Dominik Graf – Die Freunde der Freunde AKA The Friend of Friends (2002)

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Synopsis:
Set in the boarding school milieu, the film depicts the meeting of shy Gregor and mysterious Billie. Billie has a son, her husband is in jail. Arthur, Gregor’s friend, is a serial Lothario, forever unfaithful to his girlfriend Pia. Both Arthur and Billie have had a similar mystical experience related to someone’s death. While Gregor believes that an elective affinity between two people preordains their lives, Arthur does not even subscribe to any possibility of romantic feelings between the sexes.
Arthur is a failure at school and becomes mixed up with criminal elements, Gregor goes on to attend university, and remains in pursuit of Billie who passes in and out of his life on several occasions. Continue reading

Arthur Maria Rabenalt – Am Abend nach der Oper AKA In the Evening After the Opera (1945)

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Quote:
This totally forgotten film is adapted from a story by Franz Nabl who also provided the basis for Der verzauberte Tag. The story is about a rich murderer (Siegfried Breuer) who killed his wife out of jealousy nd tries to start a new life. He meets a young woman (Gusti Huber) and marries her without telling her the secret directly. She feels there’s something wrong and things get complicated when a dubious individual not only gets the legal papers which prove the husband has been a convict, but also falls in love with the young woman.
The film not only boasts an intelligent script and great performances, but is very well shot and directed. The lighting is often elaborate, intertwining with the sumptuous set design, while an inquisitive camera slides through the rooms. This one is a must see and should be a strong incentive for German users to consider buying the box. Continue reading

Thomas Arslan – Der schöne Tag aka A Fine Day (2001)

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Synopsis:

A Fine Day is, after the films Geschwister and Dealer, the third part in a trilogy about the living conditions of Turkish youth growing up in Germany.

Deniz is 21-years-old, lives in Berlin, works as a dubbing speaker and wants to become an actress. A Fine Day describes a long, labyrinth-like day in the life of Deniz. A day in which she experiences everything that takes place around her with a feverish intensity. The separation from her boyfriend Jan, her relationship to her family, her work, the promise of a new friendship and summer in the city.

A Fine Day is the story of a young woman’s search for happiness, her feelings and her ideas about love. Continue reading

Maren Ade – Toni Erdmann (2016) (HD)

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Maren Ade’s third feature (after The Forest For The Trees and Everyone Else) is an exuberant exploration of the dynamics of relationships which mostly sustains its marathon running time. Under scrutiny is the relationship between a laid-back father and his estranged daughter working for a German company in Romania. He feels that corporate life is not making her happy and he decides to turn up on her doorstep in Bucharest… Continue reading

Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Angst vor der Angst AKA Fear of Fear (1975)

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Margot, who lives in a comfortable middle class apartment, fears that she is losing her mind after having had her second child. Her husband Kurt, who is busy studying for an exam, does not understand her situation. Her mother-in-law and sister-in-law Lore are openly hostile to her. She resorts to valium and drink, and looks for sympathy, but to no avail. Continue reading

Johannes Schmid – Agnes (2016)

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The non-fiction author Walter falls for the physics student Agnes. He is fascinated by her extreme attitude towards life and her reserved appearance, which is quite the opposite of his quiet and regular life. When Agnes encourages him to follow his passion for writing fiction, he starts to work on a book, a portrait of how he sees her. Continue reading

Werner Herzog – Herz aus Glas AKA Heart of Glass (1976)

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Quote:
If Werner Herzog’s The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser is, as I contend, an exegesis on the human tendency to contextualize life through custom – not to mention, of course, the inculcative parallels through which both we and less domesticated species glean long-term behavioral patterns – then his 1976 work, Heart of Glass, is an admonishment on holding such traditions in too high of sentiment. Despite revolving ostensibly about an 18th century Bavarian village, the director appears to be simply employing this milieu as but a microcosm for any culture that’s extinction draws nigh, painting progress and evolution as more reliable entities than ritual and superstition. Heart of Glass’s diaphanous narrative is laden with hints to such contemplations, though in the end, none reads as poetically oblique as the opening sequence: A formal and spoken manifestation of death. Continue reading