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Frank Beyer est un Réalisateur et Scénariste Allemand né le 26 mai 1932 à Nobitz (Allemagne)

Frank Beyer

Frank Beyer
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Nom de naissance Frank Paul Beyer
Nationalité Allemagne
Naissance 26 mai 1932 à Nobitz (Allemagne)
Mort 1 octobre 2006 (à 74 ans) à Berlin (Allemagne)
Récompenses Prix national de la République démocratique allemande

Frank Paul Beyer (26 May 1932 – 1 October 2006) was German film director. In East Germany he was one of the most important film directors, working for the state film monopoly DEFA and directed films that dealt mostly with the Nazi era and contemporary East Germany. His film Trace of Stones was banned for 20 years in 1966 by the ruling SED. His 1975 film Jacob the Liar was the only East German film ever nominated for an Academy Award. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 until his death he mostly directed television films.


Early life and career
Frank Beyer was born as Frank Paul Beyer in Nobitz in Thuringia, Germany, to Paul Beyer, a clerk, and Charlotte Beyer, a sales clerk. He had a brother, Hermann Beyer (born 30 May 1943) who should have become a successful actor. After the Machtergreifung of the Nazi Party in 1933 his father, a social democrat lost his job and his unemployed for several years. In 1942 he was drafted for military service and was killed one year later at the Eastern Front.

In 1938 Frank Beyer started attending primary school in Nobitz, and later the Realgymnasium Ernestinum in Altenburg. His education was interrupted for a few months in the aftermath of World War II. In fall 1946 he continued his education in Altenburg and played in an amateur dramatic society. He also became a member of the Free German Youth and later of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. After finishing school with his Abitur in 1950 he wanted to study history at the University of Leipzig, but at the request of the socialist unity party he stayed in Altenburg and worked as district party secretary for the local cultural association. At the same time he trained to become a film projectionist, and being interested in theater wrote play reviews for the local newspaper. Later he worked at the theater of the towns of Crimmitschau and Glauchau as an assistant director and dramaturge.

In 1952 Frank Beyer began to study drama at Humboldt University in Berlin, but transferred to the Film School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague shortly afterwards. In Prague he studies film directing together with his future colleagues Konrad Petzold and Ralf Kirsten. In 1954 he works as an intern at the DEFA studios during the production of the film Ernst Thälmann – Sohn seiner Klasse directed by Kurt Maetzig. He completed another internship as an assistant director for a film adapted from the opera Zar und Zimmermann and directed by Hans Müller. In his fourth year of studies, in 1957, he worked as an assistant director for Kurt Maetzig's two part film Schlösser und Katen with a special permission of his university. In 1957 he graduated from FAMU with the anti-war film Zwei Mütter. Based on a screenplay by Leonie Ossowski, his diploma film tells the story of a French and a German mother that fight for a child that has been mistakenly taken by the German after a bomb raid. The film had a theatrical release and became a success.

Beyer at the DEFA studios (1957–1967)
After graduation Frank Beyer worked as a freelancer for the DEFA studios. He had declined an offer for a permanent position as an assistant director, as he would have been assigned to film projects and would not have had the freedom to choose. He started his directorial career with two short films in the satirical film series Das Stacheltier. His second feature film Eine alte Liebe based on a story by Werner Reinowski and released in 1958 did not follow the success of his directorial debut Zwei Mütter. His third feature film Five Cartridges released in 1960 was a major critical and popular success and made him known in East Germany and abroad. The film was based on a screenplay by Walter Gorrish and tells the story of the members of an international brigade during the Spanish Civil War.

He continued to direct films that focused on anti-fascist themes. The 1962 film Star-Crossed Lovers was again based on a screenplay by Walter Gorrish and told the story of the antifascist activist Michael who has to serve in a penal military unit on the Eastern Front during World War II, and escapes with the help of his childhood friend Jürgen. Deserting to the Red army he hopes to meet his childhood friend and love Magdalena in Moscow, as she had fled from Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union. The experimental film made extensive use of flashbacks and extreme angles of view to express the emotions of the characters. His next project was the 1963 film Naked Among Wolves based on the 1958 novel of the same name by Bruno Apitz. The film told the story of prisoners in the Buchenwald concentration camp who risk their lives to hide a Jewish boy. The film is now regarded as a classic anti-fascist DEFA studio films. His next film, the 1963 comedy Carbide and Sorrel was a major popular success.

