Die Blechtrommel

Die Blechtrommel (The Tin drum in the english version) is a 1979 film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Günter Grass. It was directed and co-written by Volker Schlöndorff. Stylistically, it is a surrealistic black comedy. The film features scenes in which Bennent, then 11 years of age and playing a stunted 16-year-old, licks effervescing sherbet powder from the navel of a 16-year-old girl, played by Katharina Thalbach. Thalbach was 24 years old at the time. Subsequently, Bennent appears to have oral sex and then intercourse with her. The film was mostly shot in West Germany, with some street scenes, particularly ones concerning the landmarks of Danzig, shot in Gdańsk. Soviet-Polish authorities gave the crew little time in Poland since the novel itself had been banned in Eastern Bloc countries. The scenes with the Polish Post Office were shot in Zagreb, Croatia, as were several generic street scenes. The scenes in France were shot on-set. Schlöndorff was authorised by Grass himself during much of the preproduction and the writing of the script. David Bennent was chosen as the role of Oskar when Schlöndorff was discussing with a doctor the possibility of a child whose growth stops at an early age, and the doctor brought up the case of the son of the actor Heinz Bennent, whom Schlöndorff was friends with. During the filming several difficulties arose: there was a supposed love affair between Daniel Olbrychski and Angela Winkler, and a romantic rivalry betweenFritz Hakl, who played Bebra, and the fiancé of Mariella Oliveri, who played Roswitha. While filming in Poland, a production assistant was arrested by the authorities when trying to buy eels from fishing boats for the beach scene, accused of attempting to sabotage the national industries. The film won the Palme d’Or at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1980 at the 52nd Academy Awards.

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