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Philipp Schulze joined Cinema as an intern back in 1998. Today he is editor-in-chief of Germany’s big film magazine. Here he talks about his passion for film, memorable encounters, analysing James Bond and getting goosebumps: “You don’t simply acquire film knowledge. You develop it as you grow.”
“How does an Eskimo pee?” Rocker Werner asks Otto, the East Frisian weakling, in the Crome de la Crome biker bar. Holding a handful of ice cubes in front of his crotch, he slowly lets them fall to the floor. Silence. Then the cinema erupts with laughter. That was 1985, my first trip to the cinema. “Otto – The Film” would go on to become the most successful German film of all time. Thankfully, humour has evolved in the intervening years. But my passion for cinema has endured. It was a place people went to laugh and cry together, to share thrills and travel to exotic locales. Nowhere else provided such experiences. From then on I was a regular at my local cinema, the “Schauburg”. Every Sunday at 3 pm I would sit through staid insurance adverts, unrestrainedly jolly ice cream jingles and compelling music somewhere between Giorgio Moroder and horrible synth pop as I was inducted into the world of cinema.
I bought my first edition of Cinema for 3 Deutschmarks at a flea market during the city festival in 1984. Roger Moore and Sean Connery graced the cover. The title? “Bond vs Bond: the duel”. I was immediately hooked on reports about the latest Hollywood films, German gems such as “The Mad Aunts” and regular portraits of aspiring starlets like Sophie Marceau and Désiree Nosbusch. At home, our bulky television showed adventure films, comedies, thrillers and horrors – whatever happened to be on. You don’t simply acquire film knowledge. You develop it as you grow.
“I joined Cinema as an intern”
I joined Cinema as an intern in 1998, having driven my teachers and professors crazy by analysing James Bond in my school and university assignments. After an intensive period in Hollywood, attending the Oscars and dinner parties in a polyester tux, I became the editor in 2003. 60 films and series a month, James Cameron as my first interviewee, joining Peter Jackson as he directed “The Hobbit” and meeting James Bond on the Bosporus. The most memorable experiences of my career so far? A private and absolutely terrifying opera performance by Christopher Lee (AKA Dracula) in Hamburg’s Four Seasons Hotel, annoying Daniel Craig (a football fan) by mentioning England’s failure to qualify for Euro 2008 and sitting next to Sir Roger Moore. Moore’s tips for young actors? “Don’t fall into the set and have a clause in your contract that lets you keep all your suits.” A gentleman through and through: shrewd, polite, clear-sighted. That encounter has stayed with me for a long time, both as a journalist and as a film fan.
In the mid-2000s, series with complex character development and daring storylines finally stepped out of Hollywood’s shadow. For someone who devoured “Magnum”, “Twin Peaks” and the cheesy German series “The Black Forest Clinic” (everyone has a skeleton in their TV closet), this was a veritable Eldorado of entertainment. Today, many series are ten-part cinematic experiences that are putting Hollywood under intense pressure. This rivalry, which inspires both sides to greatness, led us to launch Serien Magazin, our TV series magazine.
Sharing the passion for stories large and small
Since 1 April 2018, I have been editor-in-chief of both Cinema and Serien Magazin. My goal is to share and celebrate our passion for stories large and small with our readers and users. In our magazine, vlogs and podcasts, on our website and social networks. Every month, every week, every day.
For Alfred Hitchcock, love of cinema was more important than morality. Nouvelle vague icon François Truffaut found films to be more tender than life itself. Film means something different to everyone. When I sit in a cinema, the lights go down and the curtain pulls back to reveal the screen, I get goosebumps.