The Lives of Others, Das Leben der Anderen) This wild movie addresses the totalitarian excesses of the East German state before, during, and after the collapse of the wall, exploring the excessive paranoia and oppression perpetrated by the all-seeing, all-controlling Stasi, the GDR’s secret police. It is pretty inconceivable how much power and citizen-on-citizen pressure was put on the people of the German Democratic Republic AKA East Germany, during the cold war. It is the typical story of artists and playwrights who are are conspiring to defect and to bring with them the atrocities and sufferings of the East into the decadent West, and what the Stasi does to try to disrupt and destroy their plans of liberation and free thought. While the story is a bit cliché, you’ve never seen it like this. Such a tangled web of intrigue and realpolitik! Such an exploration of loyalty and betrayal! All of this to such effect that it is considered one of the best movies every made. Journalist John Podhoretz called the film “one of the greatest movies ever made, and certainly the best film of this decade” and William F. Buckley Jr. wrote that, after the film was over, “I turned to my companion and said, ‘I think that this is the best movie I ever saw.’” Considering how many of my Facebook and Twitter friends recommended it, I think this film appeals to both conservatives and liberals alike — and everyone in-between. And, I just ordered this movie on DVD from Amazon just now.
Mostly Martha (Bella Martha) I saw this movie in the theater here in the US during its US release and loved it. This was years before it was defiled by Catherine Zeta Jones and Aaron Eckhart into the Hollywood dud, No Reservations. Well, for those of you who love romantic comedies, here’s the German interpretations of it: a staid, serious, obsessed, workaholic, very Germanic young woman, the head chef of a fancy restaurant in Hamburg, Germany. She is a perfectionist who is stuck in her ways and pathological, requiring her to see a therapist to deal with her culinary pursuit of perfection. She has control issues, considers food to be high art and does not suffer morons or philistines. I won’t go any further for fear of ruining your romantic comedy experience experience. Suffice it to say that this is a movie that worships food and if you loved Julie and Julia you’ll not want to miss this one. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll join culinary school!
The Princess and the Warrior (Der Krieger und die Kaiserin) OK, I watched this on Netflix because I have a crush on Franka Potente from Run Lola Run, who plays Sissi, a psychiatric hospital nurse; however, after I started watching this film, I was hooked. Like Lola, this movie deals how the decisions you make — every little one — effect your fate. The movie hinges around a chance meeting between a robber, Bodo, and Sissi, the nurse, during a very strange happenstance: after robbing a grocery store, Bodo causes a truck to hit Sissi; however, Bodo finds Sissi under the truck and performs an emergency tracheotomy, saves her life, and then disappears without Sissi ever knowing who her savior was. Well, the movie is a wild ride and it is dark and fantastical, dark, delusional, passionate, absurd, spiritual, and infused with pathos. I almost forget about this gem and I am pretty sure I need to check this movie out again because I believe I haven’t yet peeled this onion enough but I am sure you’ll love it.
- Set jetting in Berlin: Run Lola Run (brandsandfilms.com)
- Guten Tag! Top 10 Movies About Berlin (thecultureur.com)
- This Week in Geek (3-9/12/12) (siskoid.blogspot.com)
- Getting Second Chances: The 5 Greatest “Re-Do” Movies (nerdist.com)
- Field Exercise: places & traces in RUN LOLA RUN (olympus_mons.typepad.com)
- Movie Screen, Time Machine: The 1930s (moviegoings.com)
- It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Handles Issues of Race More Delicately: A Look at Cloud Atlas (sarahrulu.wordpress.com)
- What to watch: Karl Rove meltdown on Fox News (tauntongazette.com)
- ‘American Horror Story’: Ryan Murphy talks the shocking fate of [SPOILER] and reveals Franka Potente’s super-secret role – EXCLUSIVE (insidetv.ew.com)
- I Saw Cloud Atlas (znculturecast.wordpress.com)