The names that he has been called! Enfant terrible, provocateur, sexist, porn director and many more. Indeed, Roland Reber was a provocateur in the best sense of the word; one who was concerned with equal rights and sexual freedom for all sexes, who held up a mirror to society's double standards and its taboos. In his films he revealed hidden chambers, locked rooms, sexual fantasies, suppressed desires, lust and vice. But in the process, he expanded people's ideas and minds with feeling, poetry and philosophy. A rebel for life, he always worked as a true independent, realising his projects together with his women's collective completely independently and without funding. Since 2005, Roland Reber and his collective have been constant guests of Hof Film Festival, where they presented their world premieres. Roland Reber passed away on 11th September 2022.

This year, the 56th Hof International Film Festival is dedicating a tribute to the non-conformist filmmakers and showing six films from its long-standing association with them:

Life and work

Roland reber 01
Roland reber 02

Roland Reber was born in 1954 as the son of a carpenter in Ludwigshafen, completed acting studies at the Bochum Drama School and worked as an actor at various state theaters. In 1981 he founded the "TheaterPathologischeInstitut" (wtp) in Hamburg as an author and director, from which the "Theater Institut" emerged in 1988 and performed at the Schulenburg in Hattingen and the Heinz-Hilpert Theater in Lünen until 1989. "Just as corpses are opened in pathology to determine the cause of suffering, the Theaterpathologisches Institut wants to uncover the illness of society and theater," Roland Reber himself defined the work.

From 1989, within the framework of the World Decade for Cultural Development of the United Nations and UNESCO, he directed the "World Theater Project", which consisted of artists from different countries such as Jamaica, Germany and India, who together developed and performed a play in the respective country. At that time Roland Reber worked as a director and writer in India, Russia, Egypt, Mexico and the Caribbean, and as a lecturer in acting and directing in Moscow, New Delhi, Cairo and the Caribbean.

In 1998, together with Mira Gittner and Ute Meisenheimer, he founded the wtp collective, which later became wtp international Filmproduktion. The collective shot feature films independently and without any funding, which they also released themselves in theaters or on DVD/stream. The beginning of wtp international Filmproduktion was also a kind of return to Roland Reber's beginnings - precisely through the way of directing films.

Filmografie

  • 1978 Der Fernsehauftritt, Short film
  • 1979 Ihr habt meine Seele gebogen wie einen schönen Tänzer, Feature film
  • 1998 Manuel, Short film
  • 1999 Der Koffer, Short film
  • 2000 Das Zimmer, Feature film
  • 2001 Sind Mädchen Werwölfe, Short film
  • 2002 Pentamagica, Feature film
  • 2003 The Dark Side of Our Inner Space, Feature film
  • 2005 24/7 – The Passion of Life, Feature film HOF 2005
  • 2007 Mein Traum oder die Einsamkeit ist nie allein, Feature film
  • 2009 Engel Mit Schmutzigen Flügeln, Feature film HOF 2009
  • 2011 Die Wahrheit der Lüge, Feature film HOF 2011
  • 2017 Der Geschmack von Leben, Feature film HOF 2017
  • 2019 Roland Rebers Todesrevue, Feature film HOF 2019
Roland reber 05
Roland reber 06

"The way we produce the films is independently. And for that, I think the best way is the individual way. Every filmmaker should go their own way. To accept promotion is to put yourself in the straitjacket of guidelines. [...] We make films with low budgets, so we can produce ourselves, and so we always have full authority over what we make."

Roland Reber

Already in his first feature film 'Ihr habt meine Seele gebogen wie einen schönen Tänzer' (You have bent my soul like a beautiful dancer) from 1979, he cast the roles both with professionals, such as ensemble members of the Schauspielhaus Bochum, and with talented amateur actors. The script served him as a suggestion, the actors and crew had a say in the design, because for the director they were artists in their own right, co-creators with whom he could realize an idea together. The ensemble is more than just the sum of the individuals.

Reber remained true to this communal idea throughout his life. The collaboratively developed films dealt with themes such as the search for meaning, the abysses of the human soul, and denounced bigotry and repressive moral codes. He received several international awards for his works.

Roland reber 03
Roland reber 04

"Provocation is not an end in itself for me, but it releases strong feelings in the viewer. The films are not intended as calculated provocation. When they provoke, I always say that the screen is a mirror. Nothing can peek out but what peeks in. And if someone feels provoked, I would almost call it a self-provocation."

Roland Reber

After suffering a stroke in 2015, Reber withdrew more and more from the public eye, but remained creative until his last breath with feature film productions such as "The Taste of Life," "Roland Reber's Death Revue," as well as book projects.

Last year, he was able to initiate the founding of wtp-verlag and one of his heart's projects, the design of his multimedia book - "Gedichte. Thoughts. Geschichten von und mit Roland Reber", which will be published by wtp-verlag on 11.11.2022.

His last feature film, "Roland Reber's Death Revue," also premiered at the Hof Film Festival in 2019, and he presented this film, too, confidently, already sitting in a wheelchair, accompanied by his collective.

wtp international

wtp international online

24/7 The Passion of Life

Details
24/7 The Passion of Life - Poster 1

Following a motorbike breakdown, Eva, a hotelier’s daughter, has a chance meeting with Magdalena, a sociologist who works as a dominatrix, “Lady Maria”, in a BDSM studio. Fascinated by Lady Maria’s bizarre world, Eva embarks on a search for her own identity and sexuality and so begins an odyssey through the hidden settings of lust: dominatrix studio, swinger club, striptease bar – meeting characters who are torn, such as Dominik, who wants to recreate the suffering of Jesus, or Mike, who imagines Eva is a tour guide through the world of lust and then falls in love with her, after all. This is a lyrical study of obsession and loneliness, secret lust and public morality.

