The Museum of Modern Art presents its 26th annual survey of contemporary German cinema in Kino! 2005. The exhibition, comprising eight features and 11 shorts and encompassing both fiction and documentary, is presented November 2-10, 2005, in The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters. This year’s program includes five directors whose works were shown in Kino! in previous years-Jutta Brueckner, Andreas Dresen, Dani Levy, Gordian Maugg, and Christian Petzold-several of whom are breaking new ground with this year’s films. The exhibition opens with Dani Levy’s Jewish-German farce Alles auf Zucker! (Go for Zucker!, 2005), which this year won six Lola awards (German equivalents of the Oscar), including best direction and screenplay. Kino! 2005 concludes with Marc Rothemund’s Sophie Scholl-The Final Days (2005), Germany’s official selection for the Foreign Language category for the 2006 Academy Awards. The film, which recounts a grim chapter in German history, will be released in the U.S. by Zeitgeist Films in Spring 2006. The exhibition is organized by Laurence Kardish, Senior Curator, Department of Film and Media, in collaboration with German Films Service + Marketing (Munich), and its New York representative, Oliver Mahrdt.
Kino! 2005 also features the works of several directors who are receiving their New York debuts. Manfred Wilhelms, known in Germany for his documentaries, is presented for the first time in the United States with Der Flaneur von Berlin-A Tale of Two Cities (with Henry Ries), (1999-2005), a film about the Berlin-born New York photographer Henry Ries. Franz Muller’s graduate thesis film, Science Fiction (2003), is a witty discursion on memory and a play on the notion of time, all without the use of special effects.
Among the veteran directors, Andreas Dresen, whose film Grill Point (2003) was one of the highlights of Kino! 2003, returns this year with Willenbrock (2005). This taut drama about a car dealer whose idyllic yet soulless life falls apart through a series of unconnected events features a powerful performance by Axel Prahl in the title role and conveys the darker side of social changes that have occurred in reunited Germany. Dani Levy’s Alles auf Zucker! (Go for Zucker!), believed to be the first German-Jewish comedy made in Germany since World War II, is a comical tale of a dysfunctional German Jewish family that includes two brothers separated for decades by the Berlin Wall. Gordian Maugg’s Zeppelin! (2005) bears many of the hallmarks of the director’s previous works, Die Kaukasische Nacht (Caucasian Night, 1998) and Hans Warns-Mein 20 Jahrhundert (Hans Warns-My 20th Century, 1999), both of which have been screened in previous editions of Kino! Maugg’s use of archival footage-in this case the development of the zeppelin airship-blends seamlessly with newly staged footage, giving context to an episode in the filmmaker’s family that links his grandfather with the birth of the dirigible in Germany.
For more info, visit the MOMA website.