In 1966 Frank Beyer directed the film Trace of Stones based on a novel by Erik Neutsch. The film is set in contemporary East Germany and is about the clash between conservative party functionaries, an unconventional and brazen foreman and a young and pragmatic party secretary and engineer on a construction site. Although the premiere at the Worker's Film Festival in Potsdam on 15 June 1966 was a success, the film premiere two weeks later in East Berlin caused a major scandal. After a few minutes the screening was interrupted by protests over the depiction of party functionaries in the film. Similar protests occurred during other film screening in East Berlin, Leipzig and Rostock and after three days the film was recalled from distribution and all press coverage ceased except for a harsh film review in Neues Deutschland. Only in 1989 shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall was Trace of Stones] shown again publicly in East Germany.

Work for television (1967–1980)
Frank Beyer faced severe personal consequences. He had to leave the DEFA studios and was for several years not allowed to direct theatrical films. To "rehabiliate" him the party sent him to Dresden where he worked at the State Theater from 1967 to 1969. As a guest he also worked at the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Theater in Görlitz and Zittau and at the Maxim-Gorki-Theater in East Berlin.

Despite being banned from directing theatrical films, Frank Beyer was allowed to direct a film for East German television in 1968. The television film Der Geizige after the play The Miser by Molière was realized with the cast of the State Theater in Dresden. In 1971 he directed the five part television film Rottenknechte on the last days of the German navy during World War II, and in 1973 the four part television film Die sieben Affären der Doña Juanita with his wife Renate Blume in the leading role. The film, which concentrates on the private and romantic life of a young woman, generated debates on marriage, relationships and socialist moral across the country.

His first theatrical film after almost ten years was Jacob the Liar in 1975, adapted from a novel by Jurek Becker and a co-production of the DEFA studios and East German television. The film is set in World War II in German-occupied Poland. It tells the story of the Jewish protagonist Jakob Heym in a Jewish ghetto who pretends to own a radio and being able to receive news from the outside world. The film, which was remade into the Hollywood film Jakob the Liar in 1999, was Frank Beyer's biggest critical and popular success. At the 25th Berlin International Film Festival in West Berlin in 1975 the film won a Silver Bear and was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 49th Academy Awards in 1977. It was East Germany's first and only nomination for an Academy Award.

In 1977 he directed the romantic comedy Das Versteck again based on a screenplay by Jurek Becker and starring Jutta Hoffmann and Manfred Krug. Shortly before the completion of the production the East German government stripped the singer and dissident Wolf Biermann of his citizenship while he was on a concert tour in West Germany. Frank Beyer, Jurek Becker and the lead actors signed a letter protesting the actions of the East German government. Frank Beyer was reprimanded by the party and prohibited to work for the DEFA studios. Because the lead actor Manfred Krug had applied for permission to leave East Germany, the film was shelved and not shown in theaters. Frank Beyer's situation worsened with the television film Geschlossene Gesellschaft in 1978. The film, which ostensibly depicts a marriage crisis, was heavily criticized by party functionaries due to a perceived criticism of the socialist society. Frank Beyer was now prohibited from working for television and in 1980 his party membership was suspended.

Work in East and West (1980–1989)

Although prohibited to work in East Germany in 1980 Frank Beyer was given permission to work in West Germany. For the West German public broadcaster ARD he directed the television films Der König und sein Narr and Die zweite Haut in 1981. In 1982 Frank Beyer was given permission to direct a film in East Germany at the DEFA studios. The Turning Point after a novel by Hermann Kant tells the story of a German prisoner of war at the end of World War II who is wrongly accused of being a war criminal. The film was controversial upon release as Polish commentators and officials criticized that the film showed the Polish army wrongly accusing a German soldier of war crimes. The controversy also resulted in a withdrawal of the film from the Berlin International Film Festival, where it was originally planned to be screened and was expected to successfully compete for the awards.

In 1983 he directed the road movie Bockshorn which was shot in the USA and in Cuba and was not very successful at the box office after the theatrical release in 1984. For several years, until 1989 Frank Beyer worked on several projects in East and West Germany, with none being realized. He also worked as a director at the political cabaret Pfeffermühle in Leipzig. Only in 1988 one of his projects was realized. Together with the screenwriter Wolfgang Kohlhaase he wrote the script to the criminal-comedy film Der Bruch based on a true event from post-war Berlin. The film was realized as a co-production between East and West Germany. A popular success in East Germany, the film was a box office disappointment in West Germany.

