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 the nineteenth century, seventeen year old Effi Briest is married to the older Baron von Instetten and moves into a house, that she believes has a ghost, in a small isolated Baltic town.... See full summary »
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
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 »
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 famous left-wing satirical comedy about two ex-convicts, one of whom escaped jail and then worked his way up from salesman to factory owner, where he oversees a highly mechanized ... See full summary »
The small kingdom of Marshovia has a little problem. The main tax-payer, the wealthy widow Sonia (who pays 52 0f the taxes) has left for Paris So Count Danilo is sent to Paris, to stop her ... See full summary »
Edward Everett Horton
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
An altruistic department-store owner hires ex-convicts in order to give them a second chance at life. Unfortunately, one of the convicts he hires recruits two of his fellow ex-convicts in a plan to rob the store.
A behind-the-scenes documentary providing viewers with an in-depth look at the making of this classic film biography of freed convict Franz Biberkopf. This made-for-TV production looks at ... See full summary »
When one director needs over 15 hours to enact a novel, it is mathematically evident that you can pack less of a tenth of that in under 90 minutes. A tour de force, a highly compressed "reader's digest" (but the novel's author Alfred Döblin also collaborated on the movie script). And also, a "Heinrich George against the rest of the world" show, if you wish.
Still, it sometimes takes a few seconds, in an otherwise tight plot, to linger on details that don't "drive" the story, but maybe that's why they stand out more in memory after watching this film. The scene where the just married couple walks from their carriage to the wedding party. Or when Reinhold drops his pen as Franz storms into his back room - that was strong cinematography in a split-second. Or the bathing scene at a lake, which has nothing to do with the personae, but offers a glimpse at a sign that proclaims triangular bathing trunks forbidden (the shape of bath-wear was indeed a hotly debated topic, up to the parliament, in 1930s' Germany).
And that scene instantly reminded me of the classic "Menschen am Sonntag" (1930, Billie Wilder, Fred Zinnemann, the Siodmak brothers and more, an early "independent" production which also features mass transit and lakeside bathing in Berlin). However, its story is harmless and relatively sweet. "Berlin - Alexanderplatz" in some way continues from there and shows deeper trouble in the big city, criminals, burglary, murder, the (not terribly strong) action of the law...
Another detail that I enjoyed: outside the courtroom, witnesses discuss: "Did you take an oath? How?" - "Oh, only worldly" (i.e. omitting the religious part). - "Ah, then it's OK".
The German Arthaus Collection/Spiegel DVD comes with an in-depth documentary on Heinrich George's life, from communist to Nazi supporter to Soviet prisoner, with interviews with his two sons (Jan and Götz George), which I also found very worth watching.
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