The Return of the Neanderthal Man tells the story of the unsuspected return and time travel of mankind's venerable forefather. It's the reaction to this "rebirth" by some of the species that inhabit this earth that drives this social satire. I would call it, in one way, a rather traditional comedy; caveman meets beautiful young, idealistic, environmentalist graduate student, who tries to protect him from modern society as the forces of evil struggle to kidnap him in order to retire on the media rights!
On the other hand virtual versions of the old questions of money, fame, politics and primal urges in modern disguise. The bad guys may become good guys and good girls... it's up to you to decide! The perpetrator thinks he's the victim and the victim becomes the perpetrator.
This film shows everyone at their worst, in a lovely way: the Germans, the Americans, the beauty with the good intentions, even the simple male prototype himself! Easy and fun on one hand, a little sharp edged on the other, hopefully enjoyable all the way through.
The Return of the Neanderthal Man is an ensemble piece with a young female lead and an ancient hero. The returned Neanderthal man and 'Forefather' brings out projections, reactions, revealments and demasking of a fine group of contemporaries: a young precocious woman, a good-hearted, straight-forward maintenance worker and his patriotic and pedantic boss, a seemingly sovereign professor, crazy mental hospital doctors longing for patients, a typical German next neighbour, a semi-criminal media supplier duo and a demi-monde, hired gun, self acclaimed American TV anthropologist and his apparently gay Latino assistant, the forefront of the nosy tabloid papers and the worldwide sensationalist TV. Out of his world into our world with a surprising return ticket the Neanderthal man reveals the best and the worst of everybody.
The genre of the original script is a mixture between drama, satire and comedy, entertaining mainstream with a dash of intelligence and a touch of social criticism.
The style of the movie changes permanently into various genres and formats. From the ancient silent movie tradition to colorful modern techniques of Experimental Film and Video Clip, creating references from Police Academy and Keystone Cops and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest to Lars van Trier and Jørgen Leth in one movie. From directorial point of view the presentation and interpretation of the surreal and sometimes absurd and Dadaistic story will be extended and emphasized by different aesthetic positions, influences from Art and Experimental Film, Docu Soaps, Art House Movies and B-Movies, running down the alphabet to the trashy end, all framed in a Hollywood style opening and ending.
Winning the "EMERGING NARRATIVE FEATURE FILMMAKER-AWARD".
Geneva, Illinois April 15th, 2011
"Acceptance speech" of the not present Director Florian Steinbiss
We are delighted to win an award at the Geneva Film Festival, near Chicago, USA! When I visited L.A. the last time, I did what I always do, use public transportation. Riding the bus to downtown L.A., my "Mexican friends" from East L.A. had to pay, I didn't. The bus driver waved me through. For me that was clearly a case of social injustice. Judging by the cloth alone it was obvious that I had more money than my "Mexican friends". On the way out, I inquired about the unexpected fair waver. "Senior citizens get a free ride" was the answer. I was shocked. I never thought of myself fitting in this category. The grave would be the next step. Then I became very sad even too sad to sing the blues. My miserable mood reminded me of my youth. I was very young and very much in love, not quite understanding the concept of the human no-mind and hitch-hiking from Bonn, Germany to Geneva, Switzerland and was desperate to see a woman that was even younger than I am, only to find out that she was in love with an ugly law student. Ever since that episode I never approached the French speaking town again.
When we were almost finished with the film, the actor Jon Chardiet who played the Neanderthal man, thought it would be a good idea to apply for American Film Festivals. He filled out the applications and I had to send the money and the DVD's. I saw the name Geneva and had the blues again. I was even a little bit mad at Jon. He told me he would search for interesting American Venues. Why the hell of all places Geneva? At a third look I found out that it was not Paris, Texas but Geneva, Illinois. I was still irritated to read that name, but Mr. Chardiet wanted to apply for that festival and we did. No arguments with somebody who acted like a real Neanderthal man.
One day I was reading my JUNK-mail and all of a sudden unbelievable news stuck my attention. After winning the "Indie" for "Best Of Show” (main prize) in La Jolla, California we or in this case I won another award, it came needless to say from Geneva, Illinois and it was for "EMERGING NARRATIVE FEATURE FILMMAKER".
Thank you GENEVA!
It was the relief I desperately needed. After L.A. put me already in the senior citizens category I thought I would never direct a film again. Winning the "EMERGING NARRATIVE FEATURE FILMMAKER - AWARD" gave my life all of a sudden a positive perspective.
I am living currently in Cologne, Germany. Most of The Return of the Neanderthal Man was filmed in and around the conurbation of the town with the big cathedral that was founded by the Romans. Compared with Geneva, Illinois, Geneva, Switzerland it is just around the corner. It is along way to go to America and I am already scheduled to visit my second home Ischia in Italy, what I always do around Easter time and I have to admit I still need some time to understand that there are two Genevas and the American version of it is the bright future and has nothing to do with the Swiss town that still is a blues lament in my mind.
But the good news is that the "Replacement" is much better than the original. The Neanderthal man himself, the Great American Actor Jon Chardiet is coming all the way from L.A. (of course) to pick up our Award. Since I am not there, he is now free to tell all the stories. He is still very young and has an endless future. He also wrote the Neanderthal Rap and is co-writer of the Neander Jin Love Song which can be heard throughout the movie. He is a lot of fun. His Florian Steinbiss impersonation is much better than the original!
I wish I could be there.