Imperium comes to New York

Finsterworld screenwriter to read from new book.

by Anne-Katrin Titze

Imperium author Christian Kracht, Finsterworld director Frauke Finsterwalder with Anne-Katrin Titze
Imperium author Christian Kracht, Finsterworld director Frauke Finsterwalder with Anne-Katrin Titze

Into my conversations with Uschi Reich, producer of Dominik Graf's Beloved Sisters at the New York Film Festival, The Sleepwalker's Mona Fastvold and Brady Corbet, director of the upcoming The Childhood Of A Leader, starring Bérénice Bejo, Liam Cunningham, Stacy Martin, Sophie Curtis and Robert Pattinson (who stars with Dane DeHaan and Ben Kingsley in Anton Corbijn's Life), Christian Kracht's novel, Imperium, sailed in.

While reading his South Sea adventure from the age of empire, I envisioned it as a film directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the third link to The Master and the Thomas Pynchon adaptation, Inherent Vice.

Christian Kracht's Imperium: A Fiction Of The South Seas (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Christian Kracht's Imperium: A Fiction Of The South Seas (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Jan Ole Gerster, the director of A Coffee In Berlin (Oh Boy!) and its star Tom Schilling (from Philipp Kadelbach's Generation War) were announced in January to be attached to the filming of the German best-seller.

Christian Kracht's novel is an unforgettable cinematic feast for the soul, offering up a dazzling gaze into grand adventures and dangerous desires. We join "our friend" August Engelhardt, as he embarks on a journey to a remote South Sea island in New Pomerania, German New Guinea, to start a coconut plantation and explore alternative ways of vegetarian living. It is the dawn of the 20th century and Engelhardt dreams of a new world order.

Imperium: A Fiction of the South Seas begins with this gentle wake up call: "Beneath the long white clouds, beneath the resplendent sun, beneath the pale firmament could be heard, first, a prolonged tooting; then the ship’s bell emphatically sounded the midday hour, and a Malaysian boy strode, gentle-footed and quiet, the length of the upper deck so as to wake with a circumspect squeeze of the shoulder those passengers who had drifted off to sleep again just after their lavish breakfast."

Christian Kracht is the co-screenwriter of the profoundly universal Finsterworld with Frauke Finsterwalder.

On Wednesday, July 22, at 7:00pm, Christian Kracht will read from Imperium, followed by a discussion with Daniel Bowles, moderated by Eye For Film's Anne-Katrin Titze at the Swiss Institute in New York. The event is free and there will be a wine reception provided by the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York.

Imperium: A Fiction of the South Seas, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, translated by Daniel Bowles, hits bookstores in the US on July 14.

Swiss Institute, 18 Wooster Street, New York (212.925.2035).

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