Fred Kelemen – Verhängnis AKA Fate (1994)

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“The paths of people from various countries cross during the course of one night. They speak different languages, but they are fatefully bound together by the solitary quest for happiness and deliverance. Sloping paths are all that’s left for them in an age of lost perspectives, lost refuges and lost homelands. They sink deeper with every movement that should be liberating them. Every gesture of love becomes a gesture of humiliation. The desperate dance of their life has become a passionate dance of death.
In the centre of this centrifuge at the end of the millennium the Russian emigrant Valery and his lover Ljuba are turning around each other in a nocturnal round dance of desire and pain, hope and violence and the indestructible will to survive.” Continue reading

Jakob Lass – Love Steaks (2013)

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Quote:
If Joaquin Phoenix met Carole Lombard in their twenties by the sea you would get the sizzle we feel in Jakob Lass’ Love Steaks.

Clemens (Franz Rogowski) arrives as a trainee at a Northern German seaside spa. He does massages, aromatherapy, and is being taught how to suck bad energy from the guests by circling his hands above their bodies. Lara (Lana Cooper) is a playful cook in the resort kitchen, constantly initiating acts of mayhem for her colleagues to react to.

As living quarters, Clemens is allotted a spacious storage room at the spa, where laundry carts are kept moving about and unused replacement garbage cans sit ominously. He has no private bathroom – no privacy to speak of at all, as there is no door – but a fabulous view of the ocean. Clemens is shy, sincere and in over his head on all accounts. Lara is bold and sexy-stupid, not in the dumb-blonde romantic comedy vein, rather mad-cap provocative. She seduces with a daring absurdity and her tango with Clemens is superb. Rogowski, a trained dancer, gives Clemens the fragility he needs to balance her shenanigans. Continue reading

Sohrab Shahid Saless – Hans – Ein Junge in Deutschland (1985)

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Plot in German

“Der in Westdeutschland lebende, iranische Filmemacher Saless (“Utopia”) schildert in seinem Drama eine deutsche Jugend am Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs

Frankfurt 1944: In der Befürchtung, als Halbjude denunziert worden zu sein, muß Hans, der uneheliche Sohn einer Arbeiterin, kurz vor Kriegsende die Stadt verlassen. Als er nach der Kapitulation zurückkehrt, entdeckt er, daß seine Freundin Nora die Geliebte eines GIs geworden ist und seine Mutter immer noch von anonymen Briefen bedroht wird. Der aus politischen Gründen aus seinem Heimatland emigrierte iranische Regisseur Sohrab S. Saless zeichnet in langen, ruhigen Einstellungen das Bild eines trostlosen, zerstörten Deutschland am Ende des Krieges. Er erhielt im letzten Jahr den Großen Preis der Frankfurter Autorenstiftung.” Continue reading

Irm Sommer & Ed Sommer – Hedonistic Communication (1970)

Quote:
HEDONISTIC COMMUNICATION / IRM ED SOMMER / KONTAKTE / ICH DU UND ICH is the title of this super obscure experimental short film including also explicit sex.
Very raw and primitive, it features a great soundtrack made of amazing psychedelic abstract electronic music (the song is “I Of IV” by electronic music pioneer Pauline Oliveros), which is probably what makes this short some kind of mesmerizing experience.
We can only suppose the short is german, since the only information besides the title is the name of the “actors” involved, and they sound german (F. Scherz, Gabi Kaa, Hartmut Kaa).
Continue reading

Thomas Heise – Vaterland AKA Fatherland (2002)

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“Vaterland” is a key work in Thomas Heise’s filmography. In the beginning a voice over reads the letters his father Wolfgang and his brother sent their family from a labour camp. When they were 19 they had been sentenced to a labour camp for so-called «jüdische Mischlinge», Jewish half-breed. The camp was located in Straguth, in the surroundings of Zerbst, State of Saxony-Anhalt. At the time of the shooting the village counted about 290 inhabitants. Maybe the most «Fordian» movie by Thomas Heise. Continue reading