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 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 »
In Hungary, the national movement led by Kossuth has been crushed and the Austrian hegemony re-established, but partisans carry on with violent actions. In order to root out the guerilla, ... 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 »
Vienna in the beginning of the twentieth century. Cavalry Lieutenant Fritz Lobheimer is about to end his affair with Baroness Eggerdorff when he meets the young Christine, the daughter of ... See full summary »
Munich, 1955: A sports journalist meets Veronika Voss, an UFA actress who supposedly had an affair with Goebbels. Now declining, Voss is kept by her "kind" doctor, Dr. Katz, supplying her ... See full summary »
Mathias is a Belgian linguist, living with French theatre producer Anne. After a quarrel about moral questions, they take a train to attend a congress. While Mathias sleeps, Anne disappears... See full summary »
How to shrink a classic novel into 90 minutes and get away with it quite well
Döblin's Berlin, Alexanderplatz is probably a not filmable book anyway. F.e. all the kaleidoscopic elements he has been using like ad slogans, newspaper articles, multiple points of view etc etc etc are really hard to transfer into a movie. Well, it's expressionistic. And definitely outstanding. RW Fassbinder developed a 13-hour-series (plus a rather personal and debatable epilogue) from the material which imho was partly brilliant and partly awfully boring. Of course, the characters had much room to develop here. Whatever, it seems to have gained 'cult' status in some circles. This movie is quite the opposite. It has condensed the original story to a 90-minute-piece which works surprisingly well. Döblin helped with the script, the movie is fast-paced but gets the basic idea of the book. Or better, of it's main character Biberkopf (and also his opponent Reinhold). So, I recommend watching this as at least a comparison to the RWF series. The shots of 1931 Berlin alone make it worthwhile, they add an 'authentic' effect and even Zeitgeist to it (the novel had been published just two years before). That was something the RWF version (shot in 1979) could never really provide.
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