Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub – Chronik der Anna Magdalena Bach AKA The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (1968)

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Plot Synopsis by Sandra Brennan

The widow of Bach reminisces in this biography. Her life with the great composer was not easy. He seldom spoke to her. When he did, it was only to read letters of complaint. Included are performances of Bach’s works including the Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, Prelude 6 from the “Little Clavier Book for Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, Minuet 2 of the Suite in D Minor from the “Little Clavier Book for Anna Magdalena Bach, Sonata No. 2 in D Major for Viola and Harpsichord, Partita in E Minor from the “Little Clavier Book for Anna Magdalena Bach, Trio-sonata No. 2 in C Minor, Magnificat in D Major, “St. Matthew Passion, Prelude in B Minor for Organ, Mass in B Minor, Ascension Oratorio, Clavier-Uebung Italian Concerto, Goldberg Variations, Musical Offering, Art of the Fugue Corale for Organ, and Cantatas No. 205, 198, 244, 42, 215, 140, 82. Continue reading Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub – Chronik der Anna Magdalena Bach AKA The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (1968)

Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub – Die Antigone des Sophokles (1992)

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full title: Die Antigone des Sophokles nach der Hölderlinschen Übertragung für die Bühne bearbeitet von Brecht 1948 (Suhrkamp Verlag)

A teenage girl is executed for going against a king’s wishes and honoring her brother’s death. Continue reading Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub – Die Antigone des Sophokles (1992)

Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub – Machorka-Muff (1963)

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Straub-Huillet’s adaptation of Heinrich Böll’s biting satire Bonn Diary presents the reflections of a reactivated officer who is summoned to the West German capital by the Ministry of Defense to establish an Academy for Military Memories. Straub considered his film to be an intervention against German rearmament in the Adenauer era: “Machorka-Muff is the story of a rape, the rape of a country on which an army has been imposed, a country which would have been happier without one.” Continue reading Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub – Machorka-Muff (1963)

Erich Engels – Sherlock Holmes – Die graue Dame (1937)

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A bizarre cash-in, Die Graue Dame is a quasi-Holmes picture based on a theatrical play entirely unrelated to the works of Doyle and released shortly after the Bruno Güttner-starring Der Hund von Baskerville (1937). Here, young Jimmy Ward – played by Hermann Speelmans (1906-1960), who’d featured in the vile Nazi propaganda feature Hitlerjunge Quex: ein Film vom Opfergeist der Deutschen Jugend (1933), an immorality tale designed to drum up recruitment into the Hitler Youth – infiltrates a criminal gang, only to reveal at the last moment that he is, in fact, none other than an undercover Sherlock Holmes. One can only presume that the ‘John’ – who, according to the credits list, acts as Holmes’ ‘servant’ – was intended to be none other than the hapless Dr Watson. ~Alan Barnes, Sherlock Holmes on Screen Continue reading Erich Engels – Sherlock Holmes – Die graue Dame (1937)

Andre Meier – Do Communists Have Better Sex (2006)

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According to this documentary, East Germans have twice as much sex, start much younger, have more partners, are more experimental and are more satisfied then their capitalist counterparts. When the Iron Curtain came down, 40 years of division left its mark in many places – including the beds of the German people. At the end of World War II, the starting point was the same on both sides of the wall. Germans shared the same culture, the same lifestyle, the same morals, but four decades on everything has changed. Why? Was it the lack of church and easy availability of divorce and abortion? Filmmaker André Meier uses archive material such as state education films, locally produced porn magazines and East German home videos to compare both systems based on their dealings with sex. Meier discovers which Germans are cooler, more advanced, less inhibited and less prudish in the bedroom. Continue reading Andre Meier – Do Communists Have Better Sex (2006)

Robert Wiene – Panik in Chicago (1931)

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Beyond Caligari: The Films of Robert Wiene (Uli Jung, Walter Schatzberg), pp 166 ff.
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Panik in Chicago was an enormous success in all major cities in Germany, as reported in the press. “The D.L.S. branches in Düsseldorf and Frankfurt a.M. had such record bookings for the film Panik in Chicago during the following two weeks that several new copies had to be distributed in these districts because the available subsidiary copies could not fulfill the demand for screenings. Other reports refer to the unusual popular acclaim the film enjoyed in Leipzig, Halle, Munich, and Stuttgart. Continue reading Robert Wiene – Panik in Chicago (1931)

Michael Verhoeven – O.K. (1970)

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Imdb user Review

One of the most powerful anti-war movies ever made!
18 November 2002 | by Mikew3001 (Hamburg, Germany)

A group of G.I. soldiers in the jungles of the Vietnam War meet a native young girl. They are raping and torturing it brutally and finally kill it. One soldier is disgusted by this inhuman behavior and reports this crime to his officers, who try to turn him down. Finally his former mates are sentenced to military jail or have to leave the army.

This whole story really happened in Vietnam in 1967. It was the turn of German independent film maker Michael Verhoeven make a film about it in 1970, in real underground style, with b/w steady cams and German actors down in the forests of Bavaria. There is no jungle but just European forests. The actors are speaking with Bavarian German accents and wear groovy seventies’ style haircuts. It wasn’t Verhoeven’s idea to make a “real” Vietnam war movie but rather a reflection of the war brutality on the human soul. Continue reading Michael Verhoeven – O.K. (1970)