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Entries in Germany (43)

Thursday
Apr132017

Michael Ballhaus (1935-2017)

by Nathaniel R

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of German cinematographer Michael Ballhaus. The 81 year old artist was a crucial figure in making me the movie maniac that I am today. Michelle Pfeiffer on the piano top in The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989) -- hell the entire movie -- being a defining image in my life, after which I went from enthusiastic regular moviegoer to celluloid-devouring obsessive.

Ballhaus had retired after Martin Scorsese's The Departed (2006) making only one German movie in the last decade of his life and we had hoped each year that he'd be announced as an Honorary Oscar recipient. His three scant nominations -- The Fabulous Baker Boys, Broadcast News, and Gangs of New York -- do no justice to his long and gorgeous career. That's because they don't feel representative of his career as a whole and because, apart from his crowning glory (Baker Boys -- which ought to have walked away with Cinematography in just about any year, let alone 1989) aren't even his best work.

Ballhaus and Fassbinder worked together all through the 70s

Ballhaus got his start as a young man of 24 in German television but quickly graduated to features...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar072017

Second Take: François Ozon's Ravishing "Frantz"

Editor's Note: Nathaniel previously reviewed Frantz at TIFF. Now with its US release a week away, here's Eric with a second look.

Frantz, director François Ozon’s most recent picture, opens in limited release in one week and is also part of Lincoln Center’s current "Rendezvous with French Cinema" series.  Ozon is one of France’s most profilic filmmakers (he makes a film almost every year), and he’s given us many fine pictures, including the Charlotte Rampling chillers Swimming Pool and Under the Sand, the actressy 8 Women, and his deepest film, Time to Leave.  But Ozon has never made a film as ravishing and complete as Frantz.

This film, which was nominated for 11 César Awards and won the Cinematography prize at the ceremony, contains a simple story which keeps unfolding in complex and surprising ways....

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb022017

Watching "The Man in The High Castle" As Democracy Crumbles

by Deborah Lipp

It’s possible that The Man in the High Castle was born to drive us all insane. It’s possible that Philip K. Dick dropped a lot of acid, looked into the future, saw our current political situation, and sent The Man in the High Castle to try to save us. It’s also possible I have been watching too much cable news. 

The Man in the High Castle is the second-best show on Amazon Prime. Based on the 1962 novel by renowned mind-bender (and acid-dropper) Philip K. Dick (who brought us Blade Runner and Total Recall), the show depicts an alternate history, in which Germany and Japan won World War II, and divided the US between themselves. Our characters take us inside both the Japanese and German regimes, as well as inside the resistance movement operating against each. 

I am watching a TV show about resistance movements. My Facebook feed says “resist”. The “RESIST” sign in Washington Square Park, protesting on behalf of Muslim immigrants, glowed in the dark. Resist...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec102016

EFA ♥︎s Toni Erdmann

The 29th European Film Awards were held in Wroclaw Poland today and they went all in for the very popular German father/daughter comedy Toni Erdmann with five major prizes. It was also a huge night for women with wins in Direction, Screenplay, Cinematography, Costume Design and more! Super high profile titles like Isabelle Huppert & Paul Verhoeven's Elle and Pedro Almodóvar's Julieta went home empty handed, though.

Maren Ade was the belle of the EFA ball

The winners are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct072016

NYFF: "Toni Erdmann" is Astonishing

Here's Jason reporting from the NYFF on a Cannes favorite and Oscar hopeful

It's not often you hear an audience of movie critics gasp out loud at something on-screen, but Toni Erdmann, the new comedy of forced familial closeness from German director Maren Ade, has a comic moment so perfectly timed that it got the civilized cinema-set of New York City to jump out of their seats like this was an Evil Dead movie in 3D. You know you've got 'em hooked when you can conjure up such a response - Hitchcock called it playing the audience like a piano. The fact that it comes via a comic-beat here, and not via a cat jumping onto a final girl's shoulder or a shower stabbing, makes it all the more astonishing.

And make no mistake - Toni Erdmann is astonishing...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep142016

More "Best Foreign Language Film" Oscar News

by Nathaniel R

Look at this cute still from Train Driver's Diary. That's Serbia's submission to the Foreign Language Film Oscar race which was announced yesterday. It won the audience prize at the Moscow Film Festival and tells the story of a retiring train driver training his son to take over. The old man holds an infamous record: the most accidental killings on the job. 

Forty-one countries have now made their announcements official including high profile choices like Chile's Neruda which stars Gael García Bernal and could put the auteur Pablo Larraín in contention for yet another nomination to whatever haul his brilliant Jackie picks up.

Spain's submission of Julieta, is even more high profile given Pedro Almodóvar's international statue...

Click to read more ...