The film follows the traces of the painter Erich «Ricco» Wassmer (1915-1972) who grew up in a magical dreamworld, in his parents’ castle where numerous artists and writers frequented. Soon he travelled around the world twice as a sailor on a freighter. 1951 he settled in the castle of Bompré, Vichy, France, where some of his major works on literary topics were painted. 1963 the French police arrested him due to nude photographs of young men, which served as a basis of his work. A few years later, Ricco died in a Manoir in Ropraz, Switzerland on 27th March 1972.
The character of the painter is being looked at from different perspectives: in interviews with collectors, family members, former neighbours, ancient models and friends. Through reflections, the paintings are translated into impressive filmic images.
Riccos work has not experienced the attention it deserved during his lifetime for several reasons. He did not care for the commercial aspects of his art, the trend in painting pointing to a different direction in the decisive sixties. Ricco was never a «mainstream» artist and stayed an adventurer and an eccentric.
Mike Wildbolz, born 1947 in Philadelphia (USA), lived in Ludiano/TI since 1989,
died on 10th January 2002.
Filmography (selection, all documentaries)
1985 Wir und die sogennannt Normalen
1992 Das langsame Sterben des Sumatranashorns
1998 Ryhiner’s Business – Erinnerungen an einen Tierfänger
1998 La rupe della clausura
With the participation of
Elisabeth Bäny, Alain Gilliéron, Stephan Gilliéron, Anton Grieb, Pierre Gygi, Lilly Keller, Emanuel Martin, Trudy Martz, François Mignon, Andrée Rod, Susy Roos, Angèle Stettler, Michael Stettler, Silvia Valentin, Heinz Zumbühl.
Charles Cantieni, Jean-Jacques Chastellain, Marie-Laure De Beausacq, Chrige Fankhauser, Christoph Geiser, Gianni Gheller, Sylviane Klein, Philippe Kunz, Susy Maurer, Elly Meister, E.Y.Meyer, Jean-Louis Stauffer, Mousse Voulanger, Rolf Wahl, Ruedi Wassmer
Carter : Charlie Trollet
Improvized aria by Philippe Friedrich
Text "Anthropotomy" and "Endymion"
by Christoph Geiser
Film clips from "Der Vogel Fleming" by Anton Grieb
Text extract from "Morgenlandfahrt" by Hermann Hesse, Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main
Poem "L'enfance" by Arthur Rimbaud
Concept : Mike Wildbolz, Liliana Piantini Piffaretti, Urs Markun
Director : Mike Wildbolz
Assistant director : Liliana Piantini Piffaretti
Director of photography : Thomas Hardmeier, Urs Kohler, Nicolas Joray
Sound engineer : Otto Cavadini, Franco Rivabella, Urs Buettikofer
Editing : Marianne Quarti
Speakers : Christoph Geiser, Emmanuel Pouilly, Christian Wittwer, Markus Zohner
Music : Ivo Antognini
Sound design : Paolo Logli
Transcript : Ingrid Joray, Suzanne Mettez
Technical equipment : Pic Film SA, Megarent AG, Dieter Meyer Tontechnik
MediaComposer : Iceberg-Film SA
Sound studio : Magnetix AG
Colour matching : On Line Video 46
Tape to Film Transfer : Swiss Effects Thomas Krempke
Raw stock : Kodak SA, Felix Berger
Laboratory : Egli Film&Video AG
Location manager Ropraz : Alain Gilliéron
Location manager French Polynesia : Carlo Zanotta
Book accounting : CF Audit&Consulting SA, Claudio Fontana
Coproducer : Doc Productions GmbH, Rose-Marie Schneider
Executive producer : Ludianofilm, Mike Wildbolz
Bundesamt für Kultur
Ruedi A. Wassmer/Holdit
Ludianofilm Sagl, Ludiano
Doc Productions GmbH, Zürich
Ludiano Film and Doc Productions GmbH