Like Australian films, I often find contemporary German cinema a bit patchy in quality, though there have been some notable releases such as Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others, 2006), due for release on 29/3/07, Lola Rennt (Run Lola, Run, 1998), Der UntergangDownfall, 2004) and Sophie Scholl - Die letzen Tage (Sophie Scholl - The Last Days, 2005). With eighteen films screening this year, it's hard to decide on what to see, and it's good to get any leads.
Note: the film synopses are as provided by the festival.
Schwere Jungs (Grave Decisions, Marcus H. Rosenmüller, 2007)
A quirky satire that centres on the life of a misguided 11 year-old boy, who tries to play matchmaker to his widowed father with near fatal consequences. This film was a huge box office success in
Schwere Jungs (Heavyweights, Marcus H. Rosenmüeller, 2007)
A sports adventure story about German bobsledder teams, featuring dazzling action sequences, at the first winter Olympics since the end of the war. Rivalry between the two German teams becomes intolerable as the sportsmen skid into a hornet’s nest of sports-political intrigues and erotic adventures.
Vier Minuten (Four Minutes, Chris Kraus, 2006)
An elderly piano teacher discovers a piano prodigy. Trouble is the pupil, a female prison inmate, likes to beat everything around her to a pulp just to amuse herself. However, with the teacher’s help she could win a prestigious piano contest, maybe..... This film has received 12 international awards and will be released by Madman in
Monks: The Transatlantic Feedback (Dietmar Post/Lucia Palacios, 2006)
An award-winning documentary about the band The Monks, who were five America GI’s based in
Emmas Glück (Emma’s Bliss, Sven Taddicken, 2006)
A dying man attempts to escape his life to his ideal beautiful place
Sommer '04 (Summer ’04, Stefan Krohmer, 2006)
When 40 year-old Miriam’s son brings his 12 year-old girlfriend on summer holidays things begin to unravel when the brazenly sensual Livia begins flirting with a much older man. When Miriam tries to stop the inappropriate relationship she finds herself falling for the man, but it is Livia he loves.
FC Venus (FC Venue – Women With Balls, Ute Wieland, 2006)
An innovative challenge from a frustrated soccer widow Anna. She rounds up her fellow soccer widows and forms a team FC Venus, and challenges the men in the ultimate duel.
if the wives win the match against their men, is bye-bye soccer for the men, and if the men win, the women can no longer complain. Trouble is, none of the women can play soccer.
Ein freund von mir (A Friend of Mine, Sebastian Schipper, 2006)
A story about two very different friends: a stable mathematician Karl, and the man about town Hans. For Hans “friendship” means sharing everything, even the queen of his heart Stelle. This is too much for Karl, but you can’t get rid of a friend like Hans, and a woman like Stelle is unforgettable...
Valerie (Birgit Möller, 2006)
A model’s glamorous life takes a dramatic turn when she finds herself penniless and living in a hotel car park. As her situation deteriorates, her only hope appears to lie in developing a friendship with the parking attendant.
His World Has Its Own Rules (Züli Aladag)
Politically correct attitudes are stretched to breaking point when a father attempts to humiliate his son’s tormenter, the son of Turkish immigrants. A vicious and dramatic cycle of anger and violence erupts that threatens to expose the father’s not so politically correct affair with his student.
Madonnen (Madonnas, Maria Speth, 2007)
On release from prison for theft, Rita resumes her family life with her four children and Marc, a
Pingpong (Matthias Luthardt, 2006)
Secrets and suppressed truths are explored in this drama centred on a troubled sixteenyear-old Paul. After the death of his father he goes to live with his aunt and uncle. When Paul’s uncle leaves for a business trip, Paul’s sexual attraction to his aunt escalates to potentially dangerous proportions
Yella (Christian Petzold, 2007)
Yella abandons her failed marriage for a new life in a new town with a new job where she finds everything she wants. But strange voices and sounds from her past begin to haunt her and she starts to worry that her new life could be too good to be true.
Hui Buh - Das Schlossgespenst (Hui Buh – The Goofy Ghost, Sebastian Niemann, 2006)
Hui Buh – The goofy ghost has been delighting German audiences for more than 30 years. Now, after haunting the halls of Castle Burgeck for over 500 years, Hui Buh is given the chance to prove his ghostly skills. Stars Heike Makatsch, a guest of the Festival of German Films, 2006.
TKKG und die rätselhafte Mind-Machine (TKKG and the Mysterious Mind Machine, Tomy Wigand, 2006)
More adventures from the young hobby detectives TKKG: Tim, Klumpling, Karl and Gabby, who discover a new prototype of the spectacular mind machine! It’s the beginning of an adventurous journey of discovery into a bizarre world of real and virtual surprises.
Offset (Didi Danquart, 2006)
Eden (Michael Hofmann, 2006)
When waitress Eden begins eating libido-enhancing delicacies served up by her boss, her sex love suddenly spices up. Her husband however, becomes very suspicious about the change to their love life, and the role of her boss, so he decides to take action. In a small town with no secrets, this unusual ménage-a-food take unexpected, bittersweet twists
Dresden (Roland Suso Richter, 2006)
Set in 1945 a young nurse mistakes a badly injured pilot taking refuge in her hospital as a German deserter and helps him. As the impending, Allied bombardment of