I filmed 22 short films about
unknown works by Johann Strauss, a love letter to my home town Munich "Mein München",
and entered ground zero with my friend, the sculptor Fritz Koenig, whose monumental
bronze "The Sphere" was damaged but not destroyed, laying in center of the tragic
grounds. My next project will be a film about Gustav Mahlers last summer in 1910.
My son Felix and I just finished the script. Throughout our defeats and our successes,
we were always independent filmmakers who write, direct, produce...and own our stuff."