Date
Time
Venue
Title
Wednesday, 10-26
17:45
Central 6
24/7 The Passion of Life
Friday, 10-28
17:00
Scala 2
24/7 The Passion of Life

Das Zimmer

Details
Das Zimmer - Poster 1

Sophie, a student of Egyptology, and Christoph, an unemployed actor, respond to a box number following a job advertisement in the daily newspaper: “Who will look after my house for six weeks for good pay?” Without knowing about each other, both are accepted. They meet for the first time when they arrive at the house. The rules say that they can do whatever they want in the house. The only condition: they are not allowed to enter one room, which is locked. And they have to spend the nights in the house.

No sooner have they accepted the job than strange things start happening. The two inhabitants are sure they are being watched, even manipulated. More and more, they project their own repressed thoughts onto the forbidden room. Between dream and reality, they develop a labyrinth of emotions...

Date
Time
Venue
Title
Wednesday, 10-26
15:45
Central 4
Das Zimmer
Friday, 10-28
14:45
Scala 2
Das Zimmer

Engel mit schmutzigen Flügeln

Details
Engel mit schmutzigen Flügeln - Poster 1

Three women - no morals. 'Morality is just the excuse of those who aren’t brave enough to live their truth.' Michaela, Gabriela and Lucy are angels of vice. They roam the countryside on their motorbikes to live out their lust. They could see a lot, but they see only themselves. They call themselves angels. But they are angels with dirty wings. To be fully accepted into this paradise of exiled angels, Lucy must first prove herself to the others. Only castrated angels need morality. ANGELS WITH DIRTY WINGS is a hymn to immorality.

When God had finished creating the world, he began to get bored. And the angels were bored with him. And when he considered his own commandments, he got even more bored. And the angels with him. And when he had bored many of his angels to death, the survivors fled, now living among men. They have sworn never to be bored again, and to indulge only in lust and vice. And God continues to sit, bored, in his paradise, sometimes wishing he could be an angel, too.

Date
Time
Venue
Title
Thursday, 10-27
15:00
Scala 3
Engel mit schmutzigen Flügeln
Saturday, 10-29
15:45
Scala 2
Engel mit schmutzigen Flügeln

Illusion

Details
Illusion - Poster 1

Eight people who could scarcely be more different meet in a bar. For one night, they escape from their everyday lives, which are paralyzed in ritual, and embark on a journey to their imagined worlds, to their innermost desires. Suppressed desires, sexual fantasies and fears surface, and long-forgotten experiences come back to light. The evening takes its course... A visually stunning round of reality and illusion, a merry-go-round of emotions with exciting twists and turns.

A film about people and their secrets, mendacity and ordinariness.

“Worse than any desire is when you no longer feel any.

Date
Time
Venue
Title
Thursday, 10-27
17:30
Central 4
Illusion
Saturday, 10-29
18:00
Scala 2
Illusion

Roland Rebers Todesrevue

Details
Roland Rebers Todesrevue - Poster 1

What is life? Is it the longings of lovers, the fear of ageing, the rebellious struggle for a dignified death or the hunt for the most clicks? Is it just a show, perhaps? This film paints a multilayered picture of our existence, reintroducing the taboo subject of death into the cycle of life. A ruined love affair, an old man begging for euthanasia, a live show in which the contestants are mercilessly sacrificed to the audience, a dancer who cannot escape the ageing process despite constant self-optimising, and the person in the mask who wants to be famous at all costs intersect in various storylines. And between all these, a hearse driver rolls his “clientele” along an endless corridor and comes to his own conclusions about life and death.

Date
Time
Venue
Title
Thursday, 10-27
22:00
Central 4
Roland Rebers Todesrevue
Saturday, 10-29
22:45
Scala 2
Roland Rebers Todesrevue

The Dark Side of Our Inner Space

Details
The Dark Side of our Inner Space - Poster 1

Tanja, Jessie, Anna, Marcus and Kai go to a sealed-off former military barracks to play the “Great Game” – a game outside of any social norms and boundaries.

“Welcome to the barracks called freedom. As long as you were outside, you had to bow to the rules of society. Here, in the barracks of freedom, there are no rules. If you need some, make them.”

What is reality? What is a game? Where are the boundaries? When does the one merge into the other? Each character has their own game, their own way to gain an advantage over the others: Jessie tries through sexual seduction, Anna by exercising power, Marcus through the rules he enacts, Tanja by staying well out of everything. Kai is the weakest link in the group and soon he turns into everyone's victim.

In their search for the “Great Game”, they become more and more entangled in their own interpersonal games, slowly being drawn into the devious recesses of their own interior spaces. What begins as a harmless game ends in an all-too-real tragedy.

Date
Time
Venue
Title
Wednesday, 10-26
23:00
Central 4
The Dark Side of our Inner Space
Friday, 10-28
22:00
Scala 2
The Dark Side of our Inner Space