In their first feature length documentary, Pascal Hofmann and Benny Jaberg bring us deep into the imaginary worlds of the exceptional Swiss filmmaker Daniel Schmid (1941-2006). Schmid, who grew up during the 1940s in a Belle Epoque hotel in the Swiss Alps, succumbed to the powers of the imagination already as a child. Spurred on by his grandmother’s fantastic stories, he made the hotel foyer his stage and its international array of guests his protagonists. Schmid became a storyteller with strong bonds to the world of the opera and theatre (he made several films on art about Japanese Theater, Opera singers, as well as Douglas Sirk). Drawing upon a vast collection of private archive material, the film captures the fleeting magic of his life between stops in the Alps, Paris, Berlin and Tokyo.
It spans his formative childhood and follows his escape from the peaceful Alps to turbulent 1960s Berlin, his love for the cinema, and his encounters with Rainer Werner Fassbinder, who became one of his closest friends.It delves into the worldly nightlife of 1970s Paris, and shows Schmid filming on location in Morocco and Portugal. It is a film about arriving, time and about taking leave, forever.
With the participation of singer and actress Ingrid Caven, cameraman Renato Berta, director Werner Schroeter, actress Bulle Ogier, film scholar Shiguéhiko Hasumi and, last but not least, Daniel Schmid himself, the film portrays Schmid’s already cinematic life and work from his own incomparable vantage point. A world oscillating between reality and fiction.
Daniel Schmid – Le chat qui pense
83 min. / HD
Language: German, French, Swiss German, Japanese
Cinematography: Pascal Hofmann, Benny Jaberg and Filip Zumbrunn
Editing: Pascal Hofmann and Benny Jaberg
Production: Marcel Hoehn for T&C FILM
Pascal Hofmann grew up in Flims. He became personally acquainted with Daniel Schmid, who encouraged him to study film. In 2003, Hofmann embarked on his film studies at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). He met Benny Jaberg there and since then they have worked together regularly. In the winter of 2006, Hofmann and Jaberg had the idea to make a film about the life and work of Daniel Schmid, involving Schmid himself. The project was also meant to be their MA graduation film at ZHdK.