Germany

Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Querelle (1982)

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More a dream about than a dramatisation of Genet’s novel, this is glorious and infuriating in equal parts. The port of Brest is built and lit more like one of Burroughs’ Cities of the Red Night, murderous deity Querelle’s ambisexual encounters are suffused with a sweaty, tangible eroticism, and Fassbinder’s ‘version’ stays faithful to Genet’s nightmare poetry. But its narrative detachment, weighty monologues, Resnais-like anachronisms, and (most irritating of all) listless rationale turn it into a lurid hymn to teenybop nihilism. All in all, perhaps an entirely appropriate parting shot from a drug-crazed German faggot. – TimeOut London Read More »

Sandra Prechtel – Roland Klick: The Heart Is a Hungry Hunter (2013)

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Synopsis: The gritty, kinetic, visionary cinema of Roland Klick is ripe for rediscovery. After shooting with international stars, such as Mario Adorf and Dennis Hopper, Klick celebrated international success and achieved cult status. Yet after making only six features, he disappeared from the scene in a rather mysterious way. The story of an uncompromising film maniac. Read More »

Ferdinand Khittl – Das magische Band AKA The Magic Tape (1959)

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Das magische Band – West Germany 1959, 21 min.
Directed by: Ferdinand Khittl
Written by: Bodo Blüthner, Ferdinand Khittl, Ernst von Khuon
Cinematography by: Ronald Martini
Music by: Oskar Sala
Edited by: Irmgard Henrici
Cast: Margot Trooger, Ferdinand Khittl
Produced by: Gesellschaft für bildende Filme, 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).

An innovative documentary on magnetic tape & sound recording, sort of in the style of Charles and Ray Eames. Read More »

Alexander Kluge, Basil Gelpke – Mensch 2.0 (2011)

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Another mammoth-project with the “chronologist of our time” Alexander Kluge. With 12 hours film, Gelpke and Kluge try to get a better understanding of the new human, which arouse from the internet, artificial intelligence…. Like his last projects, this films are complilations of many fragments, shorts, fiction-interviews, opera, theatre etc. Read More »

Kurt Meisel – Tragödie einer Leidenschaft (1949)

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When she was a little girl, Liuba came to town with her widowed mother to live in the block of flats owned by her aunt Anna Iwanowna. The wealthy and cold-hearted Anna Iwanowna barely accepted them as tenants. And no sooner did Liuba’s mother die than she wanted to send her niece to the orphanage. Fortunately, Pawlin, Anna Iwanowna’s janitor, decided to adopt her and he brought her up with affection. When she grew up, the beautiful Liuba fell in love with her aunt’s son, Dodja, a good-looking but profligate army officer. Wishing nothing more than an affair with Liuba, Dodja did not hesitate to play the comedy of love to her. When she realized what Dodja was really after, Liuba was devastated and in desperation accepted to marry Pawlin, her benefactor, who had been infatuated with her for years. Alas, in the middle of the wedding party Dodja danced with Liuba and eloped with her. Written by Guy Bellinger Read More »

Robert Wiene – I.N.R.I. AKA Crown of Thorns (1923)

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By the director of Cabinet of Dr.Caligari, this is the Passion embedded in a contemporary story. An anarchist jailed for an attempted assassination is told the Passion story by the prison chaplain, who seeks to convince him that it is better to sacrifice ones own life than take the life of ones enemy. The framing story, taken from a novel, is believed to have been intended to give the Biblical story an anti-Bolshevist propaganda function. In any case, it was added without the knowledge of the actors in the Passion story, who included some of the major stars of the period Asta Nielsen as Mary Magdalene, Henny Porten as Mary, Grigori Chmara as Jesus, and Werner Krauss as Pontius Pilate -bampfa.berkeley.edu Read More »

Ferdinand Diehl – Die Sieben Raben AKA The Seven Ravens (1937)

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A peasant father sends his seven sons to fetch water for their sickly young sister but when he curses them for not returning soon enough, they turn into ravens and disappear. Many years later when the sister is grown up, she sets out in search of her brothers but that will be a long and dangerous journey.

This very gothic horror fantasy animation from the Third Reich is a masterpiece. It is based on one of the German fairytales by Grimm brothers and about 120 puppets were used during the production. Read More »