Tag Archives: Angela Winkler

Thomas Arslan – Ferien aka Vacation (2007)

Description: Ferien (Vacation, 2007) was perhaps the festival’s best German feature. Thomas Arslan’s latest outlines the strained composition of a family and the disintegration of a marriage, set in a luminous Brandenburg summer. The film is confined: the story takes place almost exclusively on the grounds of the mother’s country house and the cinematic language speaks only static shots and long takes. Just at the very end of the film does one see the whole family together. Arslan’s feat reveals the shifting constellations of family members in individual conversations and encounters: the grandmother is tender and wise while alone with granddaughter Laura, cold when Laura’s sister Sophie enters, and bitchy in scenes with her daughter Anna. Read More »

Volker Schlöndorff – Die Blechtrommel AKA The Tin Drum [Director’s Cut] (1979)

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Quote:
“A country unable to mourn,” Volker Schlöndorff wrote in his journal as he adapted Günter Grass’ novel, The Tin Drum. “Germany, to this day, is the poisoned heart of Europe.” When the film premiered in West German cinemas in early May 1979, it figured within a country’s larger (and, in many minds, long overdue) reckoning with a legacy of shame and violence. Indeed, the Nazi past haunted the nation’s screens, more so than it ever had since the end of World War II. The American miniseries Holocaust aired that year on public television in February and catalyzed wide discussion about Germany’s responsibility for the Shoah. Later that month, Peter Lilienthal’s David gained accolades at the Berlin Film Festival for its stirring depiction of a young Jewish boy living underground in the Reich’s capital during the deportations to the camps. History returned as film; retrospective readings of the Third Reich by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Alexander Kluge, Edgar Reitz, Helma Sanders-Brahms, and Hans-Jürgen Syberberg (among others) would become the calling card of the New German Cinema and bring this group of critical filmmakers an extraordinary international renown. In 1979, The Tin Drum won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. A year later, it would become the first feature from the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) to receive an Oscar for best foreign film. Read More »

Margarethe von Trotta – Heller Wahn AKA Sheer Madness (1983)

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Olga and Ruth become friends. Olga is independent, separated from her husband, living with an immigrant pianist… Read More »