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October 20, 2009



I found The Lives of Others quite moving, actually.

Joe Bowman

While I agree with everything you said about the recent German films you chose to mention, great films are still coming out of Germany. I'd suggest checking out The Forest for the Trees, Bungalow, Yella, The Free Will, Sehnsucht, Marseille, Requiem and Everyone Else before dismissing an entire nation's cinematic output.

Justin E. H. Smith

Joe, Thanks, I did think Sehnsucht was alright. But still, it should go without saying that while there is still some good output, there is also a broad and disconcerting trend towards derivativeness and over-reliance on convention.

By the way, I think this derivativeness is something that extends to other European cinematic output since roughly the mid-1980s. A striking recent example: of his own film, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, hailed as one of the great achievements of the Romanian nouvelle vague, Cristi Puiu happily noted that its look and rhythm were derived from the American TV show "ER".

Neil Young

Most of C.Petzold is pretty top-notch, especially THE STATE I AM IN and YELLA. You should also seek out SCHOOL TRIP by Henner Winckler and HOME FROM HOME by Sung-Hyung Cho.

And I second the recommendations of REQUIEM, THE FOREST FOR THE TREES, (director's WONDROUS WORLD OF LAUNDRY is very nice and not what you expect).

Neil Young

sorry for the confusion - the director of REQUIEM was the one who did the LAUNDRY film, not the director of FOREST FOR THE TREES.

Felix Lennert

Spot on Justin, except as long as those countless European film festivals will give away 100 awards per event, no one will notice.

Being German, Fatih Akin is the only living German director that I can take seriously (although I share Werner Herzog's re-awakened love for documentaries, they are hardly German by any means).

Did anyone say "Der Schuh des Manitu"?

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