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American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre Presents...
Movies on the Big Screen Since 1940!
1328 Montana Avenue at 14th Street in Santa Monica

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Click to print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of a Sept. 2008 Calendar!
Series compiled by: Gwen Deglise and the Goethe Institut-Los Angeles. Introduction notes by Ian Birnie.

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Special Thanks to: Eric Braeden, Thierry Leduc and Pascal Ladreyt


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SOLD OUT SCREENINGS: There will be a waiting line for Sold Out screenings. Tickets often become available at the door the night of an event.

Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.

All guests are subject to availability. The Cinematheque will offer a refund due to guest cancellations only IF the refund transaction is complete PRIOR to the start of the show.



Tickets are $9 general admission unless noted otherwise.
(Aero by series)
(Aero Film Calendar)
(Egyptian by series)
(Egyptian by date)
24-Hour Information: 323.466.FILM
Contact Us
The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the newly re-opened and renovated Aero Theatre at 1328 Montana Avenue in Santa Monica and at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Barry Gerber. Aero Theatre (c) 2004.

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<<< September 24 - 28, 2008 >>>

German Currents: New Films From Germany Focus on Bavaria

Please check back closer to the date of the series as there may be some changes to the schedule or see

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This series is an Aero Theatre Exclusive!

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Presented in cooperation with Goethe Institut-Los Angeles, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern and the Friends of Hofer Filmtage.

Sponsored by BMW, ELMA, AMI.

German film has had a rich and varied history. First to arrive were the lavish spectacles of the Weimar era boasting a post-Caligari, pre-Hitler gallery of master criminals, fantastic worlds and pre-noir femmes fatales and such cinematic icons as Lang, Murnau, and Dietrich. In the early seventies, a phenomenon known as the "New German Cinema" erupted onto our screens driven by the allegories of Werner Herzog, the road movies of Wim Wenders and the Brechtian melodramas and satiric comedies of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The more stylistically conventional but dramatically hard-hitting films of Volker Schlöndorff and Margarethe von Trotta followed close behind. Despite their diverse styles, the new German filmmakers proclaimed that their subject was contemporary Germany and its social problems: racism, terrorism, Nazism, and even history itself. Audiences filled the arthouses. The tragic death of Fassbinder by drug overdose in June 1982 symbolized the end of an era. It would be another decade before German cinema stirred again. After the Berlin Wall collapsed in 1990, German producers began generating individual "hits" that betrayed a lighter touch in their direction and performances. If the films of the New German Cinema were marked by introversion and alienation, the recent German films are extroverted and kinetic, featuring charismatic young actors in action. Think of Daniel Brühl frantically constructing a vanished East Berlin for his bedridden mother in GOODBYE LENIN, or Franka Potente racing through a reunited Berlin to save sexy Moritz Bleibtreu in Tom Tykwer’s RUN, LOLA, RUN. More recently American audiences have applauded the magnificent Julia Jentsch facing down the Nazis in SOPHIE SCHOLL, and handsome theater director Sebastian Koch playing cat-and-mouse with voyeuristic stasi agent Ulrich Mühe in THE LIVES OF OTHERS.

Hopefully series like German Currents will awaken audience interest in the broader range of German filmmaking and thus encourage distributors and cultural institutions to make these films available. Following up on last year success, join us for another exploration of German Cinema today with 10 Los Angeles Premieres including new films by one of Germany`s foremost filmmakers, Doris Dörrie (Cherry Blossoms) and the new film from 2001 Best Foreign-Language Film Academy Award winner Caroline Link (A year in winter), two huge, succesful comedies, one the animated spoof Lissi and the wild emperor and Til Schweiger‘s life action Rabbit without Ears, From Un Certain Regard/Cannes And Along come tourists and from Sundance The Wave, plus many more films including a family matinee.

We are thrilled to welcome at the American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre directors Doris Dörrie, Uli Edel, Vivian Naefe, Marcus H. Rosenmueler, Raplh Westhoff and Hans Steinbichler and producer Uli Aselmann and Producer Ushi Reich and actor Rosalie Thomas.




Wednesday, September 24 - 7:00 PM

Los Angeles Premiere! A YEAR AGO IN WINTER (IM WINTER EIN JAHR), 2008, 90 min. The latest drama from director Caroline Link. whose first feature film, BEYOND SILENCE, was nominated for the Best Foreign-Language Film Academy Award, and her third feature film, NOWHERE IN AFRICA (NIRGENDWO IN AFRIKA) won the Oscar in that category in 2001. The drama, adapted by Link from Scott Campbell's novel Aftermath, follows renowned artist Max Hollander and the 22-year-old dancer Lilli, whose portrait he has been commissioned to paint with her younger brother who was tragically killed in a recent traffic accident. To complete the portrait he must uncover the young woman's darkest secrets. During the work on this double portrait, Max slowly begins to understand the depth of the relationship between Lilli and her brother and is touched and changed by this highly unusual commission. View Trailer Opening night presentation plus Producer Ushi Reich will introduce the screening. The Screening will start at 7:30 PM.




