Men fighting losing battles and women on the verge of breakdowns – at first glance this is the impression given by the characters in the first six films chosen for Perspektive Deutsches Kino. However, the filmmakers of this new generation of German cinema refuse to content themselves with such superficial glances. For they are in fact extremely interested in everyday conflicts and borderline situations and, moreover, in how to tell about them in a way which works for the screen – including all forms of dramatic sophistication and small heroisms.
Four men of different ages are in the process of finding themselves in Autopiloten, the debut full-length feature by Bastian Günther, a graduate of the dffb (Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin) who also won the First Steps Award in 2006 for his short film Ende einer Strecke. The men’s search leads them to the dense network of autobahns in the Ruhr region – and this not only holds their stories together geographically but strangely enough emotionally as well.
On the other hand, the female protagonist in Ben von Grafenstein’s Blindflug, a drama about a ménage à trios, has let herself in for a blind flight of emotions. The title is in many ways programmatic and makes the film rich in twists, turns and surprises.
The hapless, small-scale entrepreneur Dohmühl (Milan Peschel) from a village in Brandenburg has long stopped expecting any surprises. Yet in Pepe Planitzer’s second feature Alle Alle, the gentle giant Hagen Melzer unleashes more of them than the sad hero could ever have wanted – from romance to catastrophe.
In the exciting teenage drama Was am Ende zählt by Julia von Heinz, Carla and Lucie, two young and completely different heroines, want to prevent a catastrophe. Yet the way they approach things just may lead to another one.
“This year nearly all the contributions to Perspektive Deutsches Kino have been made by students or graduates of German film academies and schools. Seen from this perspective, there’s no need to worry about the quality of film education in this country”, remarked Festival director Dieter Kosslick about this year’s programme.
The same applies to the two half-hour films that have been chosen so far from academies in Munich and Ludwigsburg: in Aschermittwoch by Ileana Cosmovici (HFF – Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film in Munich) a doctor and a policewoman meet on the last night of carnival, two individuals who are already connected by fate in a fatal and fascinating way. A similar thing happens to the odd and obstinate couple in Hannah Schweier’s Aufrecht stehen (Filmakademie Ludwigsburg), a dynamic drama about the search for happiness as a form of extreme sport.
“Actually, it has always been the case that in their debut films young filmmakers are interested in what we might anachronistically call those ‘last things’ awaiting us. Nevertheless, what is noteworthy this year is the artistic maturity, the dramaturgical resolve, the psychological instinct and frequent flashes of poetic elegance with which they have put these themes to the screen”, head of Perspektive Deutsches Kino Alfred Holighaus says about the selection.
The complete programme of Perspektive Deutsches Kino will be announced in mid-January 2007.
To date the following films have been invited:
Autopiloten by Bastian Günther
Blindflug by Ben von Grafenstein
Alle Alle by Pepe Planitzer
Was am Ende zählt by Julia von Heinz
Aschermittwoch by Ileana Cosmovici
Aufrecht stehen by Hannah Schweier
December 21, 2006