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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Entries in Germany (20)

Wednesday
May132015

New To (Some of) You: Still Alice, Futuro Beach, Beloved Sisters

Thanks to everyone who answered last week's open question about DVD coverage. We won't fuss too much about switching things up but we will do a little more than we are doing for the second and third wave audiences.

NEW DVD / BLURAY
This is your weekly reminder that Julianne Moore is now an Oscar winner! The film that finally did the job (in conjunction, of course, with goodwill from a dozen undeniable acting triumphs in her past) was Still Alice, a minimalist drama about a linguistics professor suffering from early on set Alzheimers which is now out on DVD and BluRay for you stragglers. Who still hasn't seen it? You owe it to Julie so, rectify.  For those that did see it two questions:

  1. Which scene do you think cemented Julianne's Oscar traction or even her win?
  2. If it's different, what scene or moment do you still think about?

Also recommended: Germany's most recent Oscar submission Beloved Sisters didn't win much press or Oscar traction despite an actual theatrical release in the December glut but it will satisfy those of you that love a good costume drama and don't mind a long running time. It's about two sisters whose mother hopes for them to marry rich but they both fall in love with the same penniless poet. Perhaps they'll share him? Here's the complete review if you missed it.

Also new though good luck finding someone who recommends them: Mortdecai (Johnny Depp + Gwyneth Paltrow + moustaches?), Blackhat (Michael's review), The Cobbler (the scathing reviews were something of a surprise since writer/director Thomas McCarthy is usually beloved), and Taylor Lautner in Tracers (though I'm never going near one of those again post-Abduction

Two recommended Instant Watches after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
May012015

Lost in Translation: Dubbing Movies Into Foreign Languages

Sebastian here with a heartfelt criticism of dubbing movies for foreign markets.

Lake Bell in "In a World…," which isn't about dubbing, but it's a great movie and I needed a picture here.

This Monday I took a four hour train ride to see a movie.

I've done crazier things in the name of cinephilia. A few years ago I coerced my friends to take a day trip to Strasbourg just so I could see Steve McQueen's Shame three months before it opened here in Germany. But this time it was't about some small independent film. This time I went to all this trouble to watch a movie called Avengers: Age of Ultron. Maybe you've heard of it?

The superhero sequel had already been playing in German cinemas for a week and it's even playing in my small town. So why go elsewhere?

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr092015

Every Thing Will Be Fine. Plus: German Oscar Contenders

Team Experience is adding two new members this week. Please welcome Sebastian! - Editor

Sebastian here, with my first dispatch from the outskirts of Germany, where I spend my days watching movies and occasionally writing about them. You might have seen my post about the unique ways Birdman deals with suicide and depressionBorn in 1982, I’ve lived in Germany all my life. Currently residing in Trier (birthplace of Karl Marx; not affiliated with Lars von), I’ve dabbled in various pursuits ranging from photography to education, but movies remain my biggest passion, which is why I was thrilled when Nathaniel asked me to contribute to The Film Experience.

Let’s start out with a few thoughts on Wim Wenders’ latest dramatic effort, and a brief look ahead at some of the films aspiring to be submitted as Germany’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film this year.

With his Oscar-nominated documentary The Salt of the Earth still in theaters in the US, Germany has already seen the release of Wim Wenders’ follow-up picture, Every Thing Will Be Fine, which I saw here last week. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Nov012014

AHS: Freakshow "Edward Mordrake Pt. 2"

I apologize for the lateness of this piece! AHS's two-part Halloween episode was structured around green smoke spewing evil spirit Edward Mordrake's search for another soul to add to his collection of dead ghouls. This search was something like a B story entirely made up of SAG Ensemble clip reel auditions with several actors getting their own "darkest hour" backstory to tell. I loved the Illustrated Seal's (Mat Fraser) clip reel about his "handsome face" and am pleased to have read that Ryan Murphy, recognizing his talent, wants to give him a non-freak role somehow in a future season, despite his deformed hands and arms.

After completely the sad story roundup, Mordrake decides to take Elsa (Jessica Lange) with him into the afterlife following her grisly tale of her Weimer Era Germany sex club stardom ends in the grisly chain-sawing of her legs. (Yuck -- and that isn't even the grossest image in her story). But, Mordrake stops when he hears distant music.

Where is it coming from?

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Oct052014

NYFF: Beloved Sisters

"...and that is why you should nominate us for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars."Our NYFF coverage continues with Nathaniel learning a 'don't procrastinate lesson'

This will be brief though the movie is not. IMDb lists the running time of Beloved Sisters, a fine new costume drama, as 138 minutes. The version that screened this past week at NYFF was 170 minutes long or nearly three hours. I do not know which version AMPAS  foreign language film committee will be screening but as soon as I find out I'll share. I do know this: a 170 minute long movie in which you can't read any of your notes (due to scribbling on the same line repeatedly in the dark) should be written up immediately and not left to swiss cheese memory. 

