Tempel der frustrierten Träume: Das Verschwinden des Franz-Josef Spieker
Mein ausführlicher Artikel über den vergessenen Filmemacher Franz-Josef Spieker – „Tempel der frustrierten Träume: Das Verschwinden des Franz-Josef Spieker“ – ist im österreichischen „ray“ online erschienen.
Als Assistent von Stanley Kubrick sowie Douglas Sirk und als Mit-Unterzeichner des Oberhausener Manifests und Regisseur des einst populären Films „Wilder Reiter GmbH“ war er in den 1960er-Jahren in aller Munde. Dann drehte er zwei Flops, floh ins Ausland. Kollegen und ehemalige Unterstützer hatten ihn aus den Augen verloren, bevor er im Alter von 44 Jahren angeblich Opfer eines grausamen Ritualmordes auf Bali wurde. Bis auf einen zehnminütigen Kurzfilm – „Süden im Schatten“ – ist keines seiner Werke auf DVD oder über Mediatheken erhältlich. 2023 hätte er seinen 90. Geburtstag gefeiert. Wer war diese einstige Nachwuchshoffnung des deutschen Films, die zum Phantom geworden ist?
Für den Artikel habe ich Interviews geführt u.a. mit Volker Schlöndorff, Margarethe von Trotta, Werner Enke, Alexander Kluge und Rob Houwer.
Meine Arbeit ist einsehbar unter diesem Link.
The Unfilmable Confederacy of Dunces – How Ignatius J. Reilly Defeated Hollywood
After some delay, my new book, The Unfilmable Confederacy of Dunces – How Ignatius J. Reilly Defeated Hollywood, was finally published on December 2, 2022, by McFarland.
For more than 40 years, dozens of film directors, writers and producers tried and failed to adapt John Kennedy Toole’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel A Confederacy of Dunces. Along the way lawsuits were filed, filming locations destroyed, friendships shattered, reputations trashed, production companies bankrupted. Drawing on exclusive interviews, internal documents and private correspondence, this book tells the remarkable story of the non-making of A Confederacy of Dunces as a breathless and absurdist thriller. Celebrity appearances include John Belushi, Steven Soderbergh, Stephen Fry, Robin Williams, Warren Beatty and Harvey Weinstein, among others.
For more information, please visit my publisher’s homepage:
McFarland – The Unfilmable Confederacy of Dunces
Samples and excerpts can be read via Google Books:
Google Books – The Unfilmable Confederacy of Dunces
The book is available as e-book and paperback from every established retailer. American readers can purchase it from the following sites, for example:
Barnes & Noble
British readers may purchase it from:
German readers can get a signed copy from IFFMA Shop:
More news will be posted as reviews come in. Stay tuned!
The Unfilmable Confederacy of Dunces
After three years of work, my new book, The Unfilmable Confederacy of Dunces, will be published this summer by McFarland.
For over 40 years, dozens of directors, writers and producers have tried to adapt John Kennedy Toole’s Pulitzer Prize-winning classic A Confederacy of Dunces. They have all failed. Lawsuits were filed, filming locations destroyed, friendships shattered, reputations trashed, production companies bankrupted.
This book tells the unbelievable-yet-true story of the un-making of A Confederacy of Dunces as a breathless and absurdist thriller. The stars include celebrities such as John Belushi, Steven Soderbergh, Stephen Fry, Pedro Almodóvar, Robin Williams, Warren Beatty and Harvey Weinstein among many others.
With exclusive interviews, internal documents, and excerpts from private correspondence, I shed a light on the turbulent production history of a film that was never meant to be. For the first time, a detailed account of a doomed project is made public. It features passionate oil magnates, abusive Hollywood executives, an interfering uber-mother, and struggling artists on the verge of a nervous breakdown
Masterclass in Ghent
On the 21st of October 2021 I will give a masterclass at the Film Festival in Ghent, Belgium. Titled How a Business Frustrates its Minors, it will focus on the issues and challenges as experienced by composers working in media:
„As editor-in-chief of film music magazine Cinema Musica and producer for the record label Caldera Records Stephan Eicke has noticed how composers working in media have started to voice their concerns about their working conditions. Via exclusive interview excerpts with composers such as Mychael Danna and Marco Beltrami, he will discuss in his masterclass the increased pressure on creatives, decreasing payments, the stress that comes with digital editing, and the necessity to work with ghost writers in order to get a job done in time.“
For more information, please visit the homepage of the Film Festival Ghent.
On the 29th of May, I will give a live online workshop entitled Nobody Needs Music – How Sound Design Can Help Tell a Story.
Where does music stop and sound design start? Excerpts and examples from films such as Come and See, Eraserhead and The Conversation show how music and sound design can work together to help tell a story, and how a close collaboration between composer and sound designer can enhance the viewing experience.
Via exclusive interviews with artists such as Walter Murch, this master class highlights how sound design can even replace music to enhance the viewing experience by supplying the emotions and moods necessary.
For more information – and to get your ticket – please click here: Workshop
Directors And Their Composers
For MediaSoundHamburg, I write a monthly column, highlighting and analysing the collaboration between acclaimed filmmakers and their composers. You can read the interviews by clicking on the links below:
Werner Herzog & Ernst Reijseger – Part I
Interview with Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog & Ernst Reijseger – Part II
Interview with Ernst Reijseger
Werner Herzog & Ernst Reijseger – Part III
Mike Leigh & Andrew Dickson & Gary Yershon – Part I
Interview with Mike Leigh
Interview about The Struggle Behind the Soundtrack
In the middle of January 2021, Conrado Xalabarder interviewed me about my book, The Struggle Behind the Soundtrack, for MundoBSO. The 50-minute conversation (in English) is now archived on YouTube.
For more information about my book, click here: The Struggle Behind the Soundtrack
More Reviews for The Struggle Behind the Soundtrack
My book, The Struggle Behind the Soundtrack, which was published by McFarland in 2019, was recently featured in the June edition of Fotogramas, the largest Spanish magazine devoted to film. In the five-star review, it says, „Stephan Eicke shows the dark reality of a Hollywood ripe with abuse, pressure and exploitation. […] This book is full of brave statements, and a must-read for those who want to have a future in Hollywood. Those who are hoping for the best can prepare for the worst. It is a fundamental book.“
There has also been a (further) positive review on MundoBSO, the largest Spanish website devoted to film music: „Stephan Eicke is one of the most intelligent, knowledgeable and fine cynics in this medium. He’s an ant in an environment of cicadas. Admiration and respect!“