DAILY NEWS: German Festivals and Lardner Jr. Dies
by Eugene Hernandez and Anthony Kaufman/indieWIRE
>>Blitzkrieg! German Fests Take NY and LA
After Tom Tykwer‘s “Run Lola Run” sprinted to the box office finish line last year (becoming the second highest-grossing German film ever in the United States), the rise of German cinema has been on the minds of the film industry — especially the German one — eager to keep the pace in high gear. Two completely separate film festivals starting this week in the U.S. — one in Los Angeles, one in New York — are lending credibility to this supposed Germany film revitalization, but in very different styles.
Made in Germany, the 1st Annual Festival of German Cinema, (running today through the 9th) at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles is the decidedly more Tykwer-influenced affair. “Dazzling! Exhilarating! A Knock-Out! (critics about ‘Run, Lola, Run’),” sells its website, clearly hoping to capitalize on that film’s success. “The international critical and commercial success of Tom Tykwer’s “Run, Lola, Run” and Wim Wender‘s “Buena Vista Social Club” suggests German Cinema is returning to international prominence,” further announces the website for Made in Germany. (Never mind, apparently, that Wender’s “Social Club” was more about Cuban music, and his latest film “The Million Dollar Hotel” was considered a bomb when it premiered in Berlin).
After opening tonight with the Gala U.S. premiere of Fatih Akin‘s reportedly crowd-pleasing road movie, “In July” (starring Moritz Bleibtreu of “Lola”), the festival will screen a total of 14 features, 2 documentaries, and 20 shorts. U.S. Premieres include Achim von Borries‘ “England!,” Peter Keglevic‘s “Falling Rocks,” Vanessa Jopp‘s “Forget America,” Anno Saul‘s “Green Desert,” Lenard Fritz Krawinkel‘s “Sumo Bruno,” Martin Eigler‘s “Trust Me,” Cannes premiere “No Place to Go” by Oskar Roehler, and Berlin premiere “Paradiso — Seven days With Seven Women” from Rudolf Thome. An audience award for best film will be announced on closing night. “For American audiences and film industry professionals,” the website promises, “the festival provides the exclusive frame for exposure of exciting, brand new film products made in Germany.”
Disputing that exclusivity, this same week in New York another German festival has begun: Germany 2000: New Films, running now through November 19th at the Museum of Modern Art. In contrast to its concurrent infant brother on the West Coast, the MoMA series has been running for 22 years — and represents a more cineaste’s affair than the glitzy Galas promised by Made in Germany. A handful of films (perhaps the more acclaimed ones) do share screenings at both festivals, however, including Veit Helmer‘s award-winning dream-film “Tuvalu,” the latest from “The Harmonists” director Joseph Vismaier “Marlene,” a bio-pic on Dietrich, and the U.S. premieres of Pepe Danquart‘s documentary “HomeGame,” Venice entry, “The State I am In” from Christian Petzold, and Andreas Dresen‘s “The Police Woman.”
MoMA’s cache as a cultural institution has garnered it perhaps the highest profile screening of the two, “The Tim Drum” director Volker Schlondorff‘s “The Legend of Rita,” with the director and his award-winning star, Bibiana Beglau, scheduled to appear. MoMA has also found a context for this year’s line-up with the tenth anniversary of the reunification of Germany this year. In addition to “Rita’s” tale of politics in transition in two Berlins, there’s “Stammheim,” which chronicles three members of the militant Baader-Meinhof group, and Petzold’s story of former terrorists hiding out in Portugal. Germany 2000 will also screen Romuald Karmakar‘s Locarno Silver Leopard winner “Manila,” and several North American premieres. [Anthony Kaufman]
>>Ring Lardner Jr., one of the Hollywood 10, Dies in NYC
(indieWIRE/11.3.00) — Ring Lardner Jr., the last living member of “The
Hollywood 10,” a group that was blacklisted in the late 1940’s and 50’s,
died Tuesday in New York City. Lardner Jr. won an Oscar in 1942 for his
work on the script for “Woman of the Year.” Reporting his death yesterday,
the LA Times indicated that the writer did not receive another official
movie credit until 1965 when he wrote “The Cincinatti Kid.” Lardner Jr. also
won an Oscar for “MASH” in 1970.
Lardner Jr., Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Edward Dmytryk, John Howard Lawson, Albert Maltz, Samuel Ornitz, Robert Adrian Scott and Dalton Trumbo were all blacklisted for their refusal to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Dmytryk, according to the LA Times, was the only one of the 10 to name the names of suspected Communists.
Lardner Jr. was honored by the Nantucket Film Festival in 1998, receiving
the event’s first writers tribute. indieWIRE reported on the ceremony and a
link to the article follows.
RELATED ARTICLE @ indieWIRE.com:
+ Lardner Receives Nantucket’s First Annual Writer’s Tribute