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Podtalk: Director Robert Schwentke of German War Film ‘The Captain’

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CHICAGO – Films about the Nazis and the German military during World War II are numerous… except for the ones with a pure German perspective. “The Captain,” directed by Robert Schwentke (“R.I.P.D.”), is based on a true story about a German army deserter who finds a Captain’s uniform, and decides to ride out the waning days of the war with the power of an officer.

Max Hubacher is Willi Herold, the deserter, and his icy cold performance is one of the highlights of “The Captain.” Herold will stop at nothing to survive against the constant chase on the run from the German army, and once he gets a taste of officer power he is not about to let go. His journey takes him to a prison holding other deserters, and his decisions there are based on getting the assignment done quickly and to his larcenous advantage. When complications arise there, his next move is to convene a traveling court of law (with him as judge), that basically acts as a right-to-steal roadshow. The expressionistic film is rendered in black and white.

TheCap
Max Hubacher Tries on ‘The Captain,’ Directed by Robert Schwentke (inset)
Photo credit: Music Box Films

Robert Schwentke is a German-born filmmaker, but studied his craft in the United States in Los Angeles. After two notable German films (“Tattoo” and “The Family Jewels”), a chance meeting – related in the podtalk below – landed him a director gig for the film “Flightplan” (2005) with Jodie Foster. From there, he directed several popular American films… “The Time Travelers Wife” (2009), RED (2010), “R.I.P.D.” (2013) and the two sequels of the “Divergent” series, “Insurgent” (2015) and “Allegiant” (2016). “The Captain” is his first German film (with contributions from Poland, Portugal and France) since “The Family Jewels.” It is distributed by Music Box Films of Chicago.

In the following PART ONE Podtalk with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, director Robert Schwentke talks about the “German-ness” of “The Captain,” and legacy of the country’s participation in World War II.


In the PART TWO, Robert talks black and white cinema expressionism and the connection that got him involved in doing films in America.


“The Captain” opens nationwide on July 27th, in Chicago at the Music Box Theatre, 3722 North Southport. See local listings for other theaters and show times. Featuring Max Hubacher, Milan Peschel, Frederick Lau, Alexander Fehling and Eugenie Anselin. Written and directed by Robert Schwentke. Not Rated (but for adults). For more info about the Chicago screening, including an Robert Schwentke appearance on August 3rd at the Music Box Theatre, click here.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

By PATRICK McDONALD
Editor and Film Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
pat@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2018 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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