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Thread: BERLIN & BEYOND Mar. 2019

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    BERLIN & BEYOND Mar. 2019

    BERLIN & BEYOND, Mar.8-14, 2019

    Festival Coverage thread here.





    Berlin & Beyond is a festival of films by or about Germans presented by by the Goethe-Institut of San Francisco. See the program on their website HERE.
    (San Francisco, February, 2019) The Berlin & Beyond Film Festival (March 8-14, 2019), the largest festival of contemporary German cinema in The Americas, presented annually by the Goethe-Institut San Francisco, proudly announces the full lineup of its 23rd edition. The festival will return for the 23rd year to San Francisco’s iconic Castro Theatre from March 8th-10th with red carpet premieres and actors and filmmakers in attendance, along with encores at Landmark Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley on March 11th, and screenings at the auditorium of the Goethe-Institut in Downtown San Francisco from March 12th-14th.

    I will comment on the following selections from this year's series:

    303 ( Hans Weingartner 2018)
    3 Days in Quiberon (Emily Atef 2018)
    Chris the Swiss (Anja Kofmel 2018)
    Gundermann (Andreas Dresen 2018)
    Waldheim Waltz, The (Ruth Beckermann 2018)

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-23-2019 at 01:19 PM.

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    303 (Hans Weingartner 2018)

    Two Berlin university students meet on the road and travel southward in a classic Mercedes "303" van, engaged in passionate debates. Romance eventually ensues, but Weingartner is in no hurry because the socio-political-biological issues are paramount to him. Luckily the two actors, Anton Stiekner and Mala Ende, who resemble a young Kate Winslet and Heath Ledger, are sensational together, and the slow-burn relationship feels so unrehearsed and real and the off-road scenery is so attractive the 2 1/2 hours slip by like a breeze.

    BERLIN & BEYOND, SAN FRANCISCO SHOWTIME:

    Thu. March 14, 2019 8:00 p.m.
    Goethe-Institut, San Francisco
    West Coast Premiere

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    THE WALDHEIM WALTZ/WALDHEIMS WALZER (Ruth Beckermann 2018)

    The documentary shows how after a successful diplomatic career including ten years as Secretary General of the United Nations, Kurt Waldheim's complicity with Nazi atrocities as a young lieutenant of German intelligence was finally exposed when he ran for president of Austria, but the Austrians identified with his history and elected him by 53%. The filmmaker was active in filming demonstrations in 1986 when this took place. Not very exciting fimmaking to put it mildly, but a subject of importance.


    Showtime Berlin & Beyond:
    Wed. March 13, 2019 8:00 p.m.
    Goethe-Institut, San Francisco

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    THE CAKEMAKER (Ofir Raul Graizer 2017)

    I've republished my review of this Berlin & Beyond film from last year. It's an engaging, unusual gay long distance love story between an Israeli man and a German pastry cook.

    Showtime Berlin & Beyond:
    Tue. March 12, 2019 8:00 p.m.
    Goethe-Institut, San Francisco
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-23-2019 at 12:31 PM.

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    3 DAYS IN QUIBERON/3 TAGE IN QUIBERON ( Emily Atef 2018)

    Drama, drama, drama in this handsomely cast recreation of iconic actress Romy Schneider's long last interview before her untimely death.

    Showtime, Berlin & Beyond:
    Sat. March 9, 2019 3:15 p.m.
    Castro Theatre, San Francisco
    Northern California Premiere

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    CHRIS THE SWISS (Anja Kofmel 2018)


    Komel's glamorous twenty-seven-year-old cousin Christian Wurtenberg, ostensibly a war journalist died in mysterious circumstances when she was only ten. She explores the facts of this event that always haunted her, and in the process examines the tangled context of the Balkans wars and delves into what leads adventurous young men to put themselves in harms way, especially in wartime.

    This is a brilliant amalgam of archival footage, documentary, and Kofmel's own beautiful and evocative animations.

    Berlin & Beyond showtime:
    Thu. March 14, 2019 6:00 p.m.
    Goethe-Institut, San Francisco
    San Francisco Premiere

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    GUNDERMANN (Andreas Dresen 2018)

    Dresen and his screenwriter Laily Stieler team with the great German actor Alexander Scheer and an excellent cast to look back at the life of Gerhard Gundermann, the soulful East German singer-songwriter of the 1980's and 1990's, whose smart, bittersweet and political songs were offset by his contradictory life and his intractable nature, which forces him in the early 1990's to confront his former Stasi collaboration.

    Berlin & Beyond showtime:
    Sun. March 10, 2019 6:00 p.m.
    Castro Theatre, San Francisco
    North American Premiere

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    San Francisco Berlin & Beyond, March 8-14, 2019

    This festival, showing at San Francisco's historic Castro cinema palace and the Geothe Institute, with some showings in Berkeley, is an excellent cure for winter movie doldrums and I was really impressed with the high quality and relevance of the films I have reviewed.

    Every one of these six films I've reviewed in Filmleaf's Festival Coverage section is well worth your time. 303 is an adorable young romance + road trip, a very enjoyable movie, and your two hours will zip by. It may remind you of Richard Linklater's "Before" series, but it goes further; the two actors could be stand-ins for the young Kate Winslet and Heath Ledger, and their chemistry is palpable. The Waldheim Waltz is a conventional doc, but the subject, hiding complicity in Nazi crimes, as illustrated by the notorious case of UN Secretary General and then President of Austria Kurt Waldheim, is a perennially important one. Catch The Cakemaker if you missed it earlier, a sensuous gay romance and tour of the pastry kitchen. 3 Days in Quiberon is an elegant black and white film in very wide aspect ratio about a last interview given by the iconic Austrian, later French, movie star Romy Schneider, played wonderfully by Marie Bäumer. Chris the Swiss is an exploration of the filmmaker Anja Kofmel's lost cousin, a dashing young man who died at twenty-seven in the Balkan wars in 1992, when she was only ten, that uses animation with documentary and archival footage in a skillful and imaginatively stimulating mix. Finally, Gundermann recreates the life of a contradictory, soulful singer-songwriter of East Germany who did not sail through the end of communism untarnished, since an earlier link with the Stasi emerged. How he confronts his own mistakes makes the pivotal aspect of this song-filled movie.

    Here are the links to my reviews:

    LINKS:
    303 ( Hans Weingartner 2018)
    3 Days in Quiberon/3 Tage in Quiberon (Emily Atef 2018)
    Cakemaker, The (Ofir Raul Graizer 2017)
    Chris the Swiss (Anja Kofmel 2018)
    Gundermann (Andreas Dresen 2018)
    Waldheim Waltz, The/Waldheims Walzer (Ruth Beckermann 2018)


    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-23-2019 at 01:15 PM.

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