Beloved Sisters is a true(ish) story about sisters Charlotte (Henriette Confurius) and Caroline (Hannah Herzprung) and the talented man they fall for (Florian Stetter as Friedrich Schiller). The sisters are the best of friends but for financial reasons they have to part; Their mother widowed, Caroline marries for money to help support her family. As the movie begins, Charlotte is now old enough to be shopped around town... excuse me "introduced into high society" as well. Though Charlotte is lovely and (mostly) obedient, she doesn't have the right temperament to acclimate to stuffy society events, aristocratic mores, and arranged marriages. Instead she wants to marry the penniless poet Schiller who will eventually become famous, hence the interest in making a movie about this at all over 225 years later. Her mother, in need of money, doesn't approve.

Soon married Caroline is also in love with Friedrich but, in stark contract to most love triangles, the sisters are happy to share him. One near-drowning which ends with Friedrich scandalously naked and warmed by the sisters sets this odd triangle on its two-decade course. Since history is not at all explicit about what went down between Schiller and the sisters he became so close to, there are many theories and Dominik Graf's film fills in the blanks with a kind of lush romanticism that wouldn't be out of place in a swoony romance novel albeit one without the bodice ripping salaciousness. The film is interested, though not heavily invested in the life of the mind and rather timid about sex actually. This doesn't feel like a misstep exactly since Charlotte's ideas of romance is naive and youthful and the character arcs largely involve the three of them accepting the compromises and difficulties of marriages and friendship.

Though many of the details of the film have slipped by me two weeks later (blame a month of constant film festivalling, not the movie itself) I still remember evocative production design from rich wallpaper to a the delapidated ruins of a family house,  and the wonderfully complicit reading of letters directly to camera. Most of all I remember the first half (which flies by) when love is new and all consuming. Beloved Sisters feels more ordinary the longer it plays, unfortunately, but the first half has a charming youthful idealism and a firm grasp on illicit if modest thrills that come from soulmate devotion, and secretive infatuations like a Heavenly Creatures without the blood spattering psychosis.

Previous NYFF Reviews here. Oscar submission charts here
16 Foreign Oscar Submissions Reviewed:  ArgentinaAustraliaBelgiumBrazilCanadaCuba,FranceGermanyIcelandLatviaMauritaniaNorwayPolandPortugalSweden and Venezuela

Friday
Sep192014

Foreign Film Oscar Watch: 43 Submissions and Counting!

With the expected announcements today from Belgium (Two Days One Night) and Canada (Mommy), forty-three countries have already announced their Oscar submissions which means we have 2/3rds of the list already (It's usually around 65-70 films). Okay, technically we have 42 at this writing but Canada will have announced by the time you read this (I'm offline for a few hours travelling hence publishing without that news) which we hope is the incredible Mommy. Every submission chart has been updated to reflect all the recent announcements.

I'm illustrating this news update with the striking poster from Colombia's entry Mateo which is about a teenager who is asked by his crime boss Uncle to infiltrate a local theater group and tell him everything about their political activities...

I haven't seen the film but from the looks of the poster he's enjoying his time with theater friends and might not want to betray them. Thus, DRAMA to come.

Of the 43 official submissions I have seen only five and I'd rank them in this order (links go to reviews or capsules if they exist here already):

  1. Force Majeure (Sweden)
  2. Mommy (Canada)
  3. Ida (Poland)
    the top three are basically tied. the number will change depending on my mood - they're all deeply impressive
  4. Beloved Sisters (Germany) - review next week
  5. 1001 Grams (Norway) 

But I've seen another handful of assumed submissions or viable threats for submission that we're still waiting on official word about... 

And now an amusing coincidence!
Both Germany's submission (Beloved Sisters) and Greece's submission (Little England) which appear side by side on the alphabetical chart are dramas about two sisters in love with the same man! I haven't seen the Greek film but in the German entry the sisters are totally okay with sharing. Or at least they plan to be in this feverish plunge into three hours of hopeless romanticism. It opens in the US on December 24th.

a very memorable scene from Germany's "Beloved Sisters"

Here are the charts. Explore and share with friend!

Pt. 1 Afghanistan through Ethiopia - 14 official submissions thus far
Pt. 2 Finland through Panama - 18 official submissions thus far including the first ever submission from Panama called Invasión
Pt. 3 Peru through Vietnam  -11 submissions thus far