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Master Game (Meisterspiel, Das)

Master Game

In 1994, 27 paintings by the Austrian painter Arnulf Rainer are painted over in black in the Wiener Kunstakademie by an unidentified person. Arnulf Rainer had become world famous for painting over both his own paintings and those by other artists. Who had painted over the "over-painter"? At the time, Austria is badly shaken by a series of bomb attacks. There are fatalities and injuries. The "Bavarian Freedom Army" (BBA), who sees Austria's "German identity" threatened, confess to the attacks. Is there a connection between the attack in the Wiener Kunstakademie and the BBA bombing? Are over-painter and bombing artist identical? Is it an individual culprit or a group? Did Arnulf Rainer paint over his own paintings, as some in the media speculate? Is the BBA in fact nonexistent, in reality the fabrication of a lunatic? Or of the secret services? Are the actions just fakes, an ideological theater of distraction? What is reality, simulation or invention?


Lutz Dammbeck was born in Leipzig in 1948 and studied at the College of Graphic Design and Printing in Leipzig from 1967-1972. He became a freelance graphic artist and painter in 1974 and began making animation films, documentaries and experimental films from 1976. A selection of his films includes: Herakles Hoehle (1990), Time Of The Gods (Zeit der Goetter, 1992), Herzog Ernst (1993), Duerer's Heirs (Duerers Erben, 1996) and Master Game (Das Meisterspiel, 1998).
Genre History
Category Documentary
Year of Production 1998
Director Lutz Dammbeck
Screenplay Lutz Dammbeck
Cinematography Thomas Plenert, Eberhard Geick, Leo Potesil
Margot Neubert-Maric
J.U. Lensing
Cast Arnulf Rainer, Peter Weibel, Helmut Kohlenberger, Andreas Moelzer
Producer Lutz Dammbeck
Production Company Lutz Dammbeck Filmproduktion/Hamburg
Length 106 min
Format 16 mm, 35 mm, color, b&w
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Stereo
Festivals Leipzig 1998, Berlin 1999 (Forum)
Awards Silver Dover Leipzig 1998
With backing from Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, Filmbuero NW, Filmfoerderung Sachsen, Filmfoerderung Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
German Distributor Silver Cine Filmverleih/Hamburg

World Sales
Lutz Dammbeck Filmproduktion
Lutz Dammbeck
Lornsenplatz 11
22767 Hamburg/Germany
phone +49-40-4 39 73 45
fax +49-40-4 30 27 14
lutz.dammbeck@hamburg.de