German Language Film Festival
Many nations produce excellent films which never receive the benefit of theatrical release in North America.
The Embassies of Austria, Germany and Switzerland believe that Ottawa audiences should have a chance to see some of their best and most honoured German-language films of recent years. For three Wednesdays in May, Ottawa's ByTowne Cinemas shows one feature from each nation. Each film is an Ottawa Premiere, and each will be presented for one night only.
Genießen Sie die Filme! Enjoy the films!
All screenings at ByTowne Cinema, 325 Rideau St., Ottawa
Admission $12 General, ByTowne Members $8.
AUSTRIA | Wednesday, May 10 at 6:45 PM
Stefan Zweig: Farewell To Europe (Vor der Morgenröte)
Director: Maria Schrader
Writing credits: Maria Schrader, Jan Schomburg
Cast: Josef Hader, Barbara Sukowa, Aenne Schwarz
Enlarge image (© X-Filme Creative Pool et al.) “This impressively handled if rather atypical biopic, Austria’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Oscar, is psychologically insightful and packs a serious emotional wallop.
Jewish Austrian author and playwright Stefan Zweig was, alongside Thomas Mann, the most-read German-language author of the 1920s. Exiled from his homeland in 1934, yet unwilling to condemn the political forces that turfed him out of tumultuous pre-War Europe, Zweig and his dedicated wife Lotte ricocheted from the U.K. and around the Americas, but were never at ease away from Austria.
Director Maria Schrader doesn’t try to dramatize Zweig at work writing. Instead, she focuses on the author’s interactions with others – some purely ceremonial, others more intimate, all of them revealing – to help suggest something about both his character and his slowly decaying sense of place in the world. In exile, his body might be safe but his mind keeps wandering back to a place he knows is being erased from the map.”
– The Hollywood Reporter
106 min. Austria 2016.
In German with some Portuguese, Spanish & French with English subtitles.
Rated 14A. Cinemascope.
SWITZERLAND | Wednesday, May 17 at 6:45 PM
Someone Like Me (Eine wen iig)
Director: Xavier Koller
Writing credits: Xavier Koller
Cast: Nils Althaus, Carla Juri, Hanspeter Müller-Drossaart
Enlarge image (© Thomas Kern) “Directed by Xavier Koller (Journey Of Hope, 1990’s Best Foreign Language Film), Someone Like Me is an irrepressibly cheerful love story set in Bern in the late 1800s. A popular barber shop is home to Dällebach Kari, an amiable and entertaining fellow with a great story to tell.
Born into a poor farming family, Kari was a fragile child, born with the additional burden of a harelip. But Kari‘s mother doted on him, and he blossomed into a cheerful young man with an unshakeable belief in the beauty of life.
At 20, Kari (played as a young man by Nils Althaus) meets the gentle and beautiful Annemarie (Karla Juri). It’s love at first sight. While other girls had turned away from Kari, Annemarie is enraptured by his outgoing personality. But her pompous father is opposed to his daughter’s relationship with a mere barber, and has other plans for her marriage. Thus, the power of true love is pitted against the pressures of a conservative society.
Flash forward to the grown Kari (Hanspeter Müller-Drossaart) as he regales his barbershop clients with the tale of his one great love, and cheerfully lets us know how it all turned out.”
– Elefant Studios
111 min. Switzerland 2012.
In Swiss German with English subtitles.
GERMANY | Wednesday, May 24 at 6:45 PM
Director: Cordula Kablitz-Post
Writing credits: Susanne Hertel, Cordula Kablitz-Post
Cast: Katharina Lorenz, Nicole Heesters, Alexander Scheer, Julius Feldmeier, Harold Schrott
Enlarge image (© avanti media fiction GmbH et al.) “We meet Lou Andreas-Salomé at 72 years of age, as she recounts her life story to a young admirer. Born in St. Petersburg in 1861, she fell in love with philosophy as a girl and determined to live a life of the mind, escaping bourgeois constriction by never marrying or having children.
With terrific attention to period detail, the film recounts her close ties to many of the more famous people of her era (perhaps more famous because they were men), including author Paul Rée, fellow philosopher Friedrich Neitzsche and poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who became her lover despite their age gap (she was 15 years his senior). She became close to Sigmund Freud in a relationship that caused much gossip, but without doubt contributed to her becoming an accomplished psychoanalyst.
Never dry, this biography of Andreas-Salomé shows the focus and intellect that led to her prolific output as a novelist, essayist and intellectual.”
– Avanti Media
113 min. Germany 2016.
In German with English subtitles.