Retrospective Christopher Petit

The retrospective of the 49th Hof International Film Festival is dedicated to the British filmmaker, artist and writer CHRISTOPHER PETIT. Petit was a guest in Hof already in 1979 when he presented in his debut film RADIO ON, which was also produced with Renée Gundelach and Wim Wenders. In the meantime, his oeuvre consists of more than 20 films, screenplays, novels and experimental art-film projects. His film career can be described as follows: from feature film director to documentary filmmaker to experimental artist.

Christopher Petit, born in 1949, initially worked as a film critic for magazines such as “Time Out” and “Melody Maker” before he started making films himself. His encounter with Wim Wenders for an interview led to the realization of his first script in 1979. RADIO ONE is a film about the weather, technics, soundtrack, very old pre-digital hardware and the “children” of Fritz Lang and Wernher von Brauns, less about actual stories, characters and relationships. Yet still, it is a visual description of the economic decline of Great Britain in an era which was shaped by Margret Thatcher. This first film is almost programmatic for his work: the perspective is mostly that of a motorist – eyes pointed firmly ahead, a sprawling horizon, the field of vision interrupted only by street signs and guardrail reflectors, so to speak, a kind of forward aimed projection.

„Filmmaking is like living, only more intensive."

Christopher Petit felt closer to the New German Cinema of the 70s than to French auteur filmmakers of the time. As a result, he shot several of his films in Berlin and worked with German actors like Gottfried John and Lisa Kreuzer or producers such as Chris Sievernich and Joachim von Vietinghoff. And he didn’t necessarily want to be a member of the British film industry. He made several films for English television, including MISS MARPLE: A CARIBBEAN MYSTERY (1989), as well as numerous documentary films. In the past years, he has considered himself more as an experimental artist and filmmaker.

At the 49th Hof International Film Festival, Christopher Petit will present a selection of his films, including RADIO ON (1979), AN UNSUITABLE JOB FOR A WOMAN (1982), FLIGHT TO BERLIN (1984), DEATH OF A BANK MANAGER (1995), UNREQUITED LOVE (2006) and CONTENT (2010). And for the first time, several of his short films will be screened, like FLYING FISH OVER HOLLYWOOD (1981), a portrait about Wim Wenders, WEATHER (1992), LONDON LABYRINTH (1993), SURVEILLANCE (1993) and DEAD TV (1999).

Just like last year, the “ceiling cinema” in the café-bar-lounge Weiße Wand will be part of the festival. The video gallery is even part of the official program of the 49th Hof International Film Festival this year and will present experimental film projections and audio installations by Christopher Petit. More information is available at » Weiße Wand Event