Currents: New Films From Germany
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This series is an Aero Theatre Exclusive!
In cooperation with Goethe Institut-Los Angeles and German Film
Service + Marketing and with the support of BMW, and ELMA, European Languages and Movies
If you enjoyed this years Academy Award winner for Best
Foreign Language Film THE LIVES OF OTHERS, you will be delighted with this new crop of
recent German films. It is all thanks to a collaborative effort of the Goethe-Institut Los
Angeles and German Films/Service + Marketing. GERMAN CURRENTS is under the patronage
of Oscar-winner Florian Henckel von Donnersmark. This years line-up presents one
documentary film and six features, including a childrens matinee with a guest
appearance and book signing by bestselling author Cornelia Funke.
Friday, September 28 7:30 PM
Los Angeles Premiere!
GRAVE DECISIONS (WER FRUEHER
STIRBT IST LAENGER TOT), 2006, 104 min. Director Marcus
Hausham Rosenmüllers first feature is a comedy about a boy who thinks that he
is responsible for his mother's death and the unusual way he fights his feelings of guilt.
Eleven-year-old Sebastian (Markus Krojer) lives with his father and brother Franz
in a Bavarian village. One day, he learns that his mother died on his birthday, which
makes him believe he was to blame. Dreaming of purgatory, Sebastian sees only two ways to
avoid this divine punishment: becoming an immortal rock star or finding a new wife for his
father. Winner of 8 awards including Best German Films Award
for Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Score!
Saturday, September 29 3:00 PM
Family Matinee! Cornelia Funke In Person!
WILD CHICKS (DIE WILDEN HÜHNER),
2006, Bavaria Films International, 108 min. Dir. Vivian Naefe. Every girl needs a
best girlfriend. And Sprotte (Michelle von Treuberg) has no less than three!
Together, they're the "Wild Chicks," the coolest girl gang of the pre-teen set.
Though they're as different as can be, they're inseparable when the going gets tough.
Melanie (Paula Riemann) raves about Robbie Williams, Trude (Zsa Zsa Inci Bürkle)
loves Italian food, Frieda (Lucie Hollmann) is socially mega-committed and Sprotte
herself secretly finds her teacher Frau Rose (Jessica Schwarz) really cool. And
then there's Wilma (Jette Hering), who still has to prove herself before being
inducted into the gang. The biggest problem facing the girls is the rival boy gang, the
"Pygmies." Next to its leader Fred (Jeremy Mockridge), there's the
insatiable Torte (Martin Kurz), fortune-teller Steve (Philip Wiegratz) and
the aggressive Willi (Vincent Redetzki). Then something incredible happens: Sprotte
sounds the fox alarm! Grandma Slättberg (Doris Schade) wants to slaughter her hens
even though Daphne, Kokoschka and the other feathered damsels are the gang's
mascots. Only the Pygmies can help now. This cheeky teenage comedy is based upon the
international bestseller by Cornelia Funke (Inkheart; The Thief Lord), whose
books have been hits in the US and UK and have been translated into 26 languages. In
German with English subtitles. Discussion following with
writer Cornelia Funke. Join us at Every Picture Tells A Story at 2 PM for a booksigning
and story time with Cornelia Funke.
Saturday, September 29 7:30 PM
Thrillers Double Feature:
PINGPONG, 2006, 89 min. A thrilling first
feature by director Matthias Luthardt. 16-year-old Paul (Sebastian Urzendowsky)
turns up uninvited to visit his relatives. Having recently lost his father, Paul is
searching for an ideal world, and he intrudes upon the seemingly ideal family. After
rejecting him at first, his aunt Anna (Marion Mitterhammer) gradually gets him on
her side. Paul is attracted to her. Only after it is too late does he realize that he has
been drawn under her control, and is now at her mercy.
Los Angeles Premiere! SLEEPER (SCHLÄFER) 2005, A story of rivalry and treachery set
in a triangle of love, science and politics! Powerful themes of betrayal, friendship,
ambition and trust are at the centre of director Benjamin Heisenbergs
debut feature, which plays like the intriguing and unsettling calm before the storm. Set
at Munichs University of Technology, assistant professor Johannes Mehrveldt
befriends Farid Atabay, a colleague of Algerian background who is working on the same
project. What his pal does not know is that Johannes was approached by the German secret
service to report on Farid, who they suspect is a sleeper terrorist. Initially, Johannes
refuses, but the seeds of doubt are sown. Winner of seven
awards at various European festivals.
Sunday, September 30 5:00 PM
LOSERS AND WINNERS, 2006, 96
min, Dir. Ulrike Franke & Michael Loeken. Who is ultimately the winner and who
the loser when jobs leave their country of origin due to globalization? For one and a half
years, filmmakers Ulrike Franke and Michael Loeken watch as a gigantic industrial site is
dismantled, documenting the stories accompanying its disappearance: how the coke workers
in the industrial Ruhr Region experience the arrival and working methods of the Chinese,
their feelings upon seeing their pride in their work vanish along with what was the most
modern coke factory in the world, but also the strain and conflicts the Chinese workers
face during their 60-hour work week far away from home and family, caught between euphoria
and doubts about their future. Producer Bernd Desinger will
introduce the screening.
Sunday, September 30 7:30 PM
Los Angeles Premiere!
THE CLOUD (DIE WOLKE), 2006, 106 min.
Dir. Gregor Schnitzler. An ecological thriller around the breakdown of a nuclear
power station in Germany and the story of two teenage lovers Hannah and Elmar who take
refuge. 38,000 people die, and Hannah unfortunately becomes contaminated. Gregor
Schnitzlers film is based on the highly praised youth novel by Gudrun Pausewang,
which won, among other awards, the 1988 German youth literature prize. For Schnitzler the
political message is of central importance: "When I make a film about a nuclear
catastrophe in Germany, I have a reason to do so. I want to say: Hey people, look at what
youre letting happen. The nuclear plants are right around the corner from you and
you dont even know how dangerous they really are." - Gregor Schnitzler.