Wastebook scenes (IFFR 1994)
Film of play about the original
and witty eighteenth-century writer and academic Lichtenberg.
The film is based on the play Lichtenberg, Scenes
on the Threshold of the Modern Age by Cyrille Offermans. While the protagonist
Lichtenberg has several things in common with George Christoph Lichtenberg
(1742-1799) an experimental physicist and writer of the famous Sudelbücher as
well as many no less infamous letters - no attempt has been made at accuracy.
Several facts from the life of the historic figure have been incorporated into
the character, but the latter remains the brain-child of the writer Offermans.
From time to time Lichtenberg quotes writers he could not know, strictly
speaking: 19th- and 20th-century authors. These are formulations of ideas
emanating from his own work in a natural way.
Dave is a young English scholar who is studying
physics and philosophy under Lichtenberg. He is also his assistant. Mrs von
Lukács is of an undefinable age and spontaneous. Much about her remains
uncertain, for instance whether she is the 'Sophie' with whom Lichtenberg
corresponds. 'Sophie' may only exist 'phantasmagorically' for Lichtenberg.
Because while Lichtenberg practices exact science, he is no stranger to the
tendency towards the 'phantasmagorical'.Ugly and hunchbacked as he is,
Lichtenberg can easily identify himself with the victim, the little animal, the
underdog. He is still on guard to avoid becoming the victim of his passionate
attitude towards his surroundings.