MoMA Celebrates German Cinema With Three Film Series
by Ali Gitlow
This year's celebration of German films, presented by the MoMA Film at the Gramercy Theatre, will encompass three different exhibitions, two of which kick off this week. Kino 2003: New German Films includes 10 features recently emerging from Germany as well as a night of student shorts which will take place from November 6th through 16th. Das Neue Kino: 25 Years of New German Cinema will celebrate seminal films from renowned directors, and is happening from November 16th into January 2004. Margarethe von Trotta: A Retrospective will showcase four films by this lauded female writer-director, and will be screened from November 6th through 30th.
One of the films being shown for Kino 2003: New German Films is "September" by Max Färberböck ("Aimée and Jaguar). It shows German and Muslim immigrants' reactions to September 11th. "Mein letzter Film" (My Last Film) by Oliver Hirschbiegel ("Das Experiment") shows a famed actress speaking of her career and life while packing and getting ready to leave her husband and apartment. Felix Fuchsstenier's "Die Kurve" (The Curve) is a black comedy about brothers who live underneath a highway. Other films in this exhibition are Oskar Roehler's "Der alte Affe Angst" (Angst), Iain Dilthey's "Das Verlangen" (The Longing), Bernd Fischer's "Grüsse aus Dachau!" (Hello Dachau!), Winfried Bonengel's "Führer Ex," Fatih Akin's "Solino," Lothar Lambert's "Ich bin, Gott sei dank, beim Film!" (Thank God, I'm in the Film Business!), and Bernd Bohlich's "Der Verleger" (The Publisher). Ten shorts from German film schools will be shown at 6:15 on November 7th under the title Next Generation.
25 classic features, which have been part of MoMA's festival since 1979, will be shown for Das Neue Kino: 25 Years of New German Cinema. Among them is Rainer Werner Fassbinder's 1978 film "In einem Jahr mit 13 Monden" (In a Year of 13 Moons), about a man raised by nuns who ultimately becomes a woman to please his male lover. Ulrike Ottinger's 1981 film "Freak Orlando" is based on Virginia Woolf's character Orlando, an immortal with the ability to switch gender multiple times throughout many years. Caroline Link's Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film in 2003, "Nirgendwo in Africa" (Nowhere in Africa), is about a Jewish family who flee from Nazi Germany to Kenya. More films to be shown include Werner Herzog's "Fitzcarraldo," Percy Adlon's "Céleste", Fred Kelemen's "Verhängnis" (Fate), and others.
The von Trotta retrospective will showcase films chronicling the lives of modern German women. The 1979 film "Schwestern, oder die Balance des Glücks" (Sisters, or the Balance of Happiness) tells of a woman who tries to find a replacement when her sister commits suicide. "Rosa Luxembourg" (1985) examines the life of this famed pacifist and revolutionary who was murdered. The 1981 film "Die bleierne Zeit" (Marianne and Juliane/Leaden Times/The German Sisters) is based on the true lives of two sisters, one put in prison as a terrorist, the other a woman's magazine editor.
Von Trotta's new film "Rosenstrasse" will have its North American premiere. It depicts a protest done by Aryan women in 1943 who stood on the street during winter for 2 weeks when their Jewish husbands were imprisoned in a detention center. In addition to the screening, von Trotta herself will be present to introduce the film on November 6th at 6:30 p.m.
[ For more information, please visit: http://www.moma.org. ]