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Tatort: Ein mörderisches Märchen (2001)
one of the best German crime stories ever
The film starts with a corpse found in the middle of a clearing. And the murderer is easily found as a woman who always passes this place at exactly the same time saw the murderer's car. It's a joiner who mostly does marionettes. But here the plot only starts. The joiner speaks in riddles taken from (German) fairy tales. And soon they discover another corpse and that a girl that disappeared at the same time is not taken by her father. What makes this movie interesting is the unpretentious way suspense is gained from this fairy tale back-ground and the ironic distance the movie keeps. Eg there is a investigation scene in a small village near Munich and the atmosphere is gained from the similarity of the images to high-noon scenes. The hard light of arriving bad weather and the whistling sounds of the wind attribute to this imaginary. And even better: Differing from far too many German detective stories of the 'Tatort'-series (especially those extremely bad ones with Sabine Postel as Inspector 'Inga Lürsen') the movies sticks to the plot and doesn't give us a lot of information about the existing or not existing private-lifes of the inspectors we don't care to get.
De particulier à particulier (2006)
Big disappointment in the end
I just saw this movie at the Berlin Film Festival and it was one of the disappointments of this year's festival. The movie starts off quite interesting. A young couple ends up at a train station with a bag of a stranger. They decide to take it home with them. Actually they wanted to go on a trip to Venice that day but they finally stay home and explore the bag. It's full of Arabian bank notes and carries a token of a place called '(Ho)tel Harabati'. Now the movie shows that these signs are enough to make the couple suspicious till the edge of paranoia. The paranoia gets worse when the woman picks up photos and finds pictures of Venice mixed with pictures of her and her children. So she gets more and more strange and her distances himself more and more from her. Until here the movie is quite nice, but now she decides to go to "(Ho)tel Harabati" and he follows her. And it turns out that "Hotel Harabati" is actually "Tel Harabati" a beautiful valley where they live happily ever after. And this ending really spoils the film. It's so clischee, that the two Europeans go somewhere, and this somewhere is even shown as a place far from civilization what makes it worse, and find their inner peace and harmony. This break of two parts is even mirrored in the images and the telling of the plot. The images of the first part are interesting and with a great awareness for colors (quite common in french cinema) while the images of Syria are just like in hundreds of other movies. The speed of the story is quite slow from the beginning but for the first three quarters of an hour this is alright, because the characters are really interesting and there are a lot of nice details, but around the half of the movie it really gets long. And longer.
Montag kommen die Fenster (2006)
easily one of the worst movies i ever saw
this movie tells you for the 3.000.000th time the story of a couple with problems. you may ask, oh, if the story has been used only 2.999.999 times before why not use it once more, but on the other hand why should one? but first: this is how the movie goes: couple builds house. couple has suddenly problems (yes, it goes with a supposed pregnancy, yes it goes with a guy that mirrors their own story). she takes a few days off. he finds her and follows her with their child. she avoids him. he returns and dates another woman (the girl from their daughter's kindergarten). They almost give it a second try at the funeral of a guy they knew, but only almost... You see, the story is really old. This wouldn't be the problem, if the director had at least made something unconventional with the plot. He didn't. So basically the problem is that you have seen the whole movie hundreds of times before. There is really nothing (and i know that is hard to say) interesting about this. And by now i really find it annoying that there are so many German movies that cost a heck of a lot of money and still are such a pain to watch. And this is a extreme example of this problem. The actors don't really act the just happen to appear in a movie. The camera is wanna-be inspired. And the director has no ideas whatsoever. It's not even cheesy, it's just a waste of time.
about the effects of war
what makes this movie special in my eyes, is that it mainly deals with the effects a war has on the country that leads the war. it's not about all the crimes that happen in Chechnya, but what it means that Russia doesn't care about the young men that return from its war. The film consists of interviews immediately after their return to three - if i remember rightly - men and one woman who served in the war. And then it confronts their statements with those of a veteran from the Sovietunion's war in Afghanistan. What really impressed me was the way, the movie manages to keep you from judging these guys for what they did. So the most impressive scene was: after three years one of the guys, the most shy on at first is reported to have burglarized a house and then raped a child. And when Tamara Trampe visits him in prison and interviews him again, you just feel no compassion for him, actually nothing but contempt. But then she shakes his hand good-bye and wonders why he has so cold hands, and he just says "oh, i always have cold hands. they broke my hands in here" at least i felt sorry for him again. Without losing your feelings for him as a child-molester you see this young boy again. I do understand if people don't want to see it that way. But if you feel able to, go and see this movie!
