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Scene from the 1998 international
blockbuster Lola rennt.

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German Film (4)

BROWSE GERMAN FILMS: Contemporary German films 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 | New releases | East German films
German film classics & collections 1 - 2 | German directors &actors | Documentaries | German movie soundtracks

GERMAN FILM INDEX (alphabetical)
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(West) German Films Since 1970 on DVD and Video 4

Run Lola Run / Lola rennt

Drama / Thriller (1998)
Director: Tom Tykwer
Starring: Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu
REVIEW: It's difficult to create a film that's fast paced, exciting, and aesthetically appealing without diluting its dialogue. Run Lola Run, directed and written by Tom Tykwer, is an enchanting balance of pace and narrative, creating a universal parable that leaps over cultural barriers. This is the story of young Lola (Franka Potente) and her boyfriend Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu). In the space of 20 minutes, they must come up with 100,000 deutsche marks to pay back a seedy gangster, who will be less than forgiving when he finds out that Manni incompetently lost his cash to an opportunistic vagrant. Lola, confronted with one obstacle after another, rides an emotional roller coaster in her high-speed efforts to help the hapless Manni--attempting to extract the cash first from her double-dealing father (appropriately a bank manager), and then by any means necessary. From this point nothing goes right for either protagonist, but just when you think you've figured out the movie, the director introduces a series of brilliant existential twists that boggle the mind. Tykwer uses rapid camera movements and innovative pauses to explore the theme of cause and effect. Accompanied by a pulse-pounding soundtrack, we follow Lola through every turn and every heartbreak as she and Manni rush forward on a collision course with fate. There were a variety of original and intelligent films released in 1999, but perhaps none were as witty and clever as this little gem--one of the best foreign films of the year.
Review by Jeremy Storey
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Aimee & Jaguar / Aimée & Jaguar

Romance / Drama (1999)
Director: Max Färberböck
Starring: Maria Schrader, Juliane Köhler

Nominated for a Golden Globe award and Germany's official submission for a Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award
REVIEW: Without its two lead performances, director Max Färberböck's first film might just be another promising debut. But with them, particularly that of Juliane Köhler, the work becomes something far more memorable. Playing a housewife and unenthusiastic mother who indulges in meaningless affairs out of boredom, sexual frustration, and an almost girlish romantic streak while her husband fights for the Nazis on the front, Köhler makes clear the epic journey her character takes from thoughtless Nazi party-liner and male plaything to the lover of a female, Jewish resistance fighter (Maria Schrader). While Färberböck displays a prodigious talent for staging individual scenes, he seems to have little notion of how to string them together, lending his film an often frustrating stop-start quality. But when it does get going, it proves deeply memorable, never more so than in the first love scene between the couple, which captures every bit of the awkwardness, fear, and overwhelming joy of the moment. The deeply felt work of Köhler and Schrader restores a sense of scale to the tragedy of their characters' times.
Review by Keith Phipps, All Movie Guide
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The Harmonists / Comedian Harmonists

Drama / Music (1997)
Director: Joseph Vilsmaier
Starring: Ben Becker, Heino Ferch

SYNOPSIS: Comedian Harmonists tells the story of a famous, German male sextet, five vocals and piano, the "Comedian Harmonists", from the day they meet first in 1927 to the day in 1934, when they become banned by the upcoming Nazis, because three of them are Jewish. Filled with topflight performances and unforgettable music, this entertaining and critically acclaimed story was cheered by audiences everywhere! When Harry, a struggling but highly imaginative funnyman, forms a singing group with an unusual group of friends, "The Harmonists" go on to become an overnight sensation in prewar Germany. But as their wave of success inevitably collides with the nation's changing political tide, the group's members are forced to face unprecedented challenges that will try their wills and test their loyalty. An award winner at several prestigious film festivals.

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Music of the post-WWI singing group Comedian Harmonists:

Greatest Hits 1


Greatest Hits2


The Definitive
, 2 CDs

Mein kleiner
grüner Kaktus

More Comedian Harmonists music:



Drama / Music (1997)
Director: Katja von Garnier
Starring: Katja Riemann, Jasmin Tabatabai
REVIEW: Four tough women in a German penitentiary join forces to form a rock band. When administrators take them to perform at a policeman's ball, the prisoners escape, kidnapping a convenient boy-toy hostage (Werner Schreyer), along the way. Their band, Bandits, becomes a national sensation as the women continue to evade the police. The movie is a wild ride, with quite a respectable score of rock songs--some catchy, some haunting--composed and performed by Bandits members themselves. All are sung in English (which seems to be the universal language of rock & roll). But although the picture is a lot of fun, it's no Spice World; there's a harder edge, a deeper agenda here. These women were all prisoners for a reason. Each fugitive's story is gradually revealed as the plot progresses. Luna (sultry Jasmin Tabatabai), the lead singer and guitarist, is a loose canon with a real attitude problem. And she likes to rob banks. Emma (Katja Riemann), the brains of the group, had a successful jazz career in America before her abusive boyfriend drove her over the edge. Marie (Jutta Hoffmann), the band's middle-aged keyboard player, is suicidal: something to do with her involvement in her husband's death. Angel (lovely Nicolette Krebitz), is the team's weak link; she can't be trusted. As the Bandits pull off each increasingly improbable narrow escape, the film takes on the radiance of myth, ascending ultimately to an apocalyptic finale.
Review by Laura Mirsky
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Winter Sleepers / Winterschläfer

