The Tin Drum: A Critical Ode in Picaresque (Part Five)

Seeing Great Works Begets Seeing Great Works

What is true of many great works of art is that it makes you want to see other great works of art that inspired it or that came from some of the same minds. One link that The Tin Drum inextricably has is with Apocalypse Now, which it tied for Palme d’Or. These two films, in part about the absurdities of war would make quite a harrowing double feature of sizable length.


This is, somehow, still the only Schlöndorff film I’ve seen to date. Both his other films and the books they are based on now intrigue me even more like The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum, (The Confusions of Young Törless; as well as works that inspired it like Macunaíma, a Brazilian film starring Grande Otelo, which inspired Oskar’s birth scene; Fellini’s Amarcord, and Homo Faber.

Something discovered while watching the bonuses on this disc was that Schlöndorff cut his teeth working with Louis Malle, and that seems to make a perfect kind of sense and there sensibilities do have a sort of an overlap.


The film is also referred to at one point as Brechtian, which is especially interesting consider the fact that a Schlöndorff adaptation of Brecht’s Baal was produced for West German television and starred Rainer Werner Fassbinder. This is a film I must see and something Criterion should seriously consider looking into.

And additional great work is included as a supplemental feature. It is a dramatized reading of a sequence from the novel by Grass accompanied by the scenes from the film the prose describes.

German films could confront the past through the glorious Hollywood image, as Corrigan states, and this is one of the finest examples but there are certainly others out there worth looking into.