TABLE OF CONTENTS

film

Valeska Grisebach’s Western

Valeska Grisebach, Western, 2017, HD video, color, sound, 119 minutes. Meinhard (Meinhard Neumann) and Adrian (Syuleyman Alilov Letifov).

IN THE VERY FIRST SHOT of Western, a German/Bulgarian production written and directed by Valeska Grisebach and released this month, a tall, lanky, casually dressed man crosses a street, walks toward the camera, and enters a building. The shot, like the man, seems nondescript—typical, in fact, of the film’s unfussy demeanor and in keeping with its working-class atmosphere. It’s representative of a style and a territory that this director blends with uncanny skill. Like the work of Argentinean filmmaker Lucrecia Martel, Grisebach’s films are few and far between, but each leaves an indelible mark.

Grisebach made her debut in 2001 with Be My Star, but Longing (2006), her second feature, put her on the map. It is a heartbreaking tale: Markus, a fireman and metalworker in a small town in Germany, is caught up in an affair with another woman despite being deeply in love with his

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW at the special holiday rate of $45 a year—70% off the newsstand price. You’ll receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the February 2018 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.