cinema, media

The Life of Others II

I’m not too sure what I’m thinking about „Daily Variety“ reports from Hollywood indicating the possibility of a Hollywood remake of Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s „The Life of Others“ - „Das Leben der anderen“. After all the original just won the Oskar for „best non-English language film.“

Of course, those allegedly interested in midwifing the project, Bob and Harvey Weinstein as well as Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella, aren’t just anyone. But since the only successful Hollywood remakes of a European films I can think of off the top of my head were „Nikita“, „True Lies“, and „Three men and a baby“ – all of which weren’t exactly rooted in French culture, a remake of „The Life of Others“, seems like a natural candidate for a „lost in translation“-style disaster. I’m saying this inspite of my sympathy for every project exposing the danger of the eavesdropping culture that is slowly being established in the US as well as in Europe.

Maybe it was that what Steven Spielberg meant, when he, according to Donnersmarck’s own words, congratulated him after the ceremony by saying – „You’ll never get over this.“

almost a diary, cinema, filme

Großes Kino made in Mainz!

Pilù und Pandemia - Großes Kino made in Mainz Wer hätte gedacht, daß ich an dieser Stelle mal Auszüge aus einer Pressemitteilung veröffentlichen würde. Macht mich das gleich zum Business Blogger? Oder vielleicht zum Kultur-Blogger, angesichts des Sachgegenstands? Vielleicht sind Kategorien aber auch einfach unangebracht, wenn es um die Premiere des neues Films eines Freundes geht, an dem ich auch noch mitgewirkt habe. Also ergeht die Einladung ohne weitere Umschweife, denn –

Es tut sich was im Mainzer Kino! Drei Jahre nach der Premiere ihres erfolgreichen Kultstreifens „CARNE VALE – Fastnacht der toten Seelen“ (DVD – stellen die Mainzer Filmemacher Sebastian Linke und Daniel Stümpfig ihre jüngsten Werke erneut in der Gutenbergstadt der Öffentlichkeit vor. Die Filme „PANDEMIA“ (Stümpfig) und „PILÙ oder das andereLeben“ (Linke) werden am 2. Februar 2007 um 20 Uhr in der Kultur-Kasematte in Mainz mit anschließender Premierenfeier uraufgeführt.

Zwei außergewöhnliche Kurzfilme mit einer Gesamtlänge von 50 Minuten und anschließender Premierenfeier – zu erleben am 2. Februar um 20 Uhr in der Kultur-Kasematte (Zitadellenweg 1, 55131 Mainz), der Eintritt kostet drei Euro. Die Regisseure und ihre Teams sind anwesend und freuen sich, dem Publikum und Vertretern der Presse Rede und Antwort zu stehen.

Letzteres gilt selbstverständlich auch für mich. Ein paar Worte zur Entstehungsgeschichte der Titelmusik habe ich an dieser Stelle ja bereits vor einigen Tagen geschrieben. Alles andere dann vor Ort…

cinema, oddly enough

Filme nicht nur für Stadtneurotiker.

Ins Kino mit dem Psychotherapeuten? Warum nicht? Musiktherapie gibt es schließlich auch: Ernst Corinth für Telepolis über „Filme gegen Rezept“:

„Die Grundidee ist äußerst simpel. Patienten erkennen sich und ihre persönliche Situation in bestimmten Filmszenen wieder, können danach besser ihre Gefühle beschreiben oder über ihre Probleme reden. Außerdem können ausgewählte Filme eingesetzt werden in Fällen von beispielsweise Antriebslosigkeit, zur Trauerarbeit, bei Ehekrisen, ja, fast in jeder schwierigen Lebenssituation.

Andererseits… die in dem Artikel erwähnte Webseite der amerikanischen Film-Therapeutin Birgit Wolz,, führt im Bereich romantic love „Das Schweigen der Lämmer“ auf. Zum Thema Vertrauen… naja. Aber im Bereich romantische Liebe? Psychologen haben da wohl doch ein wenig andere Vorstellungen als unsereins.


By the way…

Humphrey Bogart was really miscast in „Sabrina“ (1955). I think Harrison Ford is clearly better as Linus Larabee in the 1994 remake. I’m sorry for Julia Ormond though. She’s seriously cute – but did she ever have a fighting chance against Audrey Hepburn? I don’t think so.

Still, on balance, I’d say the remake is better than the original, which is quite unusual. Watch it now, if you’re in Germany, understand German, and receive BR3 (31/10/05, Bayerisches Fernsehen, 23:05).