great documentary of an important moment
this movie is one of the be political documentaries ever done in Germany. It documents and inquires the visit of the Shah of Persia in 1967 and the surrounding events. For those not familiar with the history. During one demonstration a guy was murdered by the police. His name is Benno Ohnesorg. Until now there are very few moments that shaped the ways of German political work as profound as this murder. But Brodmann's film is not about the murder, but about the amazingly brutal use of police forces during the Shah's visit to Berlin. If you're looking for a contemporary source to understand the German leftists from the sixties and seventies this is a must see for you. Unfortunately this movie is not yet published on DVD. It is, however, published on VHS in a collection of documentaries done by the German TV.
remembering German family past. revealing
after all the chatter about third generation this, third generation that finally a movie that shows how German families dealt with the Nazis they had as parents grandparents etc. the filmmaker shows how his older sisters react as he confronts them again with the facts the actually already knew but tried almost successfully to forget about their dad, who was the German military ambassador in Bratislava. and was involved in thousands of deportation orders, thus deliberately killing thousands of mainly Jews of Slovakia. i was a bit disappointed as i expected to be the case of Ludin's grandfather to be less clear. and found him as simple a murderer as most middle-high-ranking Nazis were. but that just meant i didn't find the movie to be what i expected it to be. the movie does, however, show how much Germans tend to mantle the Nazis in their family by stressing the loving relative (here:father) in them. (whoa: sorry, my unsatisfactory English stroked again). Especially some statements of the oldest sister ("Jews were killed in anti-partisan actions") are simply as wrong as disgusting as revealing for the German present. one deep and great advantage of this movie is that the filmmaker always manages to leave these statements not uncommented, while still continuing the interview and the movie. i don't know why nobody commented on this movie until now, because i think it's one of the best movies about Germans and their view of the Shoah. and i think the German view is pretty frightening.
Pravda o shchelpakh (2004)
The personal past and the past of a country
this movie is about people going back in their own history and searching. Three friends meet at the funeral of a friend from school days. As they don't have anything else to do, they have a walk in the city. ANd they visit people they once knew. And almost all things they find, they tried very hard to forget before. So even if it's not a pleasant quest they undertake, they are somehow faszinized by it, and go on and it actually leads them deeper and deeper into their past and gets more and more absurd. But still the movie has a very light style it really captures the atmosphere of a occasional walk in the city strange and still pleasant. I saw this movie at the Berlin festival last year and I really liked it...
Land of Plenty (2004)
A very personal relation to America
I think with 10/10 this movie is actually rated too high normally i'd give it a 8 or 9/10. But let me tell you why i didn't: At the time when this movie came to the cinemas in Germany, the anti-American atmosphere that broke off in the after-math of the decision of the German chancellor Schroeder, that German troops won't take part in the Iraq War (a good decision as far as I'm concerned), reached a peak. People arguing against that, often stressed the historical role of the American liberators of Germany and stuff. That's all true but it doesn't say much to somebody like me, who's in his twenties. Nevertheless I think there are reasons to have a more complex picture of America. And this movie actually tries to show something of this as well. It also tells an American story and analyzes the American society from the point of somebody (Wim Wenders) who went to America to find something better than in Germany. He found it. Then became realistic about it, and found that there isn't a perfect place on earth, and America definitely isn't. And so this is also a movie of a personal picture of America after 09/11. And at this very special moment it was also a very political movie in Germany, even if I have to confess few people saw it like this...
Tatort: Vorstadtballade (2004)
a little master-piece of TV-entertainment
I was really surprised, when i saw this movie on TV. very very seldom you find something like this when you switch on the picture-box. The story begins with a young couple finding shelter from the rain in a little bar in the out-skirts of munich. then the killing starts. As you now can see it isn't the story what makes the movie so special. It's greatness lays in the face that first its very minimalist. All the action takes place in one street and you have real relations among the suspects, not just the jealousy bullshit they usually give you. And secondly it has really good camera-work and all. So for once you have a TV-detective with something like atmosphere and style. So if you not only like action-detectives but also clever and calmly told detective stories - go see this if you can!
melodramatic, even if a better detective story would be better
well, i have to confess, i really hate this kind of very unrealistic but extremely expensive German-TV detective-stories. they always hang around in dark offices and try to seem what German-TV producers being 60 years old seem to think looks cool. otherwise the story is not too bad, even if i'm not too much into so much moral/ cheap ethical deliberating, when i'm expecting a detective. but in a sense of craftsmanship and stuff these movies are well done, even if this is making things only more annoying, since you always have to think how good things could be... but well, for an evening of easy entertainment those cologne-detectives will do, even if i still prefer those Schimanski-ones from the 80ies.