German film

A CURE FOR WELLNESS (2017)

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A film by Gore Verbinski

Cast: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth

The film opens in a large financial services firm in New York City, a man named Morris works late when  he suffers a massive heart attack and drops dead. Well life ’s is a bitch in finance. Lockhart, an ambitious young executive takes over his position and is sent to retrieve the company’s CEO, Roland Pembroke, from a mysterious “wellness center” at a remote location in the Swiss Alps. Of course there is a catch to it you are going to watch the  film. The retrieval is crucial because Pembroke needs to sign papers for the merger.

Ok it is a simple retrieval but once you are in the Wellness center no one ever leaves. Why you say well because everyone love it here. Once lockhart is in they give him the run around nothing new there. They tell him to return later in the evening because visiting hours are past. This is going to be a tough review to do here because this film is not only dark, bold , beautiful but it has twist and turns with hidden  messages so I am going to see the film again to see what I missed, also the audience will interpret the film differently and for a film with a big budget my hot goes out to you to do such a bold film usually it is reserved for the independent film.The character of Lockhart is not a very likable person, yet we follow him throughout the entire film. An other character who is mysterious is Hanna played beautifully well by Mia Goth and her life is a total mystery here all we know she was raised at the center. Gore Verbinksi and Bojan Bazelli Director of Photography create  a beautiful looking film. A cure for Wellness is a rare film you won’t se that everyday. Well I am going to retreat myself in my own Cure for Wellness with cheese, bread and wine .

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FRANTZ (2016)

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A film François Ozon

Cast: Pierre Niney, Paula Beer, Ernst Stötzner

After the war 14-18, in a small German town, Anna goes daily to the tomb of her fiancé, Frantz died on the front line in France. But that day, a young French man, Adrien, came to visit the grave of his German friend. This presence following the German defeat will provoke angry reactions in the city.

Frantz, is pacifist German soldier who loves paintings by Manet and  Verlaine died on the battlefield. Convenient because it is around his absence that will enroll the whole narrative of Frantz. On his grave first, where  a French man , a former soldier of the Great War who is over his grave crying and then when accidentally where he will enter the lives of Frantz’s family. Bur the family wants to know how Adrien knew Frantz, Where did they meet. And yes Ozon has done  a  film a la  Hitchcock and creatively uses black a white to show the darkness and the pain switching to color where there is a moment of happiness using the theme of Vertigo (watch for the museum scene) .The suicide (1877) the painting of Manet, occupies a central place in Frantz ’s heart. For it is symbolically through him that Adrian and Anna, the key protagonist of the film wonderfully interpreted by Paula Beer, will learn to love life. The dark photography and the dreamy music allowing Frantz do to create a rather cruel tale atmosphere, but above all tender and naive. Niney an up an up coming actor does a nice job here playing the melancholic on the verge of suicide. Here is a terrific romantic cruel tale that will suit you thirst of melancholic drama.

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RACE (2016)

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A film by Stephen Hopkins

Cast: Stephan James, Jason Sudeikis, Eli Goree

Race is a Franco-German-Canadian film directed by Stephen Hopkins. It the story of the African-American athlete Jesse Owens who alone humiliated Hitler and prevented the glorification of the Third Reich at the Games Olympics 1936 in Berlin.

In 1934, during a period of racial segregation, Jesse Owens arrives at the Ohio State University to work with the best coaches of the time. Jesse will develop  an amazing relationship with a white coach Larry Snyder. Snyder became the coach who is obsessed with success also one of the toughest who develop this relationship with his protegé who together focus on getting at the Olympics. Talking about humiliating Hitler even pissing him off every time he won a medal. Even after becoming world-famous, Owens is treated with contempt by many whites, including those in the athletic and political establishment. President Franklin D. Roosevelt never invited him to the White House. Jesse became aware that racism has many faces at every turn of his life. You have to understand that they did not want him to go in Berlin (And that would have been a mistake) under pressure from both side he decide to go. As he said at the moment the gun off and I start running I have 10 second of freedom where nothing matter 10 second where I am free. Some powerful word there. Jesse however endured still the hatred by the white people even though he had humiliated Hitler by winning 4 gold medals. That is a shame. It took 25 years before someone break one of his records. He has done more in one year that others has done in a life time.

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DER STAAT GEGEN FRITZ BAUER (2016)

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A film by Lars Kraume

Cast: Rüdiger Klink, Burghart Klaußner, Andrej Kaminsky

English: The state against Fritz Bauer. 

The film take us to West Germany in the late 1950s where the government and state institutions are still populated with former Nazis and no one is  interested to expose them of their past  crimes. In such an environment our hero is Fritz Bauer  a Socialist, a Jew and a homosexual. He has everything against him. And yet, he is also an excellent tough lawyer. He finds  out that  his attempts to bring Nazis to trial are being stonewalled, and that his own staff are stealing files from his office, and tipping off Nazis in hiding, he decides to commit treason. You have to hand it to him he has balls. He will gets what he wants. He gets a  tip that Adolf Eichmann is in hiding in Argentina, he goes to Israel and gives the information to Mossad. Later he finds out that the man in question has moved to an other country he has been tipped off plus many other obstacles will follow.

