German Cinema Memory
Festival in Media
2017-11-16

8 films, 8 stories, 8 best works of German cinema in the section "Apollo - Memory of the Cinema", which is prepared by Goethe Institute of Georgia and Tbilisi International Film Festival in the frame of Georgia-Germany year (2017).

These are the films which had an overwhelming response as soon as they came out on screens and, once seen, you remember them forever; these films made German audience newly perceive German reality, being an evil Dr. Caligari from an expressionist picture, beautiful Lola from "The Blue Angel" or Heiner Carow's first ever film about homosexuality made in GDR.

Our long-time friends, German film critics Erika and Ulrich Gregor, helped us in selecting the films. At first there was an idea of choosing one film of each decade to present German cinema to the audience but all in all, we chose these 8 films which show to a great extent the development of German civil society and just the fate of people in the era full of cataclysms of XX century.

It is to mention especially that the screening of two exceptional works of silent film "Nosferatu" and "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" will be accompanied by the live music. KÜSPERT & KOLLEGEN is a jazz band which will play during the screenings.

The Section "Apollo: Memory of German Cinema" offers the following films:

„Coming out" (1989)

"Coming Out" was the first film made in the East German state film studio concerning a homosexuality in GDR. Philipp is a hidden gay who works as a teacher. His colleague Tanja falls in love with him and he moves in to her house. There, at Tanja's place, he meets his ex-boyfriend whom he was forced to break up with in the past. Philipp realizes that he had been suppressing his sexual orientation for years. He secretly goes to a gay bar and there he falls in love with Matthias. The only thing he has to do is to tell the truth to Tanja and Matthias. Stressed, Mathias tries to commit suicide.

Film author Heiner Carow was introduced as a director and a screenwriter in Germany with films: "Legend of Paul and Paula" (1973) and "Until Death Do Us Part" (1979). Heiner Carow died in Berlin in 1997. "Coming Out" won a Silver Bear and a Teddy award of Berlin International Film Festival.

The screening will be attended by the leading actor of the film, Matthias Freihof.

"The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1920)

Who is Caligari - a doctor or a killer? A young student tries to figure it out who's sure that the doctor commits all the evil intentions with Cesare. He starts his own investigation and at the same time, the viewer sees that a student is a patient of a mental health clinic and Dr. Caligari - its director.

With this film by Robert Wiene an audience saw the expressionist film on the big screen for the first time. Expressionist makeup, sharp-pointed forms and distorted world - this is a visual world of "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari".

Robert Wiene's horror films "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1920) and "Raskolnikow" (1923) which is based on Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment had a great influence on the German cinema of that time.


"The Blue Angel" (1930)

In a music hall of a small city works Lola with a stunning beauty. She gives musical performances every night. Among the lovers of her performances full of eroticism, there are boy college students. When a strict professor learns about their dubious entertainment, decides to see this place with his own eyes. There he finds Lola and falls in love with her. Their sudden marriage rejects him from society and he soon starts to degrade. His destruction reaches its peak when he performs as a clown on a cabaret stage.

This film by Josef von Sternberg was a great success for Marlene Dietrich and made her name worldwide famous. His most exceptional films are: "The Docks of New York" (1928), "Morocco" (1930), "Shanghai Express" (1932), "Macao" (1952), "Jet Pilot" (1953), "Ana-ta-han" (1957) etc. He was mainly a Hollywood based director and "The Blue Angel" was his only German film.


"Germany - Pale Mother" (1980)

The action in film takes place in Germany in the age of Nazism and The World War II. There are three characters in the center of the film: a man, a woman and a child. It's 1939. Hans and Lene got married a day before war broke out. Hans is immediately sent to the front. During the bombing raid, their daughter Anna is born. Time passes. Lene is forced to move in with relatives in Berlin. In the crucible of war, she has to carry Anna on her shoulders, go through the snowy forests hand by hand with her. When the spring comes, the forest is full of corps and Lene becomes the victim of rape. Although Hans comes back from the war he's changed, he's very different. It's hard to go on living together although all three - a father, a mother and a child - expected it so.

The director Helma Sanders-Brahms was a writer and a screenwriter, who is famous for the films: "Germany - Pale Mother" (1980), "Laputa" (1986), "My Heart is Mine Alone" (1997) and "Clara Schumann". She was a jury member at Tbilisi International Film Festival in 2003. She died in Berlin in 2014.


