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Personalien – Albert Serra

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2019: #59. Personalien – Albert Serra

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2019: #59. Personalien – Albert Serra


The multifaceted and indefatigable Catalonian director Albert Serra turns to more contemporary climes with his latest project Personalien, a portrait of an episode from the life of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Starring Lluis Serrat (of Serra’s experimental Rui Soleil, 2018) and Xavier Grataos, the film is being produced by Montse Triola, and Fabrizio Ferraro through Andergraun Films. Serra is a well-known auteur on the festival circuit, a director of instant note following the premiere of Quixotic/Honor de Cavelleria in the Directors’ Fortnight, where he returned in 2008 with Birdsong. Notably, Serra won the Golden Leopard in Locarno with 2013’s Story of My Death and screened out-of-competition with his superb The Death of Louis XIV, which starred Jean-Pierre Leaud.

Gist: Personalien will examine Fassbinder’s staging of a theater play in a Berlin theater dealing the debauchery of the 18th century. Revenge against and continued desire for actor Gunther Kaufmann, the director’s former lover who left him to father two children with his wife sets the stage for a dramatic clash.

Release Date/Prediction: Production was scheduled to begin in Berlin in September 2018. While Berlin would, in turn, be an appropriate venue in which Personalien would premiere, the timeline suggests Serra’s return to Cannes, where he would potentially secure a slot in a sidebar, most likely Directors’ Fortnight.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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