On the Death of Siegfried Lenz ? ?You have to justify your life?

Siegfried Lenz, one of the great writers of German post-war literature is dead. He died on 7 October 2014, surrounded by his family. He was 88 years old.... more more

GoetheInstitute

"As if" eroticism

Thursday 22 February, 2007

Boy group Tokio Hotel's second album "Zimmer 483" comes out tomorrow. Teen idols in Germany, France and beyond, the band has provoked heated controversy among fans and foes over singer Bill Kaulitz' androgynous eroticism. By Elke Buhr
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Giving mediocrity a chance

Monday 19 February, 2007

In its sixth year under Dieter Kosslick, the Berlinale has flung itself into the breach for boredom, lack of inspiration and conventionality. There were a handful of creditable, daring, self-assured films. Only these will be mentioned here. By Ekkehard Knörer. All the bears at a glance here.
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Breathless 8: a Berlinale diary

Friday 16 February, 2007

In Jacques Rivette's Competition film "Don't Touch the Axe", Jeanne Balibar and Guillaume Depardieu besiege themselves in an exquisitely wrought and rapier sharp love battle. And in the claustrophobic "Brand Upon the Brain", Guy Maddin serves up a huge portion of brain nectar.
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Auschwitz, our home

Thursday 15 February, 2007

Tadeusz Borowski survived Auschwitz, became a Communist, and committed suicide in 1951. A new edition of his stories was published in German this year: morally questionable, but a milestone in Holocaust literature nonetheless. Even Dante's "Inferno" pales by comparison. By Arno Lustiger
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Breathless 7: a Berlinale diary

Thursday 15 Feburary, 2007

Zhang Lu's "Desert Dream" follows life in a yurt in the wide, empty expanses of the Mongolian steppes, punctuated only by North Korean folk songs. In "Celebration" Olivier Meyrou visits the spectral fashion house of Yves Saint Laurent. And Jack Snyder's "300", the film of Frank Miller's comic, is not the world's worst film, but it's damn close.
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Breathless 6: a Berlinale diary

Wednesday 14 February, 2007

Christian Petzold's ghostly "Yella" is marked by ruptures, and corner-of-the-mouth minimalism. "The Lark House" by the Taviani brothers shows the Turkish genocide of the Armenians with some beatifully composed torture scenes. Frederick Wiseman's "State Legislature" documents the nuts and bolts of American politics. And Hal Hartley's "Fay Grim" has a plot driven to the height of absurdity.
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Breathless 5: a Berlinale diary

Tuesday 13 February, 2007

With "The Witnesses," Andre Techine consolidates his reputation as a master of mitigation. In conservative Clint's "Letter's from Iwo Jima", there is much militarily senseless, politically objectionable, but highly heroic dying for the fatherland. And Angela Schanelec's "Afternoon" shows the unbearable weight of being.
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Give the Peace Prize to Politkovskaya

Tuesday 13 February, 2007

Granting the 2007 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade to Anna Politkovskaya would not be a gesture of criticism directed at Russia as a whole, but a sign of hopeful expectations for the country, its people and its culture. By Gerd Koenen and Norbert Schreiber
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Breathless 4: a Berlinale diary

Monday 12 February, 2007

In Stefan Ruzowitzky's "The Counterfeiters", concentration camp victims are set to work making fake money for the Nazis. Robert de Niro's "The Good Shepherd" shows a block of ice created by the Cold War. Park Chan-wook's "I'm a Cyborg, but that's OK" inquires with refreshing naivity into the meaning of life. And Rudolphe Marconi shows Karl Largerfeld and his laissez-faire attitude towards status, privilege and luck.
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Breathless 3: a Berlinale diary

Saturday 10 February, 2007

Pascal Ferran's "Lady Chatterley" has kept cheap thrills and overbearing symbolism at an arm's length. It is self-assured, unpretentious and observant. "This Filthy World" by Jeff Garlin reveals filmmaker John Waters as an exquisitely funny stand-up comedian. And in Hong Sangsoo's "Woman on the Beach," true faces emerge from behind the booze.
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Breathless: a Berlinale diary

Thursday 8 February, 2007

The Berlinale opens tonight with Olivier Dahan's film "La vie en rose". The programme is the usual hotchpotch we have come to expect from director Dieter Kosslick. Ekkehard Knörer guides us through the rather populist selection of the Competition and the overwhelming variety that awaits film fans in the Panorama and Forum sections.
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Breathless 2: a Berlinale diary

Friday 9 February, 2007

The Berlinale opened with Olivier Dahan's film "La vie en Rose", a confrontational Piaf portrait replete with smeared make-up, champagne and morphine, flunkies and fans, misery and deity. Altogether much more exciting than the "The Good German" by Steven Soderbergh which fell flat on its faux forties face.
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Contriva and the Prussian soul

Friday 2 February, 2007

Singer Masha Qrella and her band Contriva invoke the lost cultural landscape of northeastern Berlin. Their music is rough, sketchy and irresistible. By Michael Pilz
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No frills woman

Thursday 18 January, 2007

Maren Kroymann made a name for herself doing stand-up. Now she shines in Angelina Maccarone's film "Verfolgt" (pursued) as the older lover in an S&M relationship. The plot description is enough to make most people wince but the film is an exercise in restraint. It also won the Golden Leopard in Locarno in 2006. By Liane von Billerbeck
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Germany: a mindset

Monday 15 January, 2006

Germany as a culture does not correspond to the German nation. Which means that the much-quoted truth that the Germans were united by their literature or their language has always also been a lie. For German-Iranian writer Navid Kermani the most German of German writers is none other than Franz Kafka.
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