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RELEASES Germany

Busy week on German screens

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No less than 22 new releases open in Germany this week, quite a rare occurrence for distributors who are clearly taking advantage of the lack of competition for Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette (distributed by Sony Pictures). The race against time is now on to better a poor 2005 box office.

German audiences are thus spoiled for choice, with 12 local releases (including one co-production and one remake), although only three are feature films. Das Haus der schlafenden Schönen (lit. “The House of the Sleeping Beauties") – the directorial return of Vadim Glowna after a few years spent acting – depicts the life of a hero (Glowna) in search of happiness in an eerie house, home to the mysterious Madame (Angela Winckler). Produced and distributed by Berlin outfit Atossa Film, the title is adapted from a novel by Yasunari Kawabata.

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After its out-of-competition screening at Rome, Didi Danquart’s Offset [+see also:
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, a tale of East-West relations set in Bucharest, opens through 3L. Meanwhile, Movienet are releasing Gisela, a love triangle of two seducers and a married woman, written and directed by Isabelle Stever and Anke Stelling.

Quite a few German documentaries are hitting the big screen, on a wide, highly diverse range of topics: the lack of universal tolerance for the bohemian lifestyle of Turkish musicians in Cân-bâz by Özay Sahin, distributed by RealFiction; the careers of aspiring Hollywood stars in Behind the Couch – Casting in Hollywood by Veit Helmer (distr. GMfilms); the tale of a Polish Jew’s confrontation with her past when miraculously saved through hiding from the Nazis in Coffee Beans For a Life by Helga Hirsch (distr. Basis); the youth of today in Irgendwo dazwischen (lit. “Somewhere in Between”) by Silva von Gerlach and Wir leben im 21. Jahrhundert by Claudia Indenhock (both released through B.Film); European jazz in Play Your Own Thing by Julian Benedikt (distr. Delphi); and football in Warum halb vier? by Lars Pape, distr. Central).

MFA are releasing animated title Pettson och Findus 3 – Tomtemaskinen, a German/Swedish/Danish co-production, while Fantasia is launching the action remake Willy Bogners Feuer und Eis (1985).

Four European releases open this week, including three documentaries released by B.Film – by far the most popular distributor of the week with Apaga y vamonos by Spain’s Manel Mayol, Swiss titles Ageing, Not Greying? by Marie-Jeanne Urech and Zwischen den Welten by Yusuf Yesilöz – as well as UK/Canadian feature Snow Cake by Marc Evans (distr. Kinowelt).

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(Translated from French)

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