Drama / Romance (1997)
Director: Tom Tykwer
Starring: Ulrich Matthes, Marie-Lou Sellem
REVIEW: Tom Tykwer, writer-director of the international hit Run Lola Run, shows a more pensive side with Winter Sleepers. The film examines the lives of five characters in the aftermath of an auto accident. As with Run Lola Run, Tykwer's main concern is with chance and coincidence, and the ways people unwittingly influence the course of each other's lives. Theo, a farmer, sets off to take his horse to the vet, unaware that his daughter is hidden in the trailer. Momentarily distracted, Theo swerves to avoid a sports car coming the other way and crashes into a mountain slope, critically injuring his daughter. The sports car is covered by snow, and René, the driver, digs his way out and leaves the scene. Meanwhile translator Rebecca negotiates a stormy-but-sexy relationship with loutish ski instructor Marco, both of them unaware that Marco's stolen car was involved in the crash, and Rebecca's roommate Laura nurses the young accident victim by day and begins a tentative relationship with René by night. While Winter Sleepers doesn't have the same manic pace as Lola, Tykwer's visual style is very much in evidence--he makes beautiful images of everything from the snow-covered Bavarian mountains to a cut finger. As it moves through a series of tiny but crucial events to a truly haunting ending, Winter Sleepers is in many ways reminiscent of Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter, both in its central plot device and in its melancholy atmosphere of fatal inevitability.
Review by Ali Davis
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Beyond Silence / Jenseits der Stille

Musical drama (1996)
Director: Caroline Link
Starring: Silvie Testud, Tatjana Trieb

Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award
FROM THE BACK COVER: Acclaimed by critics and audiences everywhere, Beyond Silence is the powerful Academy Award®-nominated story of a young woman's battle for independence and her deaf parents' struggle to understand her gift for music. Given a clarinet by her free-spirited aunt, Lara is immediately consumed by a new passion her parents cannot begin to fully comprehend. Determined to follow her dreams, Lara's ongoing pursuit of music creates an ever-widening rift that eventually threatens to tear apart her once close-knit family. An inspirational and highly entertaining motion picture offering from Miramax Home Entertainment -- you'll be riveted as this family must somehow learn to reach beyond differences, expectations ... and beyond silence ... to bring their two worlds together once again!
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The Promise / Das Versprechen

Romance / Drama (1995)
Director: Margarethe von Trotta
Starring: Corinna Harfouch, Meret Becker
SYNOPSIS: A politically aware, and sometimes chilling, story of a frustrated 30-year love affair between two Berliners. In 1961, as the Berlin Wall goes up, young Sophie and Konrad plan to flee to the West. But Konrad ultimately hangs back -- and with that hesitation, all hope of escape disappears. Seven years later, the lovers renew their relationship during a meeting in Czechoslovakia; political events intervene again when the Soviets invade Prague. Sophie, as before, risks her life to make a stand, and, as before, Konrad plays it safe. Through the years, they continue to dream of a life together. One more brief encounter takes place, and then... in 1989 the seemingly impossible occurs and the Wall comes crashing down. Ironically, however, three decades of separation -- and their different personalities -- make the possibility of true happiness together remote.
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Animal Love / Tierische Liebe

Documentary (1995)
Director: Ulrich Seidl
Starring: Franz Dolesch, Renée Felden
FROM THE BACK COVER: Acclaimed and controverisal filmmaker Ulrich Seidl (Dog Days, Jesus You Know) explores the underbelly of modern life with two surreal odysseys not easily forgotten. Darkly comical and provocatively disturbing, Animal Love offers a glimpse into the strange and eccentric world of lonely animal lovers on the fringes of society. Meticulously shot in Diane Arbus fashion, Seidl’s protagonists sublimate their emotional needs and desires for intimacy through their four-legged friends.

SYNOPSIS: The love between humans and their pets takes a darker turn in this Austrian documentary that is as disturbing as it is provocative. While not exactly delving into actual bestiality, filmmaker Ulrich Seidl takes viewers upsettingly close as he examines the reasons why some people are able to be more intimate with their dogs than with other people. There is something grotesque and decidedly unsympathetic about the way Seidl chooses to portray his lonely subjects and their pets. Some of the relationships are maternal, some romantic, and some almost sexual.
Review by Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide

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GERMAN FILM INDEX (alphabetical)
<< BACK | BROWSE GERMAN FILMS (chronological): | NEXT>>

BROWSE GERMAN FILMS: Contemporary German films 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 | New releases | East German films
German film classics & collections 1 - 2 | German directors &actors | Documentaries | German movie soundtracks

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