June 1, 2013

German films and open-air cinemas in Munich

What German films do you know?

Off the top of my head I can name the following three German films that have gained international success over the past years:
  • "Goodbye Lenin" (2003, comedy): about a young man making unthinkable arrangements to avoid that her mother (who has finally woken up after spending many years in a coma) discovers that capitalism has come into East Berlin;
Screen shot of the IMDb page of "Goodbye Lenin"
  • "Keinohrhasen" (=Rabbit without ears, 2007, romantic comedy): about a tabloid reporter who meets a woman, while serving his community service time in a social center; and
Screen shot of the IMDb page of "Keinohrhasen"
  • "Türkisch für Anfänger" (=Turkish for beginners, 2012, comedy based on a popular German TV show) that tells the story of a German-Turkish family and their life in Germany.
The first two films were a blockbuster in Germany and gained some international success in Europe. Unfortunately they were an exception. If I keep thinking, I can come up with a few more German films that I have seen over the years and that I would recommend:
  • "Das Experiment" (=The Experiment, 2011, thriller): based on the book the "Black Box" of Mario Giordano (German writer born in Munich): about a social experiment located in a prison where the participants are randomly assigned to the roles of the prisoners and the guards;
  • "Lola rennt" (=Run Lola run, 1998, thriller) about a woman who runs to stop her boyfriend to commit a serious crime; and
Screen shot of the IMDb page of "Lola rennt"
  • "München" (=Munich, 2005, drama based on a true story) about the "Black September" that happened after the massacre in 1972 during the Olympics in Munich.
Screen shot of the IMDb page of "München"
According to the German Federal Film Board 115 film projects were funded in Germany in 2012: 40 were international co-productions; 3 were animated; 32 documentaries and 80 were feature films. 

Screen shot of the DFFF site = German Federal Film Board

Unfortunately many of them do not make it to the German cinemas and a smaller number manage to cross borders. This is very disappointing because there is a lot of talent in Germany and most of the time the rest of the world does not get to see it. And then you may ask: why is that?  
In my opinion: to some extend the German productions are sometimes TOO German. This makes them less exportable. When a film needs a German context to be understood , then it is very unlikely that the film will be valued in other countries.

Last Sunday the German newspaper Die Welt am Sonntag wrote an interesting article on the German film industry and the national subsidies. The piece was quite critical about how the subsidies work in Germany and how the federal funding system is not working when it comes to encourage the German film industry to be profitable. If you have an intermediate level of German, I recommend that you read the article


What do you think is the best German film ever?
  • The most successful German film of all times is "Der Schuh des Manitu" (=Manitu's shoe, 2001) parody based on a number of sketches of a late night comedy German tv show and on western films. 
Screen shot of the IMDb page of "Der Schuh des Manitu")
  • the second most successful is "(t)Raumschiff Surprise - Periode 1" (=Space ship/dream ship surprise, 2004 science fiction comedy and parody). 
  • "Schulmädchen report" (The School Girls, 1970, drama) and "7 Zwerge - Männer allein im Wald" (=7 Dwarfs - men alone in the forest, 2004, comedy) are also in the top five.
I am very ashamed to confess that, despite my ten years of personal (and seven of professional) relationship with Germany, I have never seen these films nor heard from them. I would be interested in knowing, how many of you expats have seen/heard of these films...

Let's move on to Who do you think are the most popular German actors/actresses these days? And please do not say "Schwarzernegger"!!!! He is not German. He was born in Austria!!!!

Unfortunately, he is the only German-speaking actor that many people know. For your information, the following four are very talented German actors and quite successful internationally, check their IMDb profiles and I bet that you have seen them in at least one movie:
In line with best films and popular actors/actresses, this blog entry would not be completed without mentioning The Berlinale: the most international German film festival that takes place in Berlin every year:

" (...) a great cultural event and one of the most important dates for the international film industry. More than 300,000 sold tickets, almost 20,000 professional visitors from 124 countries, including around 3,700 journalists: art, glamour, parties and business are all inseparably linked at the Berlinale. (..)" - THE BERLINALE OFFICIAL SITE


Screen shot of the Berlinale official site
Munich has a very popular Film Festival too takes place every year at the end of June. in 2013 it will start on the 26th of June. Check their site for information on the program.



Also for those of you who love the cinema and Munich: the most successful film studio in Bavaria is the Bavaria Film GmbH founded in 1919, which makes over €250 Mio. in sales profits every year. Besides Munich has a Film city located 10km from the city center and that is like a themed park and that can be visited. 


To know about the movie theatres in Munich that offer OV films: go check the blog entry "Munich: going to the movies in English".


In addition I would like to mention here the Film Museum in Munich. It is located next to the City Museum in St Jakobs-Platz, 1 and has a very interesting program, with different screenings every day of German and international productions, always in original version.





And finally, probably what you were expecting: the list of open-air cinemas in Munich! In a week or so most of them should be up and running... IF THE WEATHER let them...
95% of all films are in German, the rest 5% are OV in English and French, but not all locations offer them, so check their sites for more information. Prices go from €7 to €10.

Olympiasee

Westpark
Königsplatz
Viehhof

Do you have any tips on German films/actors?


Related posts:

Going to the movies in English
Germany knows good food
Books, books, books...

6 comments:

  1. Because I'm deaf, I was forced to watch foreign films online if I wanted to stream my Netflix on my laptop, in the U.S. These films were the only ones that were subtitled/captioned. However, if the movie contained any English dialogue it usually was not captioned--a real irritation. I remember watching a couple of German films and the most memorable starred Bernhard Bettermann, "As Far As My Feet Will Carry Me (So weit die Füße tragen)", about a prisoner of war, a German soldier during WW II, sentenced to a labour camp in far east Siberia. After four years working in the mines he escapes from the camp (in 1949) and tries to get home to his wife and children.

    This film is over a decade old, but I did enjoy it. I'll look for the others you name here, and I'll also look forward to this rain to end so I can take in some open-air cinema. As always, your blog is great!

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  2. As always Michelle: thank you for your kind feedback and your film suggestions! I will check them out.
    Have a great day,
    E.

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  3. There's definitely one German indie cinema jewel to be named: "Wer früher stirbt, ist länger tot". Very bad sarcastic humour, actors speaking all the way in bavarian Accent, but still very nice movie. Must see!

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    1. Thank you for your comment MunichHabitant :-) I have not heard of this film. I checked it in IMDb and it has a rating of 7.5/10, besides the reviews are in line with your comment, so very good and very intriguing:-) I have added to my must-see films. I will check if they have it at the Gasteig library on Monday.
      Have a great day,
      E

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  4. Das Leben der Anderen is a brilliant film. I've also recently watched Lore, which has just come out this year which I thought was good.

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    1. Yes, yes, yes... thank you very much for this Clare... I had completely forgotten about this film! The Life of others... I will add some content to this blog entry very soon and I will include your suggestion! THANK YOU! :-)
      Have a great day,
      E

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