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Pflaum, Hans Günther

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Der Tagesspiegel - Germany | 27/08/2007

No TV version of "Pope Joan"?

German film director Volker Schlöndorff was contracted by film production company Constantin Film to direct the film version of Donna Woolfolk Cross's bestseller "Pope Joan". However, after Schlöndorff attacked the financial and aesthetical mixing of the cinema and TV versions, the company cancelled his contract. Hans Günther Pflaum comments on the conflict: "The filmmaker, all the wiser after this bitter experience, will survive the debacle unscathed. But there are still some questions open from an artistic point of view. After all, the dispute was about producing a shorter version for the cinema and a serial version for television. But doesn't any story and any material, whether it's based on a book or written especially for film, whether it's for the cinema or for television, require its own particular time frame for the telling of the story and the design?... A Digest version of Joyce's Ulysses, an MTV version of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Michaelangelo's David in bonsai format, the 'best of' the Magic Flute, Bernini's colonnades in miniature leading up your garden path - it's all ridiculous. Why should this be any different as far as cinema is concerned?"

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