Career after 1989
After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the German reunification Frank Beyer had no problems continuing his work. In 1990 he directed the two part television film Ende der Unschuld about German physicists and the development of a German nuclear bomb. In 1991 his last theatrical and DEFA film, Der Verdacht, was released. The film is about a love story in East Germany in the 1970s, but was not very successful at the box office.

Since then Frank Beyer had only worked for television. He directed the romantic comedy Sie und Er and the comedy Das grosse Fest in 1992. The international co-production Das letzte U-Boot followed in 1993. In the same year he was the Head of the Jury at the 43rd Berlin International Film Festival. He adapted a story by Jurek Becker in 1995 in Wenn alle Deutschen schlafen and had a major popular and critical success with the Nikolaikirche in 1995. The film concentrated on the last years of East Germany and tells the story of a family that is torn between the protest movement and the Stasi. Another success was the film Der Hauptmann von Köpenick based on the play The Captain of Köpenick by Carl Zuckmayer. In 1998 he directed Abgehauen, a film about the circumstances of the deprivation of Wolf Biermann's citizenship and the departure of Manfred Krug from East Germany. His last project was a film based on the novel Jahrestage by Uwe Johnson. He had already developed the project and completed pre-production, but due to conflicts with the producers he was replaced with Margarethe von Trotta. Frank Beyer died after a long illness on 1 October 2006 at the age of 74 in Berlin. He was buried on the Dorotheenstädtischen Cemetery in Berlin.

Personal life
In 1956 Frank Beyer married a make-up artist he met at the theater in Altenburg. Their daughter Elke was already born in March 1955. In 1965 they were divorced. In January 1969 he married the actress Renate Blume. Their son Alexander was born in June 1969. They were divorced in spring 1975. Their son Alexander was adopted by Renate Blume's second husband, the singer and actor Dean Reed. Under his name Alexander Reed he became an actor, and had minor roles in two of his father's films, Der Hauptmann von Köpenick in 1997 and Abgehauen in 1998. In 1985 Frank Beyer married for a third time. The marriage to the television announcer Monika Unferferth was ended several years later. Until his death he lived together with the poet Karin Kiwus in Berlin.

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Source : Wikidata

Filmographie de Frank Beyer (14 films)