"In a Year with 13 Moond" (1978)

The film follows the last days of transsexual woman Elvira, formerly Erwin. Elvira is beaten up for trying to have sex in park. After that she returns home to her longtime lover Christoph. Christoph abuses her verbally and physically and when he announces that he's leaving, she desperately tries to stop him. The only rescue comes as Zora, a friend of hers. They visit a slaughterhouse and an orphanage where Elvira grew up and had later contacts with her family and former lover Anton Saitz, when she decided to change her sex.

Reiner Warner Fassbinder was a West German cinema and theatre director, playwright and actor, an influential figure of German cinema. His films full of socio-political elements go into depth of oppression and despair.

During his short-lasting career, he led a highly productive work. He made more than 40 films and worked on many theatre plays. Among his films which mainly criticized middle-class values and manners, the most significant are: "Katzelmacher" (a Bavarian slang term, meaning foreign workman, 1969) - a film tells a story of a Greek migrant of a worker class who fascinates German bourgeoisie; "The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant" (1972), a film about human relations and a fight for power; "Fear Eats the Soul" (1974) - a story about the love of German cleaning woman and Moroccan mechanic been criticized by the society. The audience and critic positively met Fassbinder's great trilogy "The Marriage of Maria Braun" (1979) - the ironic image of a marriage describing the history of Germany from the World War II to the 1950s' "economic miracle". "Lola" - Fassbinder's edition of "The Blue Angel" and "Veronika Voss" (The Longing of Veronika Voss, 1982) which is based on the life of German Actress Sybille Schmitz.

"Nosferatu" (1922)

Thomas Hutter is a real estate agent in Wisborg. He lives happily with his wife Ellen. One day, his employer sends him to Transylvania with a deal - to negotiate with Count Orlok about buying a house. Ellen feels that something is wrong and her husband is in trouble, but it's impossible to stop Hutter. Hutter meets the castle owner at night and he signs the contract. When Hutter wakes up the next morning, he sees little red punctures on his neck and realizes that the trouble has approached. Orlok is a vampire. Hutter immediately runs out of the castle. He's afraid that the soul will haunt his wife.

Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau is an appreciated German director. One of the most famous works of Murneau is "Nosferatu" - a silent film regarded as a masterpiece of expressionist cinema, which is an adaptation of Bram Stocker's Dracula. After that, Murneau made "The Last Laugh" (1924) and Goethe's "Faust" (1926). Later, the director moved in to Hollywood where he started to cooperate with "Fox Studio" in 1926. In Hollywood, he made three films: "Sunrise" (1927), "4 Devils" (1928) and "City Girl" (1930). Sunrise is considered as one of the best films in the cinema history.

"Paris, Texas" (1984)

Henderson family separated years ago. Since then, Travis has not seen neither his ex-wife Jane, nor his son Hunter. After the divorce, Travis was lost for four years. Then, we see him in a small town in Texas desert. He doesn't even remember his past. Helped by his brother, he returns his ability to speak. He even manages to restore the relationship with his estranged son. Finally, they go together to find Jane.

Wim Wenders is a German director, writer, playwright, photographer and a notable figure of New German Cinema. Among many honors, the most significant one is the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for "Buena Vista Social Club" (1999), "Pina" (2011) and "The Salt of the Earth" (2014). One of the first awards of Wenders was BAFTA award for The Best Director for his drama feature "Paris, Texas" (1984), which got a Palm d'Or at Cannes the same year. Many of his films got a Cannes award, including "Wings of Desire" (1987).

"Seven Journeys" (1987) Original title - In Jenen Tagen (In Those Days)

It is the years of the Third Reich in Nazi Germany. A car tells its story and this story concerns to his 7 owners. One of its owners was a political opponent of Hitler who has to run away as soon as Hitler heads the country; also there was a composer who was prohibited from a musical work. Then there was a gallery owner who is forced to end up with a suicide with his Jewish wife after the Night of Broken Glass; the member of a resistance movement killed when running away; a soldier during a stinging Russian Winter; an elderly noble woman who's been persecuted because her son tried to kill Hitler; and lastly a refugee woman and her child who's helped by a young soldier on the road.

A director and writer Helmut Käutner was born in Düsseldorf. He's known for "The Captain from Köpenick" (1956), "The Devil's General" (1955) and "The Last Bridge" (1954). He was married to the actress Erica Balqué.

 

 

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