Germany

Herbert Achternbusch – Die Atlantikschwimmer AKA The Atlantic Swimmers [+Extras] (1976)

Quote:
Achternbuschs zweiter Film
Kurzbeschreibung
Zwei Münchner wollen, von Leben und Liebe ermattet, der quälenden Enge ihrer Heimat entfliehen, indem sie den Atlantik durchschwimmen. Achternbusch erzählt in hintersinnig-vertrackten Bildern und Dialogen von der Utopie eines anderen Lebens und von den Mühlsteinen des deutschen Alltags, die den Helden am Halse hängen – nachdem sprichwörtlich gewordenen Motto: “Du hast keine Chance, aber nutze sie!” Read More »

    Herbert Achternbusch – Hick’s Last Stand [+Extras] (1990)

    Synopsis
    [In Hick’s Last Stand] we witness yet another incarnation of a Last Bavarian Mohican, incoherently staggering across the badlands of South Dakota and Wyoming in white cowboy boots, black leather jacket, and a feather on his hat. Without dialogue, without other players besides Herbert Achternbusch, and with the most minimal narrative progression, the film consists only of an image track over which we hear Hick’s extended monologue, a declaration of love to the absent Mary, occasionally interrupted by songs by Judy Garland, Native American chants, and classical music. Read More »

      Herbert Achternbusch – Das Andechser Gefühl aka The Andechs Feeling (1974)

      Synopsis
      In Achternbusch’s first feature, an anxious teacher (played, as is the lead role in all his films, by the director) sits in a beer garden on the hill of the Andechs monastery. While flies drown in his mug of beer, he confronts a life of failure: the wife he ignored, the child he neglected, the teaching duties he has shirked, and his doomed efforts at winning tenure from school officials. Only a dream from the past – the memory of a former liaison with a film star with whom he shared “the Andechs feeling, a feeling that we are not alone”, provides sustenance. Despite an unexpected series of events, longing in Achternbusch’s world ultimately remains stronger than fulfillment and thirst better than beer. Read More »

        Christoph Schlingensief – Das Deutsche Kettensägen Massaker AKA The German Chainsaw Massacre (1990)

        Quote:
        Sounding like some cheap pastiche, The German Chainsaw Massacre comes as a surprisingly independent feature, able to stand on it’s own without the crutch of it’s predecessor. However, Tobe Hooper’s movie is not so much tipped and winked as screamed in the face of in this relentless madness and more specifically in a similarly edited chainsaw chase through a forest. Choosing to loosen Hooper’s tight bolts of ‘humour’, Schlingensief loses dramatic intensity but gains an awesome sense of the egregious: unemployed customs officials form appalling folk groups at the West/East border and a woman with a knife up her butt sits down… Read More »

          Maximilian Schell – Der Richter und sein Henker AKA End of the Game AKA Murder on the Bridge (1975)

          Synopsis:
          While investigating a high-profile murder case, a savvy but unorthodox veteran police inspector has to cope with a bad conscience, bad health, an overzealous partner, a timid superior and interference from political interests. This is an existential whodunit, but a good one, and like any good whodunit, ends with a very surprising conclusion, which will be spoiled for you if you read much of anything at all about the movie. Read More »

            Jean-Marie Straub – Einleitung zu Arnold Schoenbergs Begleitmusik zu einer Lichtspielscene AKA Introduction to Arnold Schoenberg’s Accompaniment to a Cinematic Scene (1973)

            Music: Arnold Schoenberg, Begleitmusik zu einer Lichtspielscene, opus 34, 1929-1930.
            Words: Schoenberg’s letters to Wassily Kandinsky (April the 20th and Mai the 4th 1923), Bertold Brecht’s speech at the “Congrès international des Intellectuels contre le fascisme”, (Paris 1935). Read More »

              Ewald André Dupont – Das alte Gesetz aka This Ancient Law (1923)

              Baruch Mayr, son of an orthodox rabbi from a poor shtetl in Galizia, decides to break with the family tradition and leave the shtetl to become an actor. Due to this behaviour his father bans him from his family. Baruch, who joined a small burlesque troupe is discovered by an Austrian Erzherzogin (archdutchess) who introduces him to the director of the most important Theater in Vienna, the Burgtheater. Baruch receives a contract there and becomes more and more an assimilated jew. Read More »