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:: Spotlight :: 2007 German Film Festival

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

Strange bedfellows and forbidden relationships appear to have been uppermost in the minds of German moviemakers if this year’s Festival of German Films is any indication. The Festival, which in Melbourne will run from April 19 until April 29, includes the unlikely pairing of an elderly music teacher with a hardened prisoner cum gifted pianist, in Four Minutes, a German nurse with an English pilot in Dresden, and a glamorous model with a car park attendant in Valerie.

Illicit desire is explored in Summer`04, a story of under-age love with a twist, and incestuous feelings are on display in Pingpong, the tale of a sixteen-year-old boy who develops an unhealthy sexual attraction for his aunt.

Two other dominant themes have emerged from German filmmakers of late. The first is the return to the Heimat style of filmmaking that focuses on the land, home and people. A shining example of this genre is Grave Decisions, a quirky satire about the life of a misguided 11 year-old boy, who tries to play matchmaker to his widowed father with near fatal consequences. Grave Decisions has been a huge box office success in Germany with more than 1.2 million ticket sales, and was in the top-ten list for 16 weeks.

The second theme to emerge has been the growth of films made for the adolescence market, which also appeal to adults. The Festival of German Films will present two of the best of the best examples with: TKKG and the Mysterious Mind Machine, and Hui Bui, The Goofy Ghost staring Heike Makatsch, who was a 2006 Festival guest.

German music has a well-deserved reputation for being avant-garde. But who knew that five American GI’s based in 1960’s Germany are considered the forefathers of industrial, heavy metal, punk and techno music. The compelling documentary Monks: The Transatlantic Feedback, showcases the life of one of the wildest, and most influential bands of their time.

In Melbourne, the Festival of German Film will screen from April 19 until April 29 at Palace Brighton Bay and Palace Cinema Como.

Ticket Prices Range from $16 (Adults) to $13.50 (Concession)
For more information, visit the official Festival site

For more information, visit

www.goethe.de/ozfilmfest