A Russian Expatriate Adrift in Berlin
The most striking image in “Gorilla Bathes at Noon,” Dusan Makavejev’s whimsical cinematic collage set in present-day Berlin, is a gigantic statue of Lenin that stands as a ludicrous anachronism in the post-Communist era. In one of the film’s zanier scenes, Victor Borisovich (Svetozar Cvetkovic), an expatriate Russian soldier and the film’s main character, impulsively hoists himself on ropes to the statue’s head to wash its face. Moments later, the police arrive and ensnare him in a net from which he protests, “Ich bin ein Berliner!”
Not long afterward, workers begin detaching the head of the statue from its body. Lifted by crane, the severed head is lowered slowly onto a flatbed truck and carted off through the streets of Berlin. So much for Communism and kitsch monuments exalting its heroes.
Auf geht’s – West Germany 1955, 11 min.
Directed by: Ferdinand Khittl
Written by: Just Scheu
Cinematography by: Gerd von Bonin
Edited by: Hans Dieter Schiller
Produced by: Olympia-Film, 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).
Documentary short on the Octoberfest in Munich.
Sven lives with his mother Edeltraut, who is suffering from dementia. He shares his entire life, the apartment, even the bed with her. During the day he works at a bank. While he is at work, Daniel comes to the apartment to look after Edeltraut. He takes her to hairdresser’s, goes for walks, shopping, and tidies up the apartment. But one day while Daniel is cleaning the windows, Edeltraut locks him out on the balcony and takes off. The two men go out looking for her. But what they find is not just Edeltraut, but also a tender fondness for one another, one which turns both of their lives upside down. Production note: “HEAVY GIRLS” was completed in just three months, from the original idea to the finished film. The film was shot based on a treatment, which defined the order and content of the scenes, the dialogues were improvised. In order to attain the greatest amount of creative freedom and authenticity, we intentionally shot the film without a crew and film team and with a simple Mini DV camera. Continue reading
A Film by Rosa von Praunheim Nurses on the night shift roll dice to see which AIDS patient will die next. The owner of a gay bathhouse gets Kaposi’s Sarcoma but tries to keep his mind on profits. An epidemic victim is harassed by a reporter on his death bed – he sticks her with a contaminated syringe. The government opens a quarantine called Hell Gay Land. Gay terrorists kidnap the Minister of Health. A black comedy filled with everybody’s worst fears, A Virus Knows No Morals is Rosa von Praunheim’s most controversial film to date: a savagely funny burlesque on the AIDS crisis. Irreverent yet deadly serious, the filmmaker covers just about every aspect of AIDS and its effects, as well as the rumors surrounding it. Since the 1960′s von Praunheim has produced a provocative body of underground films, making him one of the New German Cinema’s most original artists. “Brave and Vicious – Armed Camp!” – New York Times
The misadventures of Anita G., who was born in 1937 of Jewish parents and who left the GDR for the West, are told in a style close to documentary that owes as much to Godard as to Brecht . They are the misadventures of a figure of a repressed past struggling to live in western society
Number 14 on the Association of German Cinémathèques’s best German films of all times.
Winner of the Venice Film Festival ‘s Special Jury Prize.
The circus artist Leni Peickert is planning the circus of the future. She wants to show the animals authentically, and not dressed up as people. In face of the inhuman situation, the artists are to increase the degree of difficulty in their work. But her plan goes awry. Leni Peickert approaches a television company, seeing a knowledge of this special technology as a more suitable basis for her attempt to change the world.
UNTEN MITTE KINN (the title can be literally translated as ‘Bottom Middle Chin’) is about a group of drama school students shortly before their graduation. They struggle with their teacher Borchardt – played by actor and stage director Fritz Schediwy (1943–2011) – and so they hire actress Corinna Trampe (Ursula Werner) to help them finish their stage production of Maxim Gorki’s Nachtasyl (The Lower Depths / На дне, literally: ‘At the bottom’).