Mother Küsters’ Trip to Heaven (German: Mutter Küsters’ Fahrt zum Himmel) is a 1975 German film written and directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. It stars Brigitte Mira, Ingrid Caven, Karlheinz Böhm and Margit Carstensen. The film was shot over 20 days between February and March of 1975 in Frankfurt am Main.
Emma Küsters (Mira), a working-class woman lives in Frankfurt with her son and daughter-in-law. While she is doing outreach work assembling electric plugs, Frau Küsters learns that her husband Hermann (a tire-factory worker for twenty years) has killed his supervisor and then committed suicide. It later becomes apparent that Mr. Küsters had become temporarily insane after hearing layoff announcements. Continue reading
From the Life of the Marionettes (German: Aus dem Leben der Marionetten) is a 1980 film directed by Ingmar Bergman. The film was produced in West Germany with a German language screenplay and soundtrack while Bergman was in “tax exile” from his native Sweden. It is filmed in black and white apart from two colour sequences at the beginning and end of the movie. It is set in Munich. The title is a quotation excerpted from a passage in The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi:
“Most unfortunately in the lives of the Marionettes there is always a BUT that spoils everything”.
Unlike Collodi’s story, however, Bergman’s is unremittingly bleak in tone. Continue reading
Das magische Band – West Germany 1959, 21 min.
Directed by: Ferdinand Khittl
Written by: Bodo Blüthner, Ferdinand Khittl, Ernst von Khuon
Cinematography by: Ronald Martini
Music by: Oskar Sala
Edited by: Irmgard Henrici
Cast: Margot Trooger, Ferdinand Khittl
Produced by: Gesellschaft für bildende Filme, München
One of the 3 short films that came as an extra on Edition Filmmuseum 47: Die Parallelstrasse AKA The Parallel Street (Ferdinand Khittl, 1962).
An innovative documentary on magnetic tape & sound recording, sort of in the style of Charles and Ray Eames. Continue reading
The inhabitants of an institution in a remote country rebel against their keepers. Their acts of rebellion are by turns humorous, boring and alarming. An allegory on the problematic nature of fully liberating the human spirit, as both commendable and disturbing elements of our nature come forward. The film shows how justifiable revolt may be empowering, but may also turn to chaos and depravity. The allegory is developed in part by the fact that the film is cast entirely with dwarfs. Continue reading
“This film is a snapshot of the life of Fred Frith, an English-born multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improvisor. It finds him in Europe, Japan, and the US, working and playing with a variety of avant garde artists.
There is no narrative, or narrator. The images blend with his music, and visa versa, creating a narrative all their own. His performances, widely varied, reveal a light hearted intensity. In one scene, he uses his violin to ‘sing’ with seagulls and, in another, he conducts a quartet. Most of all, it shows him as a human being whose being is infused with music. It pours out of him in all its varied forms, and he welcomes it all. Continue reading
Junta is hated by the people in the village where she lives, especially by the women, who suspect her of being a witch. Only she can climb the nearby mountains to a cave high up, whence a mysterious blue light glows when the moon is full. Many young men of the village have died trying to follow her. She is driven out of town, and takes to living in the mountains. Eventually she shares the secret of the blue light with one man, and he betrays it. Continue reading
Der Sieg des Glaubens (English: The Victory of Faith) is the first documentary directed by Leni Riefenstahl, who was hired despite opposition from Nazi officials that resented employing a woman — and a non-Party member too. Her film recounts the Fifth Party Rally of the Nazi Party, which occurred in Nuremberg from August 30 to September 3 in 1933.
Like her Nazi documentaries of 1935, the short Tag der Freiheit (Day of Liberty) and the classic propaganda feature Triumph of the Will, Der Sieg des Glaubens has no voiceover commentary and few explanatory titles. The activities captured by Riefenstahl’s cameras include the welcoming of foreign diplomats and other politicians at the Nuremberg train station; Adolf Hitler’s arrival at the airport and his meeting with important party members; massive Nazi troop parades; and Hitler’s speech on the tenth anniversary of the National Socialist movement. Continue reading