Wednesday, February 8, 2012

German Film Program #25: Germany’s Great Directors

Kelab Seni Filem presents in collaboration with Goethe-Institut Malaysia –
German Film Program #25: Germany’s Great Directors
Sat-Sun 11-12 February 2012
@HELP University, Pusat Bandar Damansara, KL        
Enquiries: 012-2255136
Admission by membership: RM60 for 1 year (students RM30); RM40 for 6 mths; RM30 for 4 mths; or RM10 per day.
Free admission for:
* Alliance Francaise members   
*HELP University & HELPCAT students
* Students of German at:
- Goethe-Institut Malaysia
- German-Malaysian Institute
- Kolej Bandar Utama
Each film will be introduced by Dr Torsten Schaar, series programmer and lecturer in German at INTEC-UiTM.
Sat 11 Feb 1.15 pm
Director: Wolfgang Staudte; 1949, 80 min
Wolfgang Staudte was called "Germany's conscience". Until the mid-1960s all his movies threw light on Nazism, sometimes on less obvious aspects. The title refers both to a part of a newspaper printing machine, and to the rotation of generations. Mr. Behnke mostly stays away from politics. But when he is offered promotion on condition that he becomes a Nazi party member, he accepts. However, he also provides printing tools for illegal writings. His young son reports him, and he is imprisoned. Some years after the war, father and son reconcile. The movie starts and ends with parallel scenes. First, the father and his girlfriend are sitting in the grass. Last, the son and his girlfriend are sitting at exactly the same place, and the girl says that everything is just repeated. But with a strong feeling of responsibility the son says that “it must not be repeated.”

Sat 11 Feb 3.30 pm
 Young Törless (Der junge Törless)
Director: Volker Schlöndorff; 1966, 87 min
At an Austrian boys’ boarding school in the early 1900s, shy, intelligent Törless observes the sadistic behavior of his fellow students, but does nothing to help a victimized classmate – until the torture goes too far. Törless struggles with the dilemma of evil, as he finds himself going against the moral values that he has been brought up to respect. Instead he begins a cerebral journey while he studies the degrading behaviour of his two peers. Ideas of how evil and good can coexist within a person begin to baffle Törless, as he struggles with his desire to further his understanding of the evil nature within him. He continues to flirt with evil while trying to stay on the good side, yet eventually he comes to a clearer understanding of what is right and wrong. Based on Robert Musil's novel The Confusions of Young Törless, published in 1906.

Sat Feb 11 Feb 6.00 pm
Director: Fritz Lang; 1927, 150 min
Metropolis, directed by the legendary Fritz Lang, is among the most famous of all German films and the mother of sci-fi cinema. The film depicts a dystopian future in which society is thoroughly divided in two: while anonymous workers conduct their endless drudgery below ground their rulers enjoy a decadent life of leisure and luxury. When Freder ventures into the depths in search of the beautiful Maria, plans of rebellion are revealed and a Maria-replica robot is programmed by mad inventor Rotwang and master of Metropolis Joh Fredersen to incite the workers into a self-destructive riot. Metropolis is presented here in a newly reconstructed and restored version, as lavish and spectacular as ever thanks to the discovery of 25 minutes of footage previously thought lost to the world. Lang's enduring epic can finally be seen for the first time in 83 years as the director originally intended.

Sun 12 Feb 1.45 pm
Director: F.W. Murnau; 1922, 93 min
Nosferatu was the first screen adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula. It remains among the most potent and disturbing horror films ever made. The sight of Max Schreck's hollow-eyed, cadaverous vampire rising creakily from his coffin still has the ability to chill the blood. Nor has the film dated. Murnau's elision of sex and disease lends it a surprisingly contemporary resonance. The director and his screenwriter are true to the source material, but where most subsequent screen Draculas (whether Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, or Gary Oldman) were portrayed as cultured and aristocratic, Nosferatu  is verminous and evil. (Whenever he appears, rats follow in his wake.)  The image of the diabolic Nosferatu, bathed in shadow, sidling his way toward a new victim, imagery of hills, clouds, trees and mountains, oblique camera angles and jarring close-ups – the devices that crank up the tension were all to be found first in Murnau's chilling masterpiece.

Sun 12 Feb 4.00 pm
The Divided Sky (Der geteilte Himmel)
Director: Konrad Wolf; 1964, 110 min
Following a nervous breakdown, Rita Seidel returns to the village of her childhood. She uses this period of convalescence to mull over her past: She met Manfred Herrfurth, a chemist ten years her senior, and fell irresistibly in love with him precisely because his mind was so utterly unlike her own. He was uncommon-ly intelligent and a keen observer of both people and things. Many things were new and thrilling; town life itself as well as her work. But living with Manfred turned out very differently from what she originally dreamt of. He was embittered and after seeing a chemical process which he has developed rejected, he became totally discouraged and left for West Berlin. He was convinced that Rita would follow him. But she did not. Being separated from him, taking leave of her great love triggered a psychological crisis and breakdown. Of course, some wounds will remain, but Rita is a strong woman who will overcome this crisis.

Sun 12 Feb 7.00 pm
The Marriage of Maria Braun (Die Ehe der Maria Braun)
Director: R.W. Fassbinder; 1978, 115 min
After her husband disappears in the last days of World War II, Maria uses her beauty and ambition to prosper in 1950s Germany. This film is Fassbinder’s biggest international box-office success, a heartbreaking character study as well as a pointed metaphorical attack on a society determined to forget its past. It is the first film of his BRD (Bundesrepublik Deutschland) trilogy tracing the history of postwar Germany through the eyes of three remarkable women (the others were Lola and Veronika Voss). It garnered him the international acclaim he had always yearned for and placed his name foremost in the canon of New German Cinema.

S P R E A D   T H E    W O R D

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