Rolf Schübel – Gloomy Sunday – Ein Lied von Liebe und Tod (1999)

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Budapest in the thirties. The restaurant owner Laszlo hires the pianist András to play in his restaurant. Both men fall in love with the beautiful waitress Ilona who inspires András to his only composition. His song of Gloomy Sunday is, at first, loved and then feared, for its melancholic melody triggers off a chain of suicides. The fragile balance of the erotic ménage à trois is sent off kilter when the German Hans goes and falls in love with Ilona as well. Continue reading

Volker Schlöndorff – Die Blechtrommel AKA The Tin Drum [Director’s Cut] (1979)

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Quote:
“A country unable to mourn,” Volker Schlöndorff wrote in his journal as he adapted Günter Grass’ novel, The Tin Drum. “Germany, to this day, is the poisoned heart of Europe.” When the film premiered in West German cinemas in early May 1979, it figured within a country’s larger (and, in many minds, long overdue) reckoning with a legacy of shame and violence. Indeed, the Nazi past haunted the nation’s screens, more so than it ever had since the end of World War II. The American miniseries Holocaust aired that year on public television in February and catalyzed wide discussion about Germany’s responsibility for the Shoah. Later that month, Peter Lilienthal’s David gained accolades at the Berlin Film Festival for its stirring depiction of a young Jewish boy living underground in the Reich’s capital during the deportations to the camps. History returned as film; retrospective readings of the Third Reich by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Alexander Kluge, Edgar Reitz, Helma Sanders-Brahms, and Hans-Jürgen Syberberg (among others) would become the calling card of the New German Cinema and bring this group of critical filmmakers an extraordinary international renown. In 1979, The Tin Drum won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. A year later, it would become the first feature from the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) to receive an Oscar for best foreign film. Continue reading

David Wnendt – Er ist wieder da (2015) (HD)

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Quote:
Adolf Hitler wakes up in present-day Berlin, with no memory of anything that happened after 1945, and interprets modern situations and things from a Nazi perspective. He is mistaken for a method actor or a comedian, and lands himself a career in television, to which he takes advantage of for a political comeback. Continue reading

Baran bo Odar – Who Am I – Kein System ist sicher AKA Who Am I – No System Is Safe (2014)

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Synopsis:
The outsider Benjamin and the charismatic Max share one mutual interest: hacking. Together with Max‘s friends, they form the subversive hacker group CLAY. CLAY provokes with hilarious hacks and connects with a whole generation. For the first time in his life Benjamin feels like he belongs. But when CLAY is suddenly investigated by German Secret Service and Europol, Benjamin must face the consequences of his actions. Continue reading

Various director / artists – Kunst im Exil AKA Arts in Exile (1962-1989)

Nine short stories that together amount to a play time of 3h20m.

Presented here are nine short films that feature: film director Slatan Dudow; actor Martin Brandt; authors Erich Fried, Erich Weinert, and Arnold Zweig; photographer Walter Ballhause; cartoonist Leo Haas; and journalist Egon Erwin Kisch. Original interviews with the artists, close family members, and friends are combined with little-known historic film material. All produced in the GDR. Continue reading

Veit Helmer – Absurdistan (2008)

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Quote:
“No water, no sex.” Whereas the women in Aristophanes’ classic Greek comedy Lysistrata withheld sex from their men to end a war, the women in the village of Absurdistan concoct a similar plan out of necessity in order to get their community’s water pipe fixed. However, unlike the women of Lysistrata, the results of their decision don’t end a war but rather begin one of epic proportions between the sexes complete with the usual devices of espionage, sabotage and tested loyalties. Continue reading

Doris Dörrie – Kirschblüten – Hanami aka Cherry Blossoms (2008)

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Quote:
A beautiful tissue-paper piece of art that falls to shreds should you so much as blow upon it, Dorris Dörrie’s Cherry Blossoms is the kind of film that dares you to laugh at it. There are heartfelt declarations of love and elaborate avant-garde dance routines, not to mention a major plot point about a mountain appearing from behind a veil of mist. Cynics: Don’t venture within one hundred meters. Romantics: Run, don’t walk, to the theater. Everybody else: Approach with caution.

Cherry Blossoms is a sentimental work about Rudi, a stick-in-the-mud German civil servant whose life is upended upon the sudden death of his wife, Trudi, whom he realizes too late he never quite knew. Yes, tears will be shed. But since this is a German film, much of which is set in Japan, the crying will be rather circumspect, and horribly embarrassed. Continue reading