Thursday, September 25 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

Los Angeles Premiere! LISSI AND THE WILD EMPEROR (lissi und der wilde kaiser), 2007, 85 min. The animated version of one of Germany’s most beloved stories, the fairy-tale marriage between Bavaria's teenage Princess Elizabeth and Austria's Emperor Franz Joseph by spoof director Michael Herbig was a huge box office success. Funny and charming! "Pic's bright, widescreen visuals -- courtesy of top Munich effects house Scanline – and Ralf Wengenmayr’s lush orchestral score combine for a very smooth ride, and there's a live-action look to the framing and direction." Variety

Official Website | View Trailer

Los Angeles Premiere! RABBIT WITHOUT EARS (keinOhrhasen), 2007, 115 min. Actor/director Til Schweiger offers an ultra-slick romantic comedy, a huge box office success. Berlin reporter and ladies man Ludo (Til Schweiger) is sentenced to 300 hours of community service in a kindergarten. Teacher Anna )newcomer Nora Tschirner) wants nothing to do with the ne’er-do-well until Anna’s dormant attraction to the egocentric womanizer starts to blossom. "Schweiger has built a career out of playing cocky, good-looking macho types, often sending up his screen persona in the process. However, in East German-born Tschirner, 26, he finds an actress who can match him: From her first appearance, in glasses and semi-frumpy duds, she’s a winner, mixing determination and klutziness in a perf somewhere between a younger Diane Keaton and Sandra Bullock." -- Variety Discussion in between films with Special Effects Supervisor from Scanline. Official Website



Friday, September 26 - 7:30 PM

Triple Feature:

U.S. Premiere! THE BAADER-MEINHOF COMPLEX (DER BAADER-MEINHOF KOMPLEX) 2008, 149 minutes. Directed by Uli Edel (LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN, CHRISTIANE F.) and written and produced by Bernd Eichinger (PERFUME, DOWNFALL), this high-paced thriller traces the history of the Red Army Faction (RAF), a movement that is believed to have killed more than 30 public figures in an attempt to crush West German capitalism in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Moritz Bleibtreu (RUN LOLA RUN) stars as Andreas Baader alongside Martina Gedeck (THE LIVES OF OTHERS) as Ulrike Meinhof, who are fighting a violent war against what they perceive as the new face of fascism: American imperialism supported by the German establishment, many of whom have a Nazi past. The man who understands them is also their hunter: the head of the German police force Horst Herold played by Bruno Ganz (DOWNFALL, WINGS OF DESIRE). While he proceeds in his relentless pursuit of the young terrorists, he knows he's only dealing with the tip of the iceberg. Director Uli Edel will not be in attendance as was previously announced. View Trailer

Los Angeles Premiere! WINTER JOURNEY (WINTERREISE), 2007, 99 min. Dir. Hans Steinbichler. Beautiful and strangely reassuring, this portrait of manic-depressive 60-year-old Franz Brenninger, won Josef Bierbichler the German Film Award for Best Actor. Franz has gone far in his life: He runs his own ironware business, lives in a nice home together with his wife, Martha, and has two grown kids. But the impulsive Brenninger rubs everyone the wrong way. After losing all his money in a rip-off deal, he is determined not to give up easily and sets out on his last journey from which he will never return. "Pic's highlight is the masterful lensing, making much use of contrasts between the cold, snow-reflected light of Germany and the golden warmth of the African sun. Glorious landscapes betray more than a passing influence from the German romantic painters."- Variety

Los Angeles Premiere! SHOPPING (SHOPPEN), 2007, 90 min. The first feature by director/writer Ralf Westhoff, a former journalist. The idea of speed-dating provides a glimpse into the lives of a certain single generation, as the film follows 18 young singles living in the city of Munich who are looking for the love of their life or just a date for one night. They voice their frustrations, their dislikes, their disappointments, their expectations and desires. "Amazingly the first full-scale feature set in the world of speed dating, SHOPPEN is a frisky, beautifully played and written comedy that just goes with its oddball characters rather than trying to draw social messages from its subject. It's a neat idea that's sustained by Westhoff's good ear for dialogue, traversing everything from politics, food, music and sex to lateral subjects like trends, attitudes and dreams. The thirty-somethings are as obsessed about public transport and allergies as they are about loneliness and romantic dreams. Extended coda, which follows a handful of subsequent hookups, is both funny and romantic, set in the streets and bars of an attractive-looking Munich." Variety Official Website Discussion in between films with Executive producer Martin Moszkowicz (BAADER-MEINHOF). View Trailer




