Honorary Golden Bear for Charlotte Rampling
Charlotte Rampling’s body of work comprises more than 100 film and television roles. She has been a guest of the Berlin International Film Festival several times; in 2006, she was president of the International Jury for the 56th Berlinale and in 2015, she won the Silver Bear for Best Actress for 45 Years (directed by Andrew Haigh). That same role garnered her an Academy Award nomination that year, as well as her second European Film Award for Best Actress.
After studying acting at the Royal Court Theatre, the renowned actress began her film career in 1965. One of her first roles was in the witty British film Georgy Girl (1966), directed by Silvio Narizzano. Luchino Visconti’s 1969 political drama La caduta degli dei (The Damned) brought Rampling international fame and she would go on to work often with Italian directors. Her role in 1974’s Il portiere di notte, directed by Liliana Cavani unleashed a wave of controversy. In the film, Rampling plays a concentration camp survivor who by chance later encounters the Nazi SS officer who forced her as a young woman into sadomasochistic sexual games. Italian critics crowned her “actress of the year” for the performance. Rampling recently took on the lead in Andrea Pallaoro’s film Hannah. For the title role in this intimate portrait of a woman dealing with the consequences of her husband’s incarceration, she won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the 2017 Venice Film Festival.
Charlotte Rampling also acted in films in the United States beginning in the 1970s, working with many well-known directors. She appeared as the female lead alongside Robert Mitchum in Dick Richards’ screen version of Raymond Chandler’s Farewell, My Lovely (1975), and embodied the melancholy Dorrie in Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories (1980). Two years later, she appeared in Sidney Lumet’s thriller The Verdict (1982) with Paul Newman and Jack Warden. Charlotte Rampling’s intense acting stems from a complete surrender to the characters she plays, often women in extreme situations, whom she brings to the screen with what she calls an “emotional truthfulness”. She brought those qualities to her unusual role in the 1986 Nagisa Oshima film Max mon amour.
Charlotte Rampling grew up in England and France. She has been living in France since the mid-1970s. Among her best-known work are roles in numerous prize-winning French films. She has made four movies to date with director François Ozon alone, starting with Sous le sable (Under the Sand, 2000), followed three years later by the drama of female dynamics Swimming Pool. For that role as a mystery writer, she won the 2003 European Film Award for Best Actress. In 2007, she worked with Ozon again on Angel, and six years after that on Jeune & Jolie (Young & Beautiful).
Laurent Cantet’s 2005 film Vers le sud (Heading South) also provided a chance for Rampling to show off her acting chops in a complex, emotional drama, which won the CinemAvvenire award at the Venice Film Festival. In her 2011 documentary Charlotte Rampling - The Look, German director Angelina Maccarone created a comprehensive cinematic portrait of the actress. Rampling has also taken on a variety of interesting character roles in TV series such as Dexter (2013) and the second season of the British murder mystery Broadchurch (2015).
She has appeared in three theatrical features this year alone — Red Sparrow (directed by Francis Lawrence) alongside Jennifer Lawrence, The Little Stranger (directed by Lenny Abrahamson), and Michel Blanc’s Voyez comme on danse (Kiss & Tell). She is currently in production on Paul Verhoeven’s film Benedetta, scheduled for release in 2019.
The Films of the Homage
GB 2015, directed by Andrew Haigh
The marriage of an ageing couple is sent into crisis when the discovery of human remains reawakens the husband’s memories of his first love. Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay give nuanced, intimate portraits for which they both won Silver Bears.
Charlotte Rampling – The Look
G/F 2011, directed by Angelina Maccarone
Talking to friends and colleagues, including American writer Paul Auster, Charlotte Rampling talks about existential subjects and the key films in her career. A documentary portrait of a charismatic woman and actor.
I/BE/F, 2017, directed by Andrea Pallaoro
A study of few words of a woman faced with increasing isolation after her husband goes to prison for a terrible crime. Charlotte Rampling garnered the Best Actress award at the 2017 Venice Film Festival for her magnificent performance.
La caduta degli dei
(The Damned), I/West Germany 1969, directed by Luchino Visconti
After the murder of a steel magnate in 1933, his heirs and relatives become instruments of the Nazis. Visconti’s dark family saga celebrates the moral bankruptcy of a German industrialist dynasty in opulent imagery.
Max mon amour
F/USA 1986, directed by Nagisa Oshima
The wife of a British diplomat has an affair with a chimpanzee. Her husband proposes that Max the chimp come live with them … A surreal marriage farce that is reminiscent of Luis Buñuel’s later work.
Il portiere di notte
(The Night Porter), I 1974, directed by Liliana Cavani
A former concentration camp prisoner and an SS doctor resume the relationship they had in the camp. Liliana Cavani’s “scandal film” turned Charlotte Rampling into an icon of androgynous pop for the 1970s sexual sub-culture.
Sous le sable
(Under the Sand), F/J 2000, directed by François Ozon
Marie’s husband disappears without a trace while they are on vacation, believed to have drowned in the sea. But Marie does not accept Jean’s death. Charlotte Rampling displays fascinating vitality playing a woman intent on denying the death in her life.
USA 1980, directed by Woody Allen
Woody Allen’s tragi-comedy revolves around a director of film comedies who’s made his first serious movie. The studio is not happy with the result. Attending a seaside retrospective of his work, he has a series of bizarre encounters and visions.
F/GB 2003, directed by François Ozon
An aging mystery writer from London retreats to her publisher’s holiday home in the south of France, where she is confronted by the riotous love life of his 17-year-old daughter. A steamy summer thriller starring Charlotte Rampling and Ludivine Sagnier.
USA 1982, directed by Sidney Lumet
A pregnant woman falls into a coma while giving birth. Her relatives’ lawyer sues for malpractice. In court, he faces off against a star defence attorney, who will stop at nothing to win. A suspenseful courtroom drama.
Vers le sud
(Heading South), F/CA/BE 2005, directed by Laurent Cantet
North American tourists in Haiti compete for the attentions of a young, black local man. But with him, the violence of the island dictatorship ultimately seeps in to the insular world of the vacationers.
Find out more about Charlotte Rampling and the 2019 Homage film program in our companion brochure.