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Der Aufenthalt, 1h42
Réalisé par Frank Beyer
Genres Drame, Guerre
Thèmes La prison, Politique
Acteurs Sylvester Groth, Fred Düren, Horst Giese, Gustaw Lutkiewicz
Note72% 3.640973.640973.640973.640973.64097
In October 1945 the 19-year-old German prisoner of war, Mark Niebuhr (Sylvester Groth) arrives together with other prisoners at a train station in Warsaw. A Polish woman waiting for her train at the station believes that he is the SS officer who murdered her daughter during a raid in Lublin. He is removed from the other prisoners and incarcerated in a single prison cell. Again and again he is interrogated by a Polish officer who is asking him to write down his life story and to tell his real name. The young former soldier asserts that he is Mark Niebuhr and maintains his innocence, not knowing why he has been detained and does not understanding why he is being questioned.
Jacob le menteur, 1h36
Réalisé par Frank Beyer
Origine Tchecoslovaquie
Genres Drame, Guerre, Comédie, Comédie dramatique, Historique
Thèmes Religion, Politique, Religion juive
Acteurs Vlastimil Brodský, Erwin Geschonneck, Henry Hübchen, Blanche Kommerell, Peter Sturm, Dezső Garas
Note71% 3.593293.593293.593293.593293.59329
L'histoire, tragique, se déroulant pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, est inspirée par le récit du père de l'auteur du scénario.
Traces de pierres, 2h19
Réalisé par Frank Beyer
Genres Drame, Comédie, Romance
Acteurs Manfred Krug, Jutta Hoffmann, Helga Göring, Hans-Peter Reinecke
Note73% 3.6783253.6783253.6783253.6783253.678325
L'anarchiste Balla est le roi de son chantier : dur mais généreux. Mais le nouveau secrétaire général du parti veut imposer l'ordre et le droit. Tout deux sont épris de la même femme.
Karbid und Sauerampfer, 1h25
Réalisé par Frank Beyer
Genres Comédie
Acteurs Erwin Geschonneck, Manja Behrens, Horst Giese, Fritz Diez, Sabine Thalbach
Note71% 3.57233.57233.57233.57233.5723
In 1945, after the end of World War II in Europe, Karl 'Kalle' Blücher examines the ruins of the cigarette factory where he worked in the city of Dresden. The other workers tell him they need carbide to replace the destroyed roof. They assign him the job of getting it, as he has a brother-in-law in Wittenberge who works at a carbide company. Also, they are all married and have to look after their families, while he is single and a vegetarian, so he should be better able to feed himself along the way.
Nu parmi les loups, 1h56
Réalisé par Frank Beyer
Genres Drame, Guerre
Thèmes Politique, Religion, Politique, Religion juive
Acteurs Erwin Geschonneck, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Viktor Avdyushko, Peter Sturm, Zygmunt Malanowicz, Werner Dissel
Note71% 3.584163.584163.584163.584163.58416
Février 1945, dans le camp de concentration de Buchenwald. Un prisonnier polonais introduit en secret un enfant de trois ans. Le Comité International Clandestin, une organisation illégale composée de résistants communistes de diverses nationalités, décide de faire passer l'enfant durant un transport vers un autre camp. Höfel et Kropinski, des prisonniers qui travaillent dans l'entrepôt, désobéissent et cachent l'enfant. Sa découverte par les SS entraînerait inévitablement la mort de l'enfant. Il est d'abord caché dans un placard de l'infirmerie puis logé dans la porcherie. À cause de cet enfant, tout le mouvement de résistance se sent en danger. Néanmoins, d'autres prisonniers prennent de grands risques pour sauver l'enfant. Hofel et Kropinski sont gravement torturés pendant des semaines sans avouer l'enfant et ses camarades. Pippig reste silencieux lorsqu'il meurt sous la torture de la Gestapo. Rose ne veut pas être un traître. Wurach se laisse convaincre par les SS d'être un espion à leur service.
Königskinder, 1h25
Réalisé par Frank Beyer
Genres Drame, Historique
Thèmes Politique
Acteurs Armin Mueller-Stahl, Annekathrin Bürger, Ulrich Thein, Manfred Krug
Note72% 3.616023.616023.616023.616023.61602
Magdalena and Michael are two children from working-class families in Berlin, who have sworn to marry each other. When they grow older, after the Nazis rose to power, Michael is arrested for being a member of the Communist Party of Germany. Magdalena joins the underground party to continue his work. Jürgen, a friend of the two who is now a storm trooper, tries to convince her not to become a communist. During the Second World War, Michael is sent a penal battalion on the Eastern Front, where he meets Jürgen again as a commanding officer. Michael overpowers him, defects to the Red Army and returns to the battalion once more to convince the soldiers to surrender, thus saving their lives. He reaches Moscow, where he sees Magdalena board a plane. He tries to call out for her, but she does not hear him. They will never meet again.
Fünf Patronenhülsen, 1h24
Réalisé par Frank Beyer
Genres Drame, Guerre, Historique
Thèmes Politique
Acteurs Erwin Geschonneck, Ulrich Thein, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Fritz Diez, Manfred Krug, Hans Finohr
Note66% 3.3363353.3363353.3363353.3363353.336335
During the Spanish Civil War, a battalion of the International Brigades is cut off without water or ammunition. The commander, Major Bolaños, requests his commissar, the German Heinrich Witting, to select five volunteers who will remain in the trenches and hold off the enemy, while the battalion retreats across the Ebro River. Witting chooses the Frenchman Pierre, the German Willi, the Pole Oleg, the Spaniard José and the Bulgarian Dimitri. In addition, the Soviet radio operator Vasia stays behind to handle communications.
Eine alte Liebe, 1h32
Réalisé par Frank Beyer
Genres Drame
Acteurs Peter Sturm, Günther Simon, Margot Ebert, Hans Finohr, Rudolf Ulrich, Karin Lesch

Frieda Walkowiak is an ambitious director of a collective farm. Although she is talented and hard-working, the men in the commune are reluctant to accept her as their supervisor. August, Frieda's husband, is exasperated by his wife's devotion to her office, which leads to her being absent from home quite often. After she misses their wedding's anniversary, August is enraged, and leaves their house with their daughter. Frieda is badly depressed and suffers a breakdown. She is taken to a hospital. August hears of this, comes back to his senses and returns. The family reunites.