Germany

Margarethe von Trotta – Die bleierne Zeit AKA Marianne & Juliane (1981)

Germany, 1968: The priest’s daughters Marianna and Juliane both fight for changes in society, like making abortion legal. However their means are totally different: while Juliane’s committed as a reporter, her sister joins a terroristic organization. After she’s caught by the police and put into isolation jail, Juliane remains as her last connection to the rest of the world. Although she doesn’t accept her sister’s arguments and her boyfriend Wolfgang doesn’t want her to, Juliane keeps on helping her sister. She begins to question the way her sister is treated. Read More »

Thomas Arslan – Ferien aka Vacation (2007)

Description: Ferien (Vacation, 2007) was perhaps the festival’s best German feature. Thomas Arslan’s latest outlines the strained composition of a family and the disintegration of a marriage, set in a luminous Brandenburg summer. The film is confined: the story takes place almost exclusively on the grounds of the mother’s country house and the cinematic language speaks only static shots and long takes. Just at the very end of the film does one see the whole family together. Arslan’s feat reveals the shifting constellations of family members in individual conversations and encounters: the grandmother is tender and wise while alone with granddaughter Laura, cold when Laura’s sister Sophie enters, and bitchy in scenes with her daughter Anna. Read More »

Walter Heynowski – Aktion J (1961)

Quote:
Compilation film, tracing the political career of Dr. Hans Globke, allegedly a former Nazi, now Secretary of State in West Germany.

Included in Amos Vogel’s classic book Film as a Subversive Art. Read More »

Thomas Arslan – Geschwister – Kardesler (1997)

The first part of Thomas Arslan’s Berlin Trilogy, continued with DEALER and the marvelous DER SCHÖNE TAG.

Quote:
Thomas Arslan’s second feature film and part of his Berlin-trilogy is a slow-paced milieu study of German-Turkish youth in Berlin-Kreuzberg. The film depicts the every day life, domestic conflicts, dreams and disappointments of three siblings and their aimless, meandering strolls through the Kreuzberg district. The family itself encapsulates the culture clash that is at the centre of many German-Turkish films. In Arslan’s film, the mother is German, the father is Turkish and the children have to make up their own minds about their cultural allegiances. Read More »

Michael Curtiz – Fiaker Nr. 13 aka Cab Nr.13 (1926)

IMDB User Reviews
20 April 2004 | by bullybyte (United Kingdom)

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILERS!! The film starts with a woman on the run from her millionaire husband giving birth to a daughter in the home of a washerwoman. The woman dies in childbirth, but the baby survives. The washerwoman leaves the baby in a horsedrawn Parisian taxicab (No. 13). The paperwork of the birth is lost in a huge tome. Sixteen years pass. The tome is bought by a poor student. One day his bookshelf collapses, and the tome opens at the page where the paperwork has been hidden. The student realises that the paperwork relates to a millionaire who has spent the last sixteen years looking for his pregnant wife. Read More »

Chris Kraus – Scherbentanz AKA Shattered Glass (2002)

Plot:
Written and directed by newcomer Chris Kraus, this German art-house family drama centers around the eccentric Jesko (Jürgen Vogel), who, despite his debilitating condition, – he is dying of cancer and only his mother’s bone-marrow could save him – makes a visit to his father, Gebhard (Dietrich Hollinderbaumer), and brother, Ansgar (Peter Davor), on the day that Ansgar is scheduled to take over the family company. What Jesko doesn´t know, is that his mother, who went insane 20 years ago, ran away and got drug addicted, was found and brought back.
Interesting plot, beautiful photography, well-written dialogue, well-developed characters. Read More »

Hans-Christian Schmid – Crazy (2000)

On his fifth attempt at boarding school, young Benni has one last
chance to prove to his parents he can function in the academic world, and, most importantly, pass math. But Benni has other concerns; he is partially paralyzed and struggling with typical teenage issues – making friends, falling in love and having sex. When his mother decides to move him to yet another school, Benni must decide whether to make a stand for what truly matters to him. Based on an autobiographical novel by Benjamin Lebert, Crazy has earned Schmid great praise for its honest portrait of teenage life. Read More »