Robert Reinert – Opium (1919)

http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/5225/opium1919.png

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

“Opium” (1919)

Produced in Germany by Meinert-Films
Directed by Robert Dinesen
Released in 1919 with a running time of 112 minutes.

Cast Werner Krauss, Sybill Morel, Hanna Ralph, Conrad Veidt and Eduard von Winterstein

Cinematic Freedom

Germany in 1919 was a country that had been devastated by the war, four years of slaughter, famine, civil unrest, a civil war and runaway inflation. The country was in dire need of change. The Council of Peoples Representatives in 1919 abolished the military censorship that had been in effect since 1918. The council believed that the numerous political parties causing unrest would use the screen to spread their political views instead of battling in the streets. The political parties continued using the streets and beer halls to spread their message, but, having nothing to fear from government interference, the film industry decided to take advantage of the abolishment of censorship. Continue reading

Peter Nestler – Ödenwaldstetten (1964)

http://img585.imageshack.us/img585/8756/03oedenw.jpg

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Portrait of a small south German village and its residents in the early sixties.
Rural culture is undergoing a transformation caused by the intrusion of the industrial world. Gestures at work and words of its inhabitants.

“COUNTER (HI)STORIES”
From the start, Nestler’s films attest how an observational description of reality can become an authentic art form. He consistently refuses to comply with the insistence of television editors and directors to provide explanatory comments of the pictures through neutral narration. Nestler insists on leaving things and testimonies of people standing side by side before the camera. But one who violates the unwritten policy conditions that come along as formal laws of the medium (motto: “people will not understand it…”) will be placed on the index. So he never became a TV reporter. In March 2007 he was dedicated a retrospective at the Paris Cinéma du réel documentary film festival at the Centre Pompidou for this. “My first films in the early 60s (that weren’t ‘political’) contained something that was irritating, disturbing the peace, especially in the films Mülheim (Ruhr), Ödenwaldstetten (both 1964) and Von Griechenland (1965). I was cut off the money supply, and so I moved to Sweden”, thus Nestler 1998 laconically. from ray Filmmagazin Continue reading

Byambasuren Davaa – Das Lied von den zwei Pferden AKA The Two Horses of Genghis Khan (2009)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Summary
A promise, an old, destroyed horse head violin and a song believed lost lead the singer Urna back to Outer Mongolia. Her grandmother was forced to destroy her once loved violin in the tumult of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. The ancient song of the Mongols, “The Two Horses of Genghis Khan”, was engraved on the violin’s neck. Only the violin’s neck and head survived the cultural storm. Now it is time to fulfill the promise that Urna made to her grandmother. Arrived in Ulan Bator, Urna brings the still intact parts of the violin – head and neck – to Hicheengui, a renowned maker of horse head violins, who will build a new body for the old instrument in the coming weeks. Then, Urna leaves for the interior to look there for the song’s missing verses. But she will be disappointed. None of the people whom she meets on the way appears to still know the old melody of the Mongols. Written by silke Continue reading

Isabelle Stever – Glückliche Fügung (2010)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

37-year-old Simone decides to go out alone on New Year’s Eve. The next morning, she wakes up next to a stranger in his car, and a few weeks later she discovers that she’s pregnant. By coincidence, she runs into the stranger again – the handsome Hannes – and is surprised to find that contrary to her expectations, he’s actually happy about the pregnancy and wants to live with her. Could this be the face of happiness? While Hannes works in a hospital as a nurse in palliative care, tending to the dying with extraordinary tenderness, Simone renovates their shared, little home. An attractive neighbor fuels Simone’s jealousy. The larger Simone’s belly grows, the more extensively Hannes’ integrity warms the nest, the more oppressive their little, homemade prison appears. Continue reading

Paul Schrader – Adam Resurrected (2008)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
While the Holocaust is certainly a legitimate topic of inquiry for the committed filmmaker, most contemporary treatments of the Nazi camps betray their mission by allowing the viewer to feel altogether too comfortable as they take in the on-screen atrocities. Whether through the establishment of a mitigating historical distance, the adoption of standard genre tropes or the repetition of an established catalog of horrors, films like The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and A Secret tend to overly familiarize the events of World War II, allowing the viewer to safely assimilate that conflict’s genocidal horrors. But whatever the flaws of Adam Resurrected, and despite the fact that no physical violence is perpetrated on screen, Paul Schrader never allows the viewer to get comfortably situated, relying on an absurdist central conceit and a rapidly shifting array of intellectual and moral concerns—whose superficial treatment unfortunately leads to a certain diffuseness in the work—to continually de-familiarize his subject. Continue reading