16 items from 2016
An elegantly disquieting investigation into the interrelation of faith, violence and sexual degradation, held together by a rivetingly sure-footed performance by German star Martina Gedeck (“The Lives of Others”), recent Munich Film Festival premiere “Original Bliss” might be most impressive for how much it resembles its lead character: calm and orderly on the surface, but roiling with inchoate perversities underneath. There are times in director Sven Taddicken’s film when, were it not for the fixity of Gedeck’s stare, her absolute intensity of purpose, we might mistake the drama for a straightforward tale of a beaten wife’s escape from her abusive partner, and her reclamation of her sense of worth in the arms of another man. But “Original Bliss,” adapted from Scottish author A.L. Kennedy’s 1997 short story collection of the same title, is much more unsettling, and much more original, than that.
With subtle notes of discordance »
- Jessica Kiang
Walt Disney has taken distribution rights in Germany for “Work Without Author,” the next film from director-screenwriter Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who won an Oscar for “The Lives of Others.” Beta Cinema is handling world sales.
The movie is a psychological thriller about three periods of German history. Young artist Kurt Barnert has fled from East to West Germany, but “continues to be tormented by the experiences he had in his childhood and youth in the Nazi years and under the [Communist] regime,” Beta said in a statement. “When he meets the student Ellie, he is convinced that he has met the love of his life, and begins to create paintings that mirror not only his own fate, but also the traumas of an entire generation.”
Henckel von Donnersmarck said in a statement: “I hope that we succeed in making a film that shows that art can discern things that are »
- Leo Barraclough
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who won the Academy Award for writing and directing The Lives of Others, is re-teaming with his partners from that film on his new German film Work Without Author. Joining von Donnersmarck are sales agent Beta Cinema and actor Sebastian Koch, both of whom were integral parts of Lives. Work Without Author is an epic psychological thriller about three periods of German history. The film just started shooting in Berlin. The film marks a… »
Shoot is underway in Berlin on The Lives Of Others director’s third film.
German sales agent Beta Cinema has reunited with the Oscar-winning director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck on his third feature, Werk Ohne Autor [Work Without Author], after having handled international sales on his debut The Lives Of Others in 2006.
In psychological thriller Work Without Author, young artist Kurt Barnert (Tom Schilling) has fled to West-Germany, but he continues to be tormented by the experiences he made in his childhood and youth in the Nazi years and during the Gdr-regime.
When he meets the student Ellie (Paula Beer), he is convinced that he has met the love of his life and begins to create paintings that mirror not only his own fate, but also the traumas of an entire generation.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Martin Blaney)
The final film of Jan Nemec, who died in March, to play in the main competition.Scroll down for competition line-ups
The 51st Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (July 1-9) has unveiled the competition titles in its Official Selection, East of the West and Documentary sections.
The 12-strong main competition will comprise eight world premieres and four international premieres, including the last film from renowned Czech director Jan Nemec, who died in March.
The Czech filmmaker was a notable voice of the country’s New Wave movement of the 1960s with titles such as Diamonds Of The Night (1964). His final film, The Wolf From Royal Vineyard Street, will world premiere at Kviff and is an adaptation of his own quasi-autobiographical short stories.
Debut features »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
The U.S. thesp known for his roles in Quentin Tarantino pics has been cast in “South” alongside Dhaffer L’Abidine, the rising Tunisian talent who plays the driver of Tom Hank’s character in “A Hologram for the King,” and Canadian actress Katie Boland (“Born to be Blue”).
Spencer, who is based in Zurich, broke out in 1992 with well-received drama “Little Noises,” which went to Sundance. She more recently helmed London-set existential comedy “The Ninth Cloud,” which also starred Madsen, and went to Raindance.
Her new quirky pic, to be shot next year in Norway and the Dolomites, will take its cue from an unexplained occurrence in the sky, feature voiceless characters, and explore the question: “how far will people go to avoid facing change?”
- Nick Vivarelli
The new company Allegory Holdings is set up as a joint venture between Chan’s Sparkle Roll Media and R&D, a new company headed by Raimi (“The Evil Dead,” “Spider-Man) and German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (“The Lives of Others”.)