And that is all I am going to say on this. The thing is here is a man who has two strikes against him has this will power to do something great and will stop at nothing. The film is beautifully well crafted as a thriller, as well as the acting is top notch. Here  the film tells us so much about the reality of post-war politics, they want to forget what happens instead to bring everybody to trial. Yes there are some injustice about how the homosexual were treated back then even put to jail. Here is a story that has not been told yet and thank god for Lars Krause who took upon himself to make this film. Not to be missed. It is a good film but an important one as well.

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REMEMBER (2016)

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A film by Atom Egoyan

Cast: Christopher Plummer, Dean Norris, Martin Landau

Zee (Christopher Plummer), 90, a Holocaust survivor, suffering from dementia. He is in a nursing  home, and confused at  times which he  forget that his wife Ruth has died. The day of the funeral, his friend Max gives him a letter to remind him of a promise he made to his wife: to  find the former Nazi who murdered their respective families. His name is Rudy Kurlander and there are  four individuals with this name in the United States …

Now Atom Egoyan has finally made a great film and it is about time. Dementia is a bitch to have every time Zev wakes up he forget that his wife is dead. In order to do the task that it ask of him his friend Max Rosenbaum (Martin Landau) gave him a letter with instructions. The director takes on this journey where Zev is struggling to find Kurlander but he thing he is losing his memory and loosing it at times. It is like he is in his own little world. Will he make it on time or is Krulander dead of old age? for Zev in order not to get lost he has one compass a letter that Max has written to remind him that his wife has died and that he has to embarked in a murderous mission. Here Christopher drivers the part perfectly well. The approach of the director is to film it like a thriller which works here with some great music to build the tension. Do not miss this one.  I have to find the film exotica from Atom Egoyan of course I heard it is a great film also,  I will let you know.

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AUF DER ANDEREN (2007)

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A film by Fatih Akin

Cast: Baki Davrak, Gürsoy Gemec, Cengiz Daner

English title: The edge of heaven. 

How I am going to explain this great film here it goes. The edge of Heaven is not about the story it is about the characters but the characters never link they lack of information and I like it that way. It is a beautiful story well written and directed by Fatih Akin.

There is an old man named Ali (Tuncel Kurtiz) in Bremen, Germany. He is from Turkey. he has a Je ne sais quoi about him with their smile that makes you will like him. He is retired and has a hobbit to see prostitute which brings me to this  middle-age Turkish woman named Yeter (Nursel Kose), who works from the doorway of a brothel. Yeter is warned by a  a group of Turkish men, who assume she is Muslim, and tell her they will kill her unless she quits the business. Ali makes her an offer: He will pay her to move in with him on a permanent basis, of course in exchange for company and sex. She accepts. Here is a spoiler alert i have no choice. She was heartbroken because her daughter, Ayten (Nurgul Yesilcay), had been long out of touch with her. Peter dies because Ali in a druken rage hits her and she dies. Yeter’s body is shipped back to Istanbul, where we meet Nejat (Baki Davrak), Ali’s son. Nejat is a professor at a German university, but makes it his business to track down Yeter’s daughter. Somehow  he moves back to Istanbul and buys a German-language bookstore from a man who is homesick for Germany. The story goes back and forth from Germany to Turkey. The daughter of Yeter is in some kind a trouble and meets somebody who helps her. That is all I am going to say.

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Hanna Schygulla is a pleasure to watch in 2007 she was 65. She was the vixen back in her young days but now she at 65 no plastic surgery a little plum does a well job to be the mother of Lotte the soft-spoken woman the forgiving type well you have to see the film. Surely some combination of these people will discover how they are connected? But they never do. Here Akin gets us to know the characters and to sympathize with them. You do not have a villain in this film, you have the Turkish government doing their thing a woman who join the cause and on the other side Germany where an old man gone to prison he is just an old man who got drunk and kill the woman but no in purpose.They just got on with their lives, and their lives got on with them, all the time swimming in the seas of two different cultures. Now if the 5 characters found themselves connected you would have a different story. We are human being the majority good people who makes mistakes in ours lives. We are connected for the most part but sometimes we are not.

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THE WAVE (2008)

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A film by Dennis Gansel

Cast: Frederick Lau, Max Riemelt, Jennifer Ulrich

During project week, high school teacher Rainer Wenger (Jürgen Vogel) is refused his chosen subject of Anarchy, instead they give him Autocracy. He comes up with an experiment in order to explain to his students how Autocracy works. Within days what begins with harmless notions like discipline and community builds into a real movement: The Wave. By the third day they were third day they were threatening others. By the end of it chaos took place. The teacher decided to break it off but it is already too late.

Those events are based on a real story that took place in California from an experiment called the wave. Now the film takes place in Germany in high school. It starts as an innocent game but within days it became this monster of a movement called the wave. Some student were disagreeing with him but later departed from the group other has heard of this group and wanted get in on it. The thing is that the kids felt that they belong to something, it also prayed on the weak, the unloved, and the loners in which they feel empowered. The point is to explore human nature. Rainer Wenger the teacher did not think it was going to be so successful also did not think that they will be consequences. It is scary to think that humans can be like that. Here is something that got to be positive got so negative toward the end.

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