Writing against disappearance ? Sa?a Stani?i?

Sa?a Stani?i?, who grew up in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Germany, writes regional novels of an unusual kind. His novel ?Vor dem Fest? was awarded the Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair. ... more more

GoetheInstitute

Gangs of Neukölln

Monday 13 March, 2006

Detlev Buck's latest film "Tough Enough" is set in Berlin's notoriously hard-edged Neukölln district. In an interview with Daniela Sannwald, the director talks about urban ghettos, language barriers and the mafia.
read more

In the valley of the wolves

Wednesday 1 March, 2006

Since it hit the German screens in February, Serdar Akar's Turkish secret agent film "Valley of the Wolves" has been widely touted as an anti-Western hate film. But for all the talk of a "clash of civilisations", isn't it much like any Western thriller - with the roles reversed? By Alexandra Stäheli.
read more

Holiday from the Enlightenment

Monday 27 February, 2006

Religion is en vogue today, while the Enlightenment suffers from a major shortcoming: it has a stock of efficient ideas, but no impressive images. In a word, it is not television-compatible. Yet the enlightened world we live in is one where even those opposed to it would like to live. By Heinz Schlaffer
read more

Dismay at the Arthouse

Monday 20 February, 2006

This year's Berlin Film Festival proved that director Dieter Kosslick is honouring his committment to be political, proportional and popular. Ekkerhard Knörer only regrets that aesthetic criteria got left by the wayside.
read more

Breathless 7: a Berlinale diary

Friday 17 February, 2006

Jafar Panahi's "Offside" blows the whistle on female football fans in Iran. In Claude Chabrol's "Comedy of Power", a muck-raking Isabelle Huppert comes up against the fattest cats of all. And Amir Muhammad's "The Last Communist" portrays over 80 people before finding just that.
read more

Breathless 6: a Berlinale diary

Thursday 16 February, 2006

A terribly simple tragedy: Valeska Griesebach's film with non-actors, "Longing". A nymphomaniac cop meets his match in Pang Ho-cheung's well-manicured "Isabella". And Mani Haghighi's "Men at Work" asks how many middle-aged Iranian men it takes to budge a rock.
read more

Rousing the lethargic bull

Wednesday 15 February, 2006

Anyone familiar with Middle Eastern literature knows it abounds with jesters who heap scorn on God, the mullahs, and rulers. But if Western media show endless stereotypes of Muslims - hooded men with machine guns and faces distorted with rage - you should not be surprised when hatred escalates and turns violent. By Navid Kermani
read more

Breathless 5: a Berlinale diary

Wednesday 15 February, 2006

Rafi Pitt's "Zemestan" starts in bleakness and ends in despair. John Hillcoat brings Nick Cave's sweaty outback epic "The Propostition" seamlessly to the big screen. Matthew Barney has a whale of a time with Björk in "Drawing Restraint 9". Michael Winterbottom's "Road to Guantanamo" is 95 minutes of collateral damage.
read more

Breathless 4: a Berlinale diary

Tuesday 14 February, 2006

Storm Saxons and a shaved-headed Natalie Portman have people flocking to James McTeigue's "V for Vendetta". Cinema at its most despicable: Pen-ek Ratanaruang's "Invisible Waves", and loving a serial rapist: "Der Freie Wille" by Matthias Glasner.
read more

The panic savers

Monday 13 February, 2006

There's a general feeling that the German economy is in the dumps, and that by refusing to spend their money, the Germans aren't exactly helping things. Author Peter Schneider muses on miserliness in one of the world's wealthiest countries.
read more

Breathless 3: a Berlinale diary

Monday 13 February, 2006

Detlev Buck's "Tough Enough" looks at the life of a rich boy in a rough area where the ultimate insult is "victim!" Terence Malick's "The New World" is little more than soft colonialist porn. Robert Altman's "A Prairie Home Companion" is good, harmless family entertainment. Chen Kaige's "The Promise" desires to blockbuster. Stephen Gaghan's "Syriana" is an introductory seminar on the dirty ol' oil business. And Oskar Roehler's "Atomised" has taken the horrible out of Houellebecq.
read more

Breathless 2: a Berlinale diary

Friday 10 February, 2006

The festival got off on a gentle note with Marc Evans' "Snow Cake". Blood, sex and gore - but not for gore's sake - soon took audiences by storm, though, with Sono Sion's "Strange Circus". Pernille Fischer Christensen's "En Soap" was sadly just a washout. And "Close to Home" by Dalia Hager and Vidi Bilu shows 18-year-old girls struggling to sound authoritative in their army uniforms on the streets of Jerusalem.

read more

Breathless: a Berlinale diary

Thursday 9 February, 2006

This evening, Marc Evans' film "Snow Cake" will open the Berlinale film festival 2006. Ekkehard Knörer is keeping his eyes peeled for the mad and the beautiful, the puzzling and the devasting, understatement and excess. Stay with us for a front-row seat.
read more

"What next, bearded one?"

Tuesday 7 February, 2006

We are offended. Our traditional values have been quashed. Freedom of speech and reason are sacred to us. And let's not forget, the world isn't flat. A wake-up call. By Sonia Mikich.
read more

Tango in a mine field

Tuesday 31 January, 2006

Germany is the guest of honour at this year's Cairo International Book Fair. With a diversity of cultural themes, the German organisers have honoured the Egyptian side as only a glamorous tango-dancer can do, writes Egyptian author Ahmed Alaidy. But why did they give the cold shoulder to publisher and opposition member Muhammad Hashim?
read more