German week: arthouse cinema

Today at DV Nekoneko takes care of the next entry in DV’s German week and it’ll be about the arthouse film. Here the German market shouldn’t be underrated. In the middle of the nineties the European film was on the verge of becoming extinct. European film companies that weren’t already bankrupt were bought by American companies… Euro cinema, once so vibrant in the 70s and 80s, was about to be declared dead. European films were either bland or bad copies of American cinema. People felt the many different languages of Europe were to be blamed. Weirdly enough, this didn’t seem to apply to American films. Apart from the UK, how many countries have English as their mother tongue?

In my opinion, a couple of things happened in the nineties that are worth mentioning. The biggest claim to fame should go to Thomas Vinterberg and Lars von Trier, whose Dogma 95 was exactly what was needed at the time. Sure, it might’ve looked like a strict series of rules, but the main underlying message was: if we don’t have the giant budgets American films have, let’s be creative.

In Germany, there were enough directors who didn’t want to call it a day either. In the last fifteen years, German films often had the little extra lots of other European films didn’t have. Just think of Lola Rennt (Neko’s choice), Der Untergang (reviewed by Deeopey here), The Edukators (reviewed on DV as well) and Das Leben der Anderen (rightfully awarded several prizes). Also worth a mention was Goodbye Lenin, which managed to give a light tone to Germany’s history (Eastern Germany coping with the downfall of the Berlin wall).

Anyway, as this means I’ll have the day off, let’s listen to some music… yesterday we mentioned Klaus Kinski, so our video has to be this hit by The Passions. If only so we can mention the film star was not Kinski. As quoted from the Passions’ site: “Contrary to popular belief, the German Film Star referred to in the song is not Klaus Kinski, Curd Jürgens, Jürgen Prochnow or even Marlene Dietrich. In fact he was neither German nor a star but a certain Steve Connelly, aka Roadent, one time roadie for the Clash and the Sex Pistols. However, he did appear in several minor German films.”

Steve ‘Roadent’ Connelly’s part that must’ve sparked the song must have been in the series ‘Der Joker’, the other two entries in his filmography were directed by one Wolfgang Buld, a name you may be familiar with if you read this site. Yes, he’s the director of Gib Gas, Ich Will Spass reviewed a couple of weeks ago. It is a small world after all.


2 thoughts on “German week: arthouse cinema

  1. Deeopey July 23, 2010 / 00:27

    I’ve just remembered, another film of that era, Das Experiment. It starred Moritz Bleibtreu from Run Lola Run (Lola Rennt) and the striking Christian Berkel (cursed to play nazi’s in Inglorius Basterds, Valkyrie , Zwartboek, Der Untergang, and probably many others I haven’t seen) and also directed by Der Untergang director Oliver Hirschbiegel. It was indeed a great frightening watch.

    The wikipedia page on the Stanford Prison Experiment that inspired it is also a rabbit hole of links to absorb yourself in 🙂

  2. Kurtodrome July 23, 2010 / 00:29

    Eating humble pie… that’s one I should’ve mentioned indeed. Don’t know how it slipped my mind, other than I haven’t seen it. Globally however, one of the more known German films.

    Bleibtrau is in a lot of German films, or definitely the ones that make it across the German borders. To the extent where i’m getting tired of his face.

    On another note, you did give me an idea for another review.

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