According to a regulatory filing by Cultural Investment Holdings, the Shanghai-listed parent of Sparkle Roll Media, the new company will produce two movies per year. Cih will handle their release in Chin, while they will look to a studio level structure for international distribution.
The deal was given a symbolic sendoff at a signing ceremony in Beijing on Tuesday, though the filing says that many details remain to be worked out.
The filing shows Cih putting up $150 million for a 60% stake in Allegory, »
- Patrick Frater
Cannes — Building a now rapidly burgeoning slate of European series offered to Europe and the world, Netflix has acquired the exclusive worldwide streaming rights to “Marcella,” the crime drama series from “The Bridge” writer Hans Rosenfeldt, starring Anna Friel. The deal was struck by Cineflix Rights, which holds international distribution rights.
The show, whose cast also includes “Downton Abbey’s” Laura Carmichael, “Fortitude’s” Nicholas Pinnock, “Jekyll & Hyde’s” Sinead Cusack and Harry Lloyd, whose credits include “Game of Thrones,” will premiere on April 4 in the U.K. on commercial network ITV and will be available globally, outside of the U.K. and Ireland, on Netflix beginning July 1.
The series, produced by Buccaneer Media for ITV, stars Friel as a troubled detective mother of two children who gives up her career to care for her family. When 10 years later, her husband walks out on her, she returns to work and »
- Leo Barraclough and John Hopewell
World’s second longest-serving film festival director died last week while attending Graz film festival.
Filmmakers in Germany and beyond are mourning the passing of Heinz Badewitz, the founder of the Hof Film Days, who died unexpectedly last week at the age of 74 whilst attending last week’s Diagonale - Festival of Austrian Film in Graz.
Badewitz was the world’s second longest-serving film festival director after Chicago’s Michael Kutza (who launched his festival in 1964) and was planning Hof’s 50th anniversary in October.
Hailing from Hof in Northern Franconia, Badewitz had moved to Munich in the early 1960s to train as a cameraman and soon became part of the Munich film scene, later working as location manager on such films as Wim Wenders’ Kings Of The Road and The American Friend, and assistant director for Bob Fosse’s Cabaret and Norman Jewison’s Rollerball.
In addition, he was involved in the selection of German films for »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Martin Blaney)
Get yer terrific long-suppressed film history right here, folks -- this is what it takes to get your movie banned in East Germany in 1965: Günter Stahnke makes a drama revealing forbidden capitalist-style competitiveness and dastardly backstabbing in a state-run industry. Think any of those Party censors would object? Spring Takes Time DVD Defa Film Library 1965 / B&W / 1:37 flat / 76 min. / Der Frühling braucht Zeit / Street Date March 2016 / available through The Defa Film Library / 29.95 Starring Eberhard Mellies, Günther Simon, Doris Abesser, Karla Runkehl, Rolf Hoppe, Erik S. Klein, Friedrich Richter, Elfriede Née. Cinematography Lothar Erdmann, Eckhardt Hartkopf, Hans-Jürgen Sasse, Kurt Schütt Film Editor Erika Lehmphul Original Music Gerhard Siebholz; 'The Sputniks' Written by Hermann O. Lauterbach, Konrad Schwalbe, Günter Stahnke Produced by Defa Directed by Günter Stahnke
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
So you think artists over Here have it bad... Günter Stahnke experienced some late-career fame at the 1990 Berlinale film festival, »
- Glenn Erickson
Baran Bo Odar will direct ten-part drama Dark.
VOD giant Netflix has ordered its first German original series, Dark, which will follow the fractured relationships among four families after the disappearance of two children.
Who Am I director Baran Bo Odar will direct the show, which comes from Quirin Berg and Max Wiedemann of German outfit Wiedemann & Berg Filmproduktion, the producers of Oscar-winning drama The Lives Of Others.
The series will consist of ten one hour-long episodes and will debut exclusively on Netflix in 2017.
Director Odar commented: “As Dark will be an ensemble mystery series, I especially look forward to discovering and working with new German talent. This will be a fantastic ride and I can’t wait to get started.”
