Fassbinder muse Schygulla to claim Berlin film fest prize

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The Independent Culture

German screen legend Hanna Schygulla will pick up an honorary Golden Bear prize for lifetime achievement at the 60th Berlin Film Festival, organisers said Thursday.

The Berlinale, which ranks among the top three European film festivals, said Schygulla, 65, had made an indelible mark on German cinema in the 20 films by Rainer Werner Fassbinder in which she appeared.

"She was considered Fassbinder's muse and through him she became an icon of New German Cinema," the festival said in a statement.

"We are honouring an actress who, after being featured as anti-star by Fassbinder in his early films, became - with her expressive sensuality and stirring voice - one of Europe's most exciting actresses."

She claimed the best actress award in Berlin in 1979 for "The Marriage of Maria Braun" and in Cannes in 1983 for "Storia di Piera" by Marco Ferreri and more recently drew critical praise for her performance in the 2007 drama by German-Turkish director Fatih Akin "The Edge of Heaven".

Her role in "Lili Marleen" in 1981 launched her reputation as the "new Marlene Dietrich" in the United States, and some of her solo directorial work has entered the collection of the Modern Museum of Art in New York.

Schygulla will accept the prize February 18 and her most famous films and her video work will be shown during the Berlinale, running February 11 to 21.

Another honorary Golden Bear for lifetime achievement will go to German screenwriter Wolfgang Kohlhaase February 17.

Oscar-nominated German director Wolfgang Herzog ("Fitzcarraldo", "Encounters at the End of the World") is to lead the international jury.