Taking Sides
Taking Sides

Taking Sides

Director Istvan Szabo

Production year 2001

Length 105min.

Country France/UK/Austria

SYNOPSIS

A tale based on the life of Wilhelm Furtwängler, the controversial conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic whose tenure coincided with the Nazi era. One of the most spectacular and renowned conductors of the 30s, Furtwängler's reputation rivaled that of Toscanini's. After the war, he was investigated as part of the Allies' de-Nazification programme. In the bombed-out Berlin of the immediate post-war period, the Allies slowly bring law and order - and justice - to bear on an occupied Germany. An American major is given the Furtwängler file, and is told to find everything he can and to prosecute the man ruthlessly. Tough and hard-nosed, Major Steve Arnold sets out to investigate a world of which he knows nothing. Orchestra members vouch for Furtwängler's morality - he did what he could to protect Jewish players from his orchestra. To the Germans, deeply respectful of their musical heritage, Furtwängler was a demigod; to Major Arnold, he is just a lying, weak-willed Nazi.

Awards

Best Director, Best Screenplay | Flaiano IFF, Italy, 2002

Special Award | Hungarian Film Critics Awards, Hungary, 2003

Best Director, Best Actor, ADF Cinematography Award, Kodak Award, SIGNIS Award | Mar del Plata IFF, Argentina, 2002

ury Prize | Valenciennes IF of Action and Adventure Films, France, 2002

CAST & CREW

Istvan Szabo
Istvan Szabo

Director

Producer

Yves Pasquier

Script

Ronald Harwood

Director of Photography

Lajos Koltai

Production designer

Ken Adam

Music by

Beethoven, Brückner, Schubert, Glenn Miller...

Sound

Jean Goudier

Edit

Sylvie Landra

Cast

Harvey Keitel, Stellan Skarsgard, Moritz Bleibtreu, Oleg Tabakov, Ulrich Tukur, Hanns Zischler, August Zirner, Robin Renucci

Production company

Maecenas Film und Fernseh

Istvan Szabo

Born 1938, Budapest, Hungary. Hungarian director, István Szabó, has won worldwide acclaim from both critics and audiences, not only for the extraordinary beauty of his impressive slate of films, but also for the historic and contemporary importance of the messages that they carry within their social and political themes. After graduating as a film director from Hungary’s Academy of the Art of Theatre and Film he went on to direct his first feature film, aged 26. The Age of Daydreaming, which won Szabó the Silver Sail at Locarnoand a Special Jury Prize for Best Director at the Hungarian FF, made him a leading figure in a new generation of Hungarian filmmakers in the 60’s. Fourty years on he still retains his position as one of the principal forces within the country’s film industry. His outstanding award winning films include Father, Confidence, the Oscar winner Mephisto, Colonel Redl, Hanussen, Sweet Emma, Dear Böbe, Being Julia. Producer Robert Lantos’ first collaboration with director was the phenomenally acclaimed Sunshine which, like most of Szabó’s films, he had scripted himself. Starring Ralph Fiennes, supported by a international cast, the film garnered numerous awards and nominations including 3 European Film Awards, Canadian Genie Award (14 nominations) for Best Motion Picture, three Golden Globe nominations, and US Political Film Society Democracy Award. More recently, Szabó directed Taking Sides taken from the play by, and with a screenplay by Ronald Harwood, and Beeing Julia based on the novel Theatre by Somerset Maugham. Szabó’s award-winning short films include: Variations on a Theme, Concert, You, Dream About a House, and City Map. He won the Outstanding Achievement Award at Montreaux for his TV film Offenbach’s Secret and his other television work includes Premiere, Catsplay, Bali and Steadying the Boat. He is also an accomplished stage director and has directed several operas including Tannhäuser for Opera de Paris, Boris Godunow for Opera Leipzig and Il Trovatore for the Vienna State Opera. Besides his directing, Szabó is also a Guest Professor at various film schools including London, Berlin and Vienna, where he lectures on film history.


Filmography

A Hetedik napon (1959, short), Bill Poster (1960, short), Variációk egy témára (1961, short), Koncert (1963, short), You (1963, short), Traffic-Rule Tale for Children (1965, short), Age of Illusions (1965), Father (1966), Piety (1967, short), Lovefilm (1970), Budapest, Why I Love It (1971), Dream about a House (1972, short), Tüzoltó St. 25 (1973), Budapesti mesék (1977), Várostérkép (1977, short), Confidence (1980), Der grüne Vogel (1980), Mephisto (1981), Colonel Redl (1985), Hanussen (1988), Meeting Venus (1991), Édes Emma, drága Böbe - vázlatok, aktok (1992), Sunshine (1999), Taking Sides (2001), Ten Minutes Older: The Cello (segment Ten Minutes After) (2002), Európából Európába (short, doc., segment 2, 2004), Being Julia (2004), Rokonok (2006), The Door (2012).

FILMS 2013