Germany

Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Warum läuft Herr R. Amok? AKA Why Does Herr R. Run Amok (1970)

From Jim’s Reviews:
Disclosure: I have written the liner notes for Fantoma’s DVD release of this film. With a few changes, that essay appears below.

Image”You hear the one about the guy goes into a bakery, orders a loaf of bread? ‘White or black?’ the baker asks. ‘Doesn’t matter,’ the guy says. ‘It’s for a blind person.'”

How do we move from these opening words of Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? – one of five rapid-fire jokes delivered by Herr R.’s co-workers – to its climactic killing spree? Like the title, that’s another gnawing, and resonant, question. Read More »

Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Despair (1978)

Germany in the early 1930s. Against the backdrop of the Nazis’ rise, Hermann Hermann, a Russian émigré and chocolate magnate, goes slowly mad. It begins with his seating himself in a chair to observe himself making love to his wife, Lydia, a zaftig empty-headed siren who is also sleeping with her cousin. Hermann is soon given to intemperate outbursts at his workers, other businessmen, and strangers. Then, he meets Felix, an itinerant laborer, whom he delusionally believes looks exactly like himself. Armed with a new life insurance policy, he hatches an elaborate plot in the belief it will free him of all his worries. Read More »

Angela Schanelec – Orly (2010)


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SYNOPSIS
Amidst the impersonal hubbub of Paris’ Orly Airport, strangers meet, secrets are revealed, and sudden intimacies develop in this beautifully observed mosaic of lives in transit.

REVIEW
Quote:
Loosely-linked scenes in the hall of Paris’ Orly airport. A man and a woman, both French but living abroad, meet each other by chance. He has just decided to move back to Paris and she longs to return there. A mother and her almost adult son are going to the funeral of her ex-husband, his father. A young couple is embarking on its first big trip. And a woman reads a letter from the man she has recently left. They are all waiting for their flight. Read More »

Georg Wilhelm Pabst – Kameradschaft AKA Comradeship (1931)


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Valliant effort to use a mining catastrophe as a vehicle to pronounce this director’s distaste for war. The audience not only learns a great deal about early mining rescue procedures but, we learn that Europeans at the interval between WWI and WWII, had concerning pacifists(for lack of a better term). The speeches given by both representatives of each country at the end of the film, are inspiring given the time. Although the revised edition, through the transfer technology of early foreign films, “cuts-off characters heads” at times, this film holds it’s own in many different aspects. Character analysis, lighting techniques, historical content and a scenario that has tested and inspired many a writer and filmmaker.

Pabst went on to Direct and put to screen Weil & Brecht’s “Three Penny Opera”, starring the original star, Lotte Lenya.
Author: (jrichmon@arts.ucla.edu) from United States Read More »

Heinz Emigholz – Dieste [Uruguay] AKA Streetscapes – Chapter 4 (2017)


The final part of Heinz Emigholz’s “Streetscapes” series is a triptych. A prologue examines 3 buildings by Julio Vilamajó in Montevideo. The main part of the film is a cinematic documentation of 29 buildings by the Uruguayan architect and shell-construction master Eladio Dieste (1917-2000). Read More »

Peter Handke – Die Linkshändige Frau AKA The Left-Handed Woman (1978)


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S y n o p s i s
A woman living in the Paris suburbs struggles with a loveless marriage and apathy toward her family and friends as she spends her days quietly wandering about her house. Austrian playwright and novelist Peter Handke contributed screenplays to a number of films by director Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire, The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick). Here (in a film that Wenders produced), he provides both the scenario (adapting his novel of the same name) and direction for this meditative examination of domestic ennui. Read More »

Christian Petzold – Transit (2018)



Synopsis:
The German troops are just outside Paris. Georg escapes to Marseille at the last moment. His luggage contains the legacy of a writer named Weidel, who took his own life out of fear of persecution. This legacy comprises a manuscript, some letters and the Mexican Embassy’s assurance of a visa. Only those who can prove that they will leave are allowed in this port town, and this means you need an entry permit from a potential host country. Assuming the identity of Weidel, Georg tries to obtain one of the few scarce passages on a ship. Talks between refugees take place in the corridors of his small hotel, the waiting rooms of consulates, and the cafés and bars down at the harbour. Georg befriends Driss, the son of his late comrade Heinz, who died whilst trying to flee. But when he meets the mysterious Marie, his plans change. Transit is based on Anna Seghers’ eponymous novel which she wrote in exile. The film is set in contemporary Marseille where these characters from the past move around. And so, refugees from back then meet refugees from today, history meets the present, and all of their stories combine to create one eternal transit space. Read More »