Erik Barmack, Vice President International Originals at Netflix, added: “Dark is an incredible German story that will appeal to a global audience.”net »
The success of the cold-war thriller outside its home country has inspired Amazon, Netflix and Sky to commission German-language shows
It might not have been a hit in its home nation, but Deutschland 83’s success abroad is leading TV executives to bet big on German drama.
Streaming giant Amazon has announced its first German-language series, The Wanted, starring Matthias Schweighöfer as a man whose life is upended after a hacking attack. Netflix is working on an as-yet untitled series in conjunction with the team behind Oscar-winning Stasi drama The Lives of Others, according to Variety. And, never one to be left behind, Sky is creating a 1920s crime drama entitled Babylon Berlin with German public-broadcaster Ard, to be directed by Tom Tykwer of Run Lola Run fame. An adaptation of Volker Kutscher’s bestselling novels about a young detective in Berlin, it is set to start filming in April, »
- Sarah Hughes
Euro film-tv group Studiocanal has added to its international sales slate the title “Goodbye Berlin,” the latest movie from Fatih Akin, one of Germany’s best-known popular auteurs (“The Edge of Heaven,” “The Cut”).
A comedic coming of age road movie, “Goodbye Berlin” adapts Wolfgang Herrndorf’s bestselling cult novel, “Tschick” – whose English title is “Why We Took the Car” – one of the biggest literary successes in Germany in recent years, with sales topping two million copies. It has been published in 20 territories.
Starring Anand Batbileg, Tristan Göbel and Nicole Mercedes Müller, “Goodbye Berlin” turns on a 14-year-old misfit who hits the road with an unruly classmate, in a stolen car. Akin commented to Variety in December that when he fully understood in prep what the film was about, he channeled his own childhood experiences into the movie. A director known for his films about troubled adults, Akin also said »
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy
Steven Spielberg's entertaining true life account of a chapter in the Cold War concerns a crucial negotiation by a brave attorney (Tom Hanks) who goes way out on a limb in East Berlin. Hopefully I'm not alone feeling the same 'narrative undertow' in the storytelling style -- the movie works, but it's also aggravating. Bridge of Spies Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Touchstone 2015 / Color / 2:40 widescreen / 141 min. / Street Date February 2, 2016 / 39.99 Starring Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, Alan Alda, Will Rogers, Austin Stowell, Mikhail Gorevoy, Sebastian Koch, Burghart Kalussner. Cinematography Janusz Kaminski Film Editor Michael Kahn Original Music Thomas Newman Written by Matt Charman, Ethan Coen & Joel Coen Produced by Kristie Macosko Krieger, Marc Platt, Steven Spielberg Directed by Steven Spielberg
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
- Glenn Erickson
Our countdown of the top 100 films of the 21st Century (so far) concludes here with the top 25.
Click here for Part 1! (#100-76)
Click here for Part 2! (#75-51)
Click here for Part 3! (#50-26)
The first decade and a half of the 21st century has brought a lot of changes to the landscape of film. The advancement and sophistication of computers has made realistic computer generated effects a mainstay in both big-budget and small-budget films. The internet and streaming technologies have given big Hollywood new competition in films produced independently and by non-traditional means. We went from purchasing films on yards of tape to plastic disks, and now we can simply upload them to the cloud. Advertisements for films have reached a higher, more ruthless level where generating hype through trailers and teasers is crucial for a film’s commercial success. Movie attendance has fluctuated along with the economy, but that hasn »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
The film, which will be distributed by co-producers Universal Pictures International in Germany and gets its world premiere in the strand, stars Lea van Acken (Heil) as Anne Frank, alongside Martina Gedeck (The Lives Of Others) and Ulrich Noethen (Downfall).
The documentary, produced by Ghobadi, sees eight children from Syrian refugee camps handed cameras and given the encouragement to tell their personal stories.
The juries for the Generation programme’s two sections - Generation Kplus and Generation 14plus – have also been revealed.
The Generation 14plus International Jury - which presents »
16 items from 2016
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