‘All Quiet On The Western Front’ Team On Taking The German POV For Their “Small Big Movie” – Contenders Film: The Nominees
“I was always a big fan of the original movie, but I did feel while watching subsequent American or British war films that is a question of perspective that I can’t tell,” All Quiet on the Western Front director Edward Berger said of his motivation in finally bringing a German version of the iconic World War I tale to the big screen.
“There is a different perspective on the war, that they can go out of it with pride or honor even and victoriously — you can tell that type of story. In Germany, you can’t tell that story.”
“The terror that Germany brought into the world, we’ve inherited that, and so this movie was our chance, my chance I felt, to put all that feeling, and the responsibility, and that shame into this movie.”
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Berger, the film’s co-writer, producer and director, was speaking during Deadline’s Contenders Film: The Nominees event, joined by star Albrecht Schuch, director of photography James Friend, composer Volker Bertelmann and Makeup and Hairstyling designer Heike Merker.
Starring Schuch, Felix Kammerer and Daniel Brühl, All Quiet launched on Netflix on October 26 last year. It has since been nominated for nine Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best International Feature. The ambitious adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s classic 1929 antiwar novel also is up for Cinematography, Original Score, Adapted Screenplay, Sound, Production Design, Visual Effects and Make-up and Hair Styling.
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“Honestly, for me I treated the whole movie like a painting,” Merker said of the techniques and challenges she and her department employed and faced in finding the right look for the film, as the production also dealt with the restrictions of Covid safety protocols.
“I looked up so many documentaries, and pictures from that time,” the veteran designer Merker added. “This was our color range, and I don’t want to have just one color. I want to have a layer of colors in different ways, different consistencies and so we can play with.”
“We wanted to feel real, we wanted it to feel as authentic as humanly possible,” added Friend about what he called their “small big movie.”
Check out the panel video above.