PORTLAND GERMAN FILM FESTIVAL – Monthly Film Series
In our Monthly Film Series, we will show a variety of GERMAN or GERMAN language films from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. On the 2nd Wednesday of each month, audiences will now have a chance to see these films on a regular basis at the CLINTON STREET THEATER. (Children movies will be playing on Sunday afternoons – please check our website.) All films are with English subtitles.
UFA TURNS 100!
In early 1943, just as Nazi Germany began its collapse with the surrender at Stalingrad, the famed Ufa Studios released an elaborate super-spectacle to celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary. Produced at the enormous cost of 6.5 million Reichsmarks, and filmed in Agfacolor, MUNCHHAUSEN was the bizarre Nazi response to such extravaganzas as Britain’s The Thief of Bagdad and Hollywood’s The Wizard of Oz, both of which were jealously admired by Propaganda Minister Goebbels. Starring Hans Albers, the hypnotic, blond superstar (who kept a Jewish lover safely in London), and a bevy of female stars, the film was meant to divert a German public, and those in occupied Europe, then experiencing aerial bombardment as well as extensive military casualties.
This lavish, impudent, adult fairy tale takes the viewer from 18th-century Braunschweig to St. Petersburg, Constantinople, Venice, and then to the moon using ingenious special effects, stunning location shooting, and a rich color palette, supervised by cameraman Konstantin Irmen-Tschet, who had worked for Fritz Lang in earlier Ufa films. Escaping the grim reality of the time with the illusion of luxury and pure fantasy (and a lovely score by Georg Haentzschel), MUNCHHAUSEN daringly glorifies a braggart and liar, and was scripted by the banned Jewish author Erich Kustner under a pseudonym. The Nazi censors deemed the film ‘artistically’ but not ‘politically’ valuable; perhaps the sight of a man-hungry Catherine the Great (Brigitte Horney), topless harem girls, and a vacation-pretty Venetian Grand Canal in glorious color were thought a bit rich for audiences under grim wartime restrictions.
For this release by Kino on Video, MUNCHHAUSEN was digitally restored by the F.W. Murnau Foundation.
Most human beings don't know why they are on earth, they accept their destiny and try to survive.
Cast: Florian David Fritz, Albrecht Abraham Schuch, Jérémy Kapone, Sunnyi Melles, Karl Markovics, Katharina Thalbach
Based on Daniel Kehlmann’s novel (a best-seller in Germany), Measuring the World chronicles the explorations of two iconic 19th-century figures, scientist Alexander von Humboldt and mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss. Press materials describe this as “a visually stunning epic”; that’s probably no PR hype, given that the cinematographer here is the great Slawomir Idziak, who shot Kieslowski’s Blue and The Double Life of Veronique.
AIMÉE & JAGUAR was shot over a period of 56 days at the Everest Studios in Cologne-Godorf, and on location in North Rhine Westphalia, Berlin and Wroclaw. Editing and visual post-production took place in Hamburg, sound mixing in Munich.
The film was funded by the Filmboard Berlin Brandenburg, the Filmstiftung of North Rhine Westphalia, the FilmFernsehFonds of Bavaria, the FilmFörderung of Hamburg and the Film funding department of the German Ministry of the Interior.
In 1943, while the Allies are bombing Berlin and the Gestapo is purging the capital of Jews, a dangerous love affair blossoms between two women. One of them, Lilly Wust (NOWHERE IN AFRICA’s Juliane Köhler), married and the mother of four sons, enjoys the privileges of her stature as an exemplar of Nazi motherhood. For her, this affair will be the most decisive experience of her life. For the other woman, Felice Schragenheim (Maria Schrader), a Jewess and member of the underground, their love fuels her with the hope that she will survive.
A half-century later, Lilly Wust told her incredible story to writer Erica Fischer, and the book, AIMÉE & JAGUAR, first published in 1994 immediately became a bestseller and has since been translated into eleven languages. Max Färberböck's debut film, based on Fischer's book, is the true story of this extraordinary relationship. The film was nominated for a 1999 Golden Globe Award and was Germany's submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Both actresses received Silver Bears at the 1999 Berlin International Film Festival for their portrayals of "Aimée" and "Jaguar".
Hailed as the first and only feature film about gay life ever produced in communist East Germany, Coming Out premiered on the night the Berlin Wall opened, November 9, 1989.
As a boy, Philipp was strongly attracted to his best friend, but he put that behind him in order to live within the “norm.” He meets a shy girl who falls for him, and soon the couple is sharing an apartment. But Philipp cannot deny his passionate desire for a young man. After years of repressing his sexuality, he finally accepts himself for who he truly is.
Christoph Hochhäusler’s political thriller shines a light to the topical issue of power, lobbyism and the manipulation of the media. THE LIES OF THE VICTORS untangles a cunning web involving indiscretion, the spreading of half-truths, the hunt for a big scandal, and the, at times, dubious methods of lobbyists. Hochhäusler takes a look behind the scenes revealing how offstage players influence and control political and journalistic processes.
Christoph Hochhäusler's works have premiered in Berlin (Forum, Competition) and in Cannes (Un Certain Regard). Aside from filmmaking, he has published essays in several film journals, and he lectures in the film departments of various universities in the USA and Germany, such as Harvard (VES), Hamburg (Media School), Munich (HFF) and Berlin (DFFB). He is also founder and co-publisher of the film magazine Revolver. Born in 1972 in Munich, he studied Architecture in Berlin before graduating in Film Directing at the University of Film & Television Munich (HFF). His feature films include: DREILEBEN - ONE MINUTE OF DARKNESS (TV, 2011), THE CITY BELOW (2010), the episode SÉANCE in DEUTSCHLAND 09 (2009), LOW PROFILE (2005), THIS VERY MOMENT (2003), and THE LIES OF THE VICTORS (DIE LÜGEN DER SIEGER, 2014).
Fabian Groys, a renowned journalist for a political news magazine, enjoys great freedom since the stories he uncovers make for good sales. When he is saddled with an intern, he reacts sulkily, but after losing his hot story about questionable army policy towards injured veterans, he switches to a gory zoo story that he’d actually meant to leave to the intern. But there seems to be more behind the suicide of a man who had himself torn to shreds by a lion. Signs proliferate indicating that the two stories are interlinked. Is it pure coincidence, or is Groys the victim of nebulous figures who are skillfully feeding him information? Is he still an independent investigative journalist or has he long since been made into a puppet captured in the sticky threads of a web, spun by forces unknown? And if this is the case, how can Groys regain his independence if he is battling an opponent who never steps out of the shadows?