Domestic films dominate line-up
by Bénédicte Prot
18/09/2008 - German titles dominate the line-up for this first week of autumn, with five domestic productions, one Norwegian and three US films hitting screens.
Among the new releases is Neele Vollmar’s tragicomedy Friedliche Zeiten, which explores the country’s recent past in an original way. Produced by Munich-based Royal Pony Film and Lunaris, the title centres on an East German couple in the 1960s.
The wife – a homebody – is happy in GDR and prefers to stay there and wait for the war she believes is approaching; her partner, on the other hand, wants to enjoy life in Western Germany. A cold war breaks out in their household and even the children realise that mum will only be happy when dad has left. The film is being released by Kinowelt.
GMfilms are launching Bruce LaBruce’s enticing and bold Otto; or Up with Dead People [trailer], which was selected in the Panorama section at the latest Berlinale. The title – co-produced by Berlin-based Jürgen Brüning Filmproduktion and Canada – recounts the film debut and bloody experiences of a gay zombie called Otto.
Released by Stardust, Andreas Morell’s Unschuld uses a ‘slice of life’ approach to tell the story of ten different characters (a policewoman, a member of parliament, a bus driver, etc) who are looking for happiness and love in Berlin. The film was produced by Novapool.
Kairos are launching Nathalie David’s Paula Modersohn-Becker, ein Atemzug..., which retraces the career of one of the pioneers of German expressionism. Meanwhile, RealFiction are releasing Niels Bolbrinker’s documentary Die Natur vor uns, which also looks at the work of an artist, in this case forgotten photographer Alfred Ehrhardt.
Finally, the only non-German European title on the line-up is The Art of Negative Thinking [trailer], by Nowegian director Bård Breien. Released by Kool, this comedy drama centres on a young man in a wheelchair who feels depressed and listens to Johnny Cash. He ends up at a group therapy session which turns into an orgy reminiscent of both The Idiots and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
(Translated from French)