Hans Günther Pflaum et al. – R.W. Fassbinder – Criterion Bonus Disk (1993)

This is an excellent hour-and-a-half documentary overview of Fassbinder’s career. For those new to the director, this is the perfect starting place (perhaps even before watching the films). Read More »

Ulrike Ottinger – Die koreanische Hochzeitstruhe AKA The Korean Wedding Chest (2009)

The Korean Wedding Chest is a 2009 documentary film about Korean wedding traditions directed by Ulrike Ottinger. The German language film was described as “capturing the collision of ancient tradition and modern culture on the subject of love and marriage in Korea in a film that echoes the beauty, precision and care of the rituals she examines” by the Los Angeles Times. The Washington Post’s website refers to the surrealist style of the film as being well suited to “the regal pacing of the ritual” and calls the film one of Ottinger’s most praised works. Read More »

Rainer Erler – Operation Ganymed (1977)

In the year 1991 five astronauts (three Americans, one European, one Russian) return to Earth from a presumably failed space expedition to the Jupiter moon Ganymed. Nobody expects their arrival any more and their radio signals remain unheard. They are landing far off civilization, in a vast desert. On their way through the rough landscape they don’t encounter any signs of life, just abandoned buildings and a plane wreck. Suspicious among them grows. Is mankind extinct after a nuclear war? Tension increases. When one of the Americans kills the Russian (because only Russians could have started a World War), the group slowly begins to fall apart. Read More »

Peter Sempel – Nina Hagen = Punk + Glory (1999)

NinaHagen was born in East Berlin in 1955, migrated to the West in the mid-70’s and became a New Wave Punk rock star in 1978, singing in a screechy growl that shaded into an operatic coloratura. Read More »

Andrew Horn – The Nomi Song (2004)

He came from outer space to save the human race!

Looks like an alien, sings like a diva – Klaus Nomi was one of 1980’s most profoundly bizarre appearances. He was a cult figure in the New Wave Underground scene who sang pop music like opera and brought opera to club audiences. He was a performer with a “look” so strong, that his first audiences went wild before he even opened his mouth. On the verge of international fame as a singer, he instead became one of the first prominent artists to die of AIDS. But the reaction Klaus Nomi provoked was so strong, that he is still unforgettable, even 20 years after his death. Read More »

Urban Gad – Zapatas Bande AKA Zapata’s Gang (1914)

Comedy about a film crew shooting a movie about guns and robbers, when real robbers turn up. Having to go home in robbers costume, they are mistakingly accused. In the end the real robbers are brought to justice. Read More »

Werner Herzog – Wo Die Grünen Ameisen Träumen aka Where The Green Ants Dream [+Extras] (1984)
In a slightly padded but well-acted and relevant drama, an Australian mining company and a group of aboriginals go to court to settle a dispute over sacred land that the company wants to mine. When the Ayers Mining Company sets out to begin construction of its mine with bulldozers and earth-movers, the Aboriginals physically block the work because the site is exactly where the green ants will gather to dream (a 40,000-year-old legend) and it cannot be disturbed. The company tries the usual means of getting their way — through bribes and arguments — but nothing budges the men who came to defend the land. Once in court, it is quickly apparent that tribal laws and customs and beliefs are very different than Western laws — and how the issue will be resolved is sticky indeed. Read More »