A working-class family in Berlin in 1931 where survival is difficult, with massive unemployment in the wake of the Great Depression. After Anni's brother commits suicide in despair, her ... See full summary »
Joe May's sensual drama of life in the Berlin underworld is in many ways the perfect summation of German filmmaking in the silent era: a dazzling visual style, a psychological approach to ... See full summary »
When two russian captains of cavalry came to a German post station one of them recalls what happened long time ago. He begins to tell the story: Ten years ago a comrade of them made a ... See full summary »
A mogul merrily funds terrorists to boost his computer sales, by panicking West German government and industry c. 1980, as the third generation of Western European left-wing activists forms... See full summary »
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Edwin, a taxi driver, lives with Annie, a neurasthenic model. They plan to spend Sunday at the Nikolassee beach with Wolfgang, an officer, gentleman, antiquarian, gigolo, at the moment a ... See full summary »
Vienna in the biggest depression, directly after WW1. In a slum, Lila Leid, the wife of lawyer Leid is murdered, Egon, secretary of one of Leid's clients is arrested. He was with her, and ... See full summary »
A group of German infantrymen of the First World War live out their lives in the trenches of France. They find brief entertainment and relief in a village behind the lines, but primarily ... See full summary »
Georg Wilhelm Pabst
If you've read the book, this film version comes as a surprise - how does it manage to make so little of so much? Or is it so much of so little? Döblin co-authored the screenplay, which compresses his sprawling novel into a breathless eighty-eight minutes. Of course, much is sacrificed, but the skeleton plot still compares favourably to that of many modern movies. Technically, too, this flick has aged magnificently - considering this is one of the first German films with sound, what we see and hear is a lot smoother than I'd expected. The cinematography is astonishing by the standards of the decades that followed: there's an opening sequence of our hero (played by Heinrich George, a huge bear of an actor) just out of jail, dizzied by the speed of a tram and the chaos of the surrounding traffic, which is almost as vertiginous as "Vertigo". Reminds one that 1931 was the year of Fritz Lang's "M". Was film a more experimental art form then than it is now? It was also fascinating to see how modern the Berlin of seventy years ago still looks: true, the men have moustaches, and there are horses on the streets, and there isn't a single phone call in the plot, and the actors don't look like models, at least not all of them, thank goodness; but the villains could be straight from Hollywood, as could the fast cars, the glossy ads all over the buildings, the bars, the knee-length skirts and short bobs, and above all the sheer tempo of city life. It was a hugely enjoyable experience and gave me a better idea of the times my grandparents grew up in.
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