(The Swing), 1983
"Like a gracefully floating dream...about totally impossible people."
– Ponkie, Münchner Abendzeitung
A film by Percy Adlon
Anja Jaenicke • Lena Stolze • Joachim Bernhard
Susanne Herlet, Christine Kaufmann
Rolf Illig, Marianne Sägebrecht
Screenplay by Percy Adlon, based on the novel Die Schaukel by Annette Kolb.
Produced by Eleonore Adlon
Director of Photography – Jürgen Martin
Editor – Clara Fabry
Production Design – Heidi Lüdi
Costume Design – Regine Bätz
Music by Peer Raben
A pelemele Film/Roxy Film/Pro-ject Film production
German with English subtitles, 133 min
Based on Annette Kolb’s autobiographical novel of the same name, THE SWING is a lavish, breathless reconstruction of life in Munich towards the end of the 19th century. The deceptively simple story centers around the Lautenschlags, a Bavarian-French Catholic family overflowing with artistry but short on practicalities like financial acumen. The family's ups and downs, little tragedies and comical failures are seen through the eyes of Annette herself. Youngest of four, plain, brusque, and ambitious, the writer's fictionalized childhood self reflects upon the good-natured chaos around her with fondness, but disturbing undercurrents remind us that we are glimpsing a world long lost to the writer by the time of the novel, and even further out of reach from us.
Bavarian Film Awards for Anja Jaenicke, Lena Stolze, Susanne Herlet, and Joachim Bernhard
FRÄULEIN ANNETTE KOLB
(Miss Annette Kolb)
The companion documentary for the feature film
THE SWING (DIE SCHAUKEL)
A film by Pecy Adlon
produced by Eleonore Adlon
TV Producer Benigna von Keyserlingk
Cinematography Jürgen Martin
Edited by Clara Fabry
1977, in German with English subtitles, 16mm, 43 minutes
The Bavarian writer Annette Kolb fought for positive French-German relations, women's rights, and the independence of the arts, before fleeing Hitler’s Germany out of loyalty to her many Jewish friends.
She was the subject of my first film. It was just 7 minutes long, and contained an archival interview with her, in which she describes the terror and the joy of her first flight in a small airplane. She was around 80 then, but she never told anybody her real age. When she died in 1967, one of her falsified passports was discovered, listing a birth date that made her 5 years younger than she was.
She was born in Munich in 1870, to a frustrated French pianist (a “housewife in the wrath of god”), and a royal landscape architect who, despite the lucrative appointment, couldn’t keep his finances straight. Annette was a tomboy, with a love of theatre and opera and ambitions of becoming a conductor. Identifying equally with both her French and German ancestries, she grew up in genteel poverty with her two older sisters and their lazy-bones younger brother.
In 1915, early in World War I, she gave her first pacifist speech, earning equal parts outrage and admiration from the public. The extravagant, witty, melancholy, unattached loner took shape over the course of the writing of three novels, all loosely composed and with an unforgettable fragrance. Of these, Die Schaukel (The Swing) is her best, a fictionalized portrait of her hometown and childhood. Never a best-selling writer, Annette Kolb became something more important: a true original.