Saturday, September 27 - 5:00 PM

Los Angeles Premiere! FREE TO LEAVE (Freigesprochen), 2007, 95 min. Dir. Peter Payer. The story about guilt and lies: in a small village a kiss between station master Thomas and student Anna results in a terrible accident that wipes out many lives and, at the same time, causes the lives of the people involved to go awry. The guilt and lies they share drive Thomas and Anna into an obsessive love that changes lives dramatically – not just theirs. Based on Ödön von Horváth’s play Judgement Day (1937), director Payer transposes the drama into a modern relationship context where all balance is destroyed by the power of fate. View Trailer




Saturday, September 27 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

Los Angeles Premiere! CHERRY BLOSSOMS (Kirschblueten), 2008, Strand Releasing, 127 min. One of Germany`s foremost filmmakers, award-winning Doris Dörrie (MEN, NAKED, AM I BEAUTIFUL?), directs this tender, emotionally intense and profoundly moving story of marital love. Only Trudi knows that her husband, Rudi, is suffering from a terminal illness. She decides not to tell him and convinces him to visit their family in Berlin. Then, suddenly, Trudi dies. Rudi is devastated but vows to make up for her lost life. And so he embarks on his last journey - to Tokyo - in the midst of the cherry blossom festival, a celebration of beauty, impermanence and new beginnings. Official Website

Los Angeles Premiere! BEST REGION or BEST PLACE TO BE (Beste Gegend), 2008, 98 min. The latest film by director Marcus H. Rosenmueller. Kati and Jo decide to take a trip after their graduation with their ancient Mercedes. Yet the journey ends earlier than expected when the car suddenly breaks down. Torn between homesickness and wanderlust, their friendship will be put to a hard challenge. Discussion in between films with director Doris Dörrie (CHERRY BLOSSOMS) and Rosalie Thomas (Beste Gegend). View Trailer





Sunday, September 28 - 4:00 PM

Los Angeles Premiere! Family Matinee:

WILD CHICKS IN LOVE (wilde huehner und die liebe), 2007, 105 min. Dir. Vivian Naefe. Adapted from Cornelia Funke’s novel, this sequel reunites all five "wild chicks" -- Sprotte, Frieda, Melanie, Wilma and Trude -- in their struggle for love. The wild chicks' leader also has another problem to cope with: Her mother, Sybille, is planning to marry the smart Alec when Sprotte's father suddenly turns up after twelve years and sets Sybille's heart all aflutter. But the most difficult relationship of all has to be Wilma's. In spite of all the emotional turmoil, the clique manages to stick together. Discussion following with co-writer/director Vivian Naefe. View Trailer





Sunday, September 28 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

Los Angeles Premiere! THE WAVE (Die WELLE), 2008, 107 min. Dir. Dennis Gansel. Riding a wave of positive buzz following its world premiere at Sundance, this cautionary tale about the roots of fascism is a fictional retelling of the 1967 experiment conducted by Palo Alto, Calif., history teacher William Ron Jones – and transposed to Germany today. Rainer Wenger (Juergen Vogel), a young unconventional high school teacher, is stuck lecturing on autocracy (he prefers anarchy) during the school's project week. He turns the lesson into a simulation, temporarily transforming his class of some 30 students into a microcosmic dictatorship. The experiment spins dangerously out of control when the movement takes on a life of its own. Official Website | Trailer

Los Angeles Premiere! AND ALONG COME TOURISTS (am ende kommen touristen), 2007, 85 min. Dir. Robert Thalheim. Performing his national service abroad, Sven (newcomer Alexander Fehling) is sent to Auschwitz, where he slowly realises that the present reality of the place as a tourist destination is bound up with the past. Auschwitz is the unlikely background for a love story between German and Polish youngsters. Part of the Certain Regard lineup in Cannes, the film toys with heavy subject matter in a contemporary and light-hearted way without seeming frivolous or disrespectful. "Young German director Robert Thalheim's second feature film is a quiet triumph. Thalheim's original script -- loosely based on his own experiences working at Auschwitz's International Youth Meeting Center -- economically blends modern life's truths, such as the fragility of 20-something love affairs, with universal themes, such as the search for meaning and the human need to expiate guilt." -- Hollywood Reporter

Official Website | View Trailer
Discussion following with co-writer/director Dennis Gansel and co-producer Martin Moszkowicz.