Hell’s Bells

German premiere of the newest film by John Bock

Starring leading German actors including Bibiana Beglau, Lars Eidinger, Frank Seppeler and Laurenz Leky, the feature-length work Hell’s Bells transforms the genre of the Western into a melodramatic and meandering story populated by allegorical characters.
Hell’s Bell’s unfolds in a gloomy, nocturnal realm centring on an unnamed town. Bock tells the story of a stranger (Beglau) who arrives in town accompanied by a deaf child. The child influences the actions and fates of the other characters like a puppeter pulling invisible strings, steering the plot from within. Inflicting death out of sheer boredom and capriciousness, she symbolises mysterious malevolence, but is also a retributive power, using the figure of the stranger as a proxy or weapon for inflicting harm on other evil characters.

Bock’s characters recall the classic roles of the Western genre – a hero, a villain and (in the tortured figure of the priest, played by Seppeler) something in-between. Yet as the plot develops and takes unexpected turns, these personae are invested with subtler shades of individualization and strangeness. The stranger is a brooding, silent and fearsome presence – described by Bock as “a black, ghostly shadow” throughout the story. By contrast, the priest is filled with self-loathing, struggling with his loss of faith and the hypocrisy of his existence. The villain (Eidinger) is a witty and flamboyant jester, who strings along the other characters through grandiose and humorous ruses; while being thwarted, in the end, by his own cynicism. Leky’s character, gun-shot-wound-Jo, is the archetypal funny guy who gets shot and injured repeatedly but never dies. Cinematic tropes are similarly redeployed and subverted: the classic Western moment of an injured person pulling a bullet from their flesh unravels into a frenetic ritual, acted out by a mad doctor in a hellish surgery.

About Bibiana Beglau
Since the beginning of her career, Bibiana Beglau has worked with the directors responsible for transforming contemporary theater and cinema. She performed regularly under the direction of Christoph Schlingensief, Dimiter Gotscheff Einar Schleef, Frank Castorf, Luk Perceval and Martin Kušej before winning national and international acclaim for her leading role in Volker Schlöndorff’s feature film ‘The Legend of Rita’. Bibiana Beglau has been the recipient of many awards and commended as an actress for her outstanding performances, including the Berlinale Silver Bear for best actress, the Ulrich Wildgruber Prize and the Adolf Grimme Prize. Alongside theatrical engagements at all of the most important German-speaking theaters Bibiana Beglau has performed in many major film and television productions including ‘The Murderer and His Child’, ‘The Ninth Day’, ‘3 Degrees Colder’ and ‘Under the Ice’.  Her dramatic intensity as well as her confident interpretations of the most contradictory emotions are as appreciated by directors as they are widely regarded by the press. Her performances reveal exceptional acting intelligence as well as a unique and dazzling physicality with which she brings her roles to life. She can currently be seen at  the Residenztheater in Munich as well as at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg. For her outstanding dramatic achievements, Bibiana Beglau has been awarded the German Theater Prize 2015 - Der Faust. Bibiana Beglau is a member of the renowned Academy of the Arts as well as the Bavarian Academy of the Beautiful Arts.

About Lars Eidinger
Lars Eidinger, born in Berlin in 1976, studied from 1995 to 1999 at the prestigious Ernst Busch
Academy of Dramatic Art in Berlin. 
Since 1999 he has been an ensemble member at the Berliner Schaubühne. His portrayals of Hamlet and Richard III. in the productions of Thomas Ostermeier were internationally acclaimed and made him into a formative actor of the Schaubühne. 
Next to his theater work, Lars Eidinger is featured in numerous cinema and television productions, amongst others in Alle Anderen (directed by Maren Ade, 2008), Goltzius & The Pelican Company (directed by Peter Greenaway, 2011), Was bleibt (directed by Hans-Christian Schmid, 2011), Tatort – Borowski und der stille Gast (directed by Christian Alvart, 2012), Clouds of Sils Maria (directed by Olivier Assayas, 2013), Familienfest (directed by Lars Kraume, 2014), Personal Shopper (directed by Olivier Assayas, 2015), SS-GB (BBC, directed by Philipp Kadelbach, 2015), Mathilda (directed by Alexey Uchitel, 2014-15), Die Blumen von gestern (directed by Chris Kraus, 2015), Terror (directed by Lars Kraume, 2016), Werk ohne Autor (directed by F. H. v. Donnersmarck), Babylon Berlin (directed by Tom Tykwer, Hendrik Handloegten, Achim von Borries), Sense 8 (directed by Lana, Wachowski, Lilli Wachowski), Alle Anderen by Maren Ade, in which Lars Eidinger plays the male lead role alongside Birgit Minichmayr, was awarded the Silver Bear of the Berlinale in 2009.
He was nominated for the German TV Prize as Best Actor in 2010 for Verhältnisse and 2013 for Polizeiruf – Der Tod macht Engel aus uns allen.
In 2013, Lars Eidinger received the German Film Critics' Prize as Best Actor and in 2014 the Grimme Award. 
In addition to acting, Lars Eidinger is a musician and DJ. He lives in Berlin with his family.


Berlinische Galerie

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