German film in which a sensitive girl is sent to an all-girls boarding school and develops a romantic attachment to one of her teachers. One of the earliest narrative films to explicitly ... 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 »
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
East-Berlin, 1961, shortly after the erection of the Wall. Konrad, Sophie and three of their friends plan a daring escape to Western Germany. The attempt is successful, except for Konrad, ... See full summary »
Margarethe von Trotta
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 »
Kati and Steffi are best friends since childhood. But as they step into adulthood, both their perfect friendship and their personalities get harshly tested by a series of unfortunate events... See full summary »
Maria von Heland
Anna Maria Mühe,
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 »
Edmund, a young boy who lives in war-devastated Germany after the Second World War has to do all kinds of work and tricks to help his family in getting food and barely survive. One day he ... See full summary »
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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