The dramatic arc of Friedliche Tage was developed from images and the people who sustained those images. As long as the film is set in the building where the executions are carried out and the delinquents await their end, the tale is told with “classic” suspense. After Hanna leaves there with Robert, her potential executioner played by Branko Samarowski the traditional, linear narrative form dissolves into individual motifs; images that taken together show that these two, as a couple, can’t manage in the “normal” world. And in the end, some viewers are happy that the executioner returns to his old domain. He knows his way around there, he admits to being guilty of leaving. His career is advancing there. Happy ending?
Tag Archives: german
Prinzenbad / Royal Baths (1993) Bernhard Wicki, Ulrich Wildgruber, Róbert Alföldi, Richard Blank, Drama
I shot Prinzenbad in 1993. Five years earlier, my family and I had taken a trip to Budapest. We stayed at the Hotel Gellért, which is famous for its grand baths. Men and women visit separate sections of the baths. The water is heated to as much as 38 degrees Celsius. The men wear nothing but a small loincloth and it takes a while to get used to seeing the almost naked bodies. Once you get over your initial shame, you notice that the men in the baths talk about business, personal things, friendships, enemies, about women, and about which of them will win the lottery next weekend. It’s a society of men that might amuse some people, but also frighten others – skin as far as the eye can see, male bodies, monstersin steaming water. On my first visit, I looked at all that from the edge of the bathing pool and wondered, “What would happen if a woman turned up here?”
Stalingrad (1993) Joseph Vilsmaier, Dominique Horwitz, Thomas Kretschmann, Sebastian Rudolph, Drama, War
“Stalingrad” follows the progress of a German Platoon through the brutal fighting of the Battle of Stalingrad. After having half their number wiped out and after being placed under the command of a sadistic Captain, the Lieutenant of the platoon leads his men to desert. The men of the platoon attempt to escape from the city which is now surrounded by the Soviet Army.
Emil und die Detektive / Emil and the Detectives (1931) Gerhard Lamprecht, Rolf Wenkhaus, Käthe Haack, Fritz Rasp, Adventure, Family, Drama
Emil goes to Berlin to see his grandma with a large amount of money and is offered sweets by a strange man that make him sleep. He wakes up at his stop with no money, it is up to him and a group of children to save the day.
Ich war neunzehn / I Was Nineteen (1968) Konrad Wolf, Jaecki Schwarz, Vasiliy Livanov, Aleksey Eybozhenko, Biography, Drama, History
April 1945: Gregor Hecker, 19 years of age, reaches the outskirts of Berlin as part of the Red Army’s scouting team. Having fled Germany with his family when he was eight, he is confronted with the dilemma of having to fight men from the very country he was born in. Through dealing with challenging situations (e.g. he is appointed commander of Bernau, talks to many disillusioned Germans, and is once and again attacked by scattered groups of German soldiers), he grows more confident that not all hope is lost for post-war Germany. Based on the diary entries of director Konrad Wolf, the episodic movie authentically portrays the protagonist’s struggle to come to terms with his own past and identity.
Schatten der Engel / Shadow of Angels (1976) Daniel Schmid, Ingrid Caven, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Annemarie Düringer, Drama
Beautiful, detached, laconic, consumptive Lily Brest is a streetwalker with few clients. She loves her idle boyfriend Raoul who gambles away what little she earns. The town’s power broker, called the rich Jew, discovers she is a good listener, so she’s soon busy. Raoul imagines grotesque sex scenes between Lily and the Jew; he leaves her for a man. Her parents, a bitter Fascist who is a cabaret singer in drag and her wheelchair-bound mother, offer no refuge. Even though all have a philosophical bent, the other whores reject Lily because she tolerates everyone, including men. She tires of her lonely life and looks for a way out. Even that act serves the local corrupt powers.
Die Beischlafdiebin (1998) Christian Petzold, Constanze Engelbrecht, Nele Mueller-Stöfen, Richy Müller, Drama
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (1972) Woody Allen, Gene Wilder, Louise Lasser, Comedy
Seven segments related to one another only in that they all purport to be based on sections of the book by David Reuben. The segments range from “Do Aphrodisiacs Work?” in which a court jester gives an aphrodisiac to the Queen and is, in the end, beheaded to “What Happens During Ejaculation?” in which we watch ‘control central’ during a successful seduction.
Philipp Gerber is a smart, but self-satisfied car salesman. In an inattentive moment at the wheel of his car, he runs over a biker and drives away. As he has feelings of guilt, he tries to find out more about the accident’s victim and learns that the boy lies seriously injured in a hospital. Philipp wants to tell his mother Laura Reiser the truth, but he doesn’t. After a carefree holiday with his girlfriend Katja, he learns that the boy is dead. Meanwhile, Laura staggers between grief and the desire for revenge. One evening, she can’t bear it any more and jumps off a bridge, but Philipp saves her life.