Immigrant Connection.

Immigrant Connection.I’ve just come back from watching „Kebab Connection“, a new semi-independent movie following on the heels of last year’s surprise comedy success „S�perseks“ and, – less obvious – Fatih Akin’s smash hit „Gegen die Wand“ (Head On). The Kebab Connection is set in the Akin urban immigrant universe, is partly payed by Akin-Alumni like Sibel Kelkili, has been co-authored by him, and yet he did not direct the movie.

cinema, German Politics

Mission Impossible.

It may sound a little prejudiced, but it’s true. Ethan Hunt, aka Tom Cruise, finally found an impossible mission – in Germany, of course.

Wolfgang Thierse, President of the German Bundestag made it clear that it will indeed be impossible to shoot some action scenes for the next Tom Cruise star vehicle, Mission Impossible 3, in the glass dome of the Bundestag. After Cruise had visited the dome in April, the studio’s location manager had asked for permission to shoot there but was turned down because of concerns regarding the „dignity“ of Parliament.

Dignity? On which planet do Mr Thierse and his advisors live (although I have a hunch this was Thierse’s decision. It sounds just like him…)? Turning down such a huge PR opportunity for German Democracy with the alleged „dignity“ of the Bundestag is beyond me. What’s undignified about visualing the new Reichstag, a symbol of German Democracy, to a billion people, many of whom will probably have only seen images of the building with Hitler or the Kaiser parading in front of it. What’s undignified about raising people’s interest in Berlin? What’s undignified about shooting a movie? It’s certainly inconvenient, but I am rather sure overlapping schedules were not a fundamental problem. Sure, most films set in, say, The White House, aren’t actually shot there – but does that matter for the „dignity of the institution“? Besides, what was more undignified – Denzel Washington’s „Murder at 1600“ or the questionable election procedures and results in Florida?

To be at least a little balanced here, I haven’t read the screenplay – and if I had, I would not tell you for free. So maybe it is indeed objectionable with respect to some concept of dignity. But I don’t think so. Quite honestly, I have a feeling the decision to keep Cruise out of the Bundestag is telling more about the way representative Democrcacy is understood by senior German politicians – including Wolfgang Thierse – than anything else. Must dignity always mean distance? Remember cosy Bonn? And would Thierse have declined the request to use the dome for a Yo-Yo Ma documentary? A video for Herbert Groenemeyer? I’m sure there’s a line somewhere, but does it exclude action movies?

The rejection is a little reminiscent of the extremely embarrassing debate preceding Christo and Jean Claude’s wrapping of the Reichstag in 1995, which was later hailed as impressive art and an opportunity for Germans to re-embrace the Reichstag building as a cornerstone of their Democracy.

But at least some politicians seem to have learned this lesson. Walter Momper, former Mayor of Berlin, and currently President of Berlin’s state Parliament has offered his chamber as an alternative to the producers. His bid might be successful as the film will be shot in the Babelsberg studios just outside Berlin, where – suddenly – more and more „Hollywood“ movies are being shot – predominantly because studios in Los Angeles are far more expensive.

Mr Momper therefore rightly grasped the opportunity to benefit from supporting this kind of „reverse outsourcing“ without undignified excuses. But then, he doesn’t have a dome

almost a diary, cinema, filme

A Movie, With Me.

It might come as a shock to you, my gentle readers, but from time to time I do act in student short films. And as this week saw the premieres of two more recent productions, I thought to myself ‚why not experiment with streaming media and put an older one on the web?‘
And so I did. Clicking on the image below takes you to a realmedia-encoded version of a largely improvised short film by Sebastian Linke called „49 degrees“, shot in English for and shown at the Hamburg International Film Festival in June 2002. The film was part of the category „thee minute quickie“. A category named after the length of the films shown rather than their content… As for the content, the theme the „quickies“ had to deal with in 2002 was „thirst“.
For those who can’t remember what I look like – or have never seen me -, I am „Robbespierre aka the guy who doesn’t drink“ ;).

49 degrees

cinema, quicklink

Katherine Hepburn dies aged 96.

She was a great actress, and a beautiful woman. The list of her accomplishments is stunning, even though… she did not play the piano herself as Clara Schumann in „Song of Love“ (1947), as she once told my sister on a handwritten postcard. According to, tomorrow at eight pm, the lights on Broadway will dim for some time to mark the fact that one of the brightest stars is no longer shining.