Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fall 2013 Series: Avant-garde women in German history

November 4 2013 at 7pm G76 Goldwin Smith Hall Lewis Auditorium

Margarethe von Trotta: Vision. From the life of Hildegard von Bingen (Germany 2009; 111mins)

In German with English subtitles


Hildegard von Bingen was truly a woman ahead of her time. A visionary in every sense of the word, this famed 12th-century Benedictine nun was a Christian mystic, composer, philosopher, playwright, poet, naturalist, scientist, physician, herbalist and ecological activist.
In Vision - from the Life of Hildegard von Bingen, New German Cinema auteur Margarethe von Trotta reunites with recurrent star Barbara Sukowa (Zentropa, Berlin Alexanderplatz) to bring the story of this extraordinary woman to life. In a staggering performance, Sukowa portrays von Bingen’s fierce determination to expand the responsibilities of women within the order, even as she fends off outrage from some in the Church over the visions she claims to receive from God. Lushly shot in the original medieval cloisters of the fairytale-like German countryside, Vision is a profoundly inspirational portrait of a woman who has emerged from the shadows of history as a forward-thinking and iconoclastic pioneer of faith, change and enlightenment.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fall 2013 series: Avant-garde women in German history

We open our fall series on Monday, October 21st 7pm with Marc Rothemund’s “Sophie Scholl – The final days” (Germany 2005; 117 mins)

in German with English subtitles

G76 Goldwin Smith Hall Lewis Auditorium


The true story of Germany’s most famous anti-Nazi heroine is brought to thrilling life in the multi-award winning drama SOPHIE SCHOLL-THE FINAL DAYS. Academy Award Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, SOPHIE SCHOLL stars Julia Jentsch in a luminous performance as the young coed-turned-fearless activist. Armed with long-buried historical records of her incarceration, director Marc Rothemund expertly re-creates the last six days of Sophie Scholl’s life: a heart-stopping journey from arrest to interrogation, trial and sentence.

In 1943, as Hitler continues to wage war across Europe, a group of college students mount an underground resistance movement in Munich. Dedicated expressly to the downfall of the monolithic Third Reich war machine, they call themselves the White Rose. One of its few female members, Sophie Scholl is captured during a dangerous mission to distribute pamphlets on campus with her brother Hans. Unwavering in her convictions and loyalty to the White Rose, her cross-examination by the Gestapo quickly escalates into a searing test of wills as Scholl delivers a passionate call to freedom and personal responsibility that is both haunting and timeless.

SOPHIE SCHOLL received three Lolas (German Oscars) including the Audience Award and Best Actress Award to Jentsch for her brilliant characterization of the title role. The film also won two Silver Bears for Best Director and Best Actress at the 2005 Berlin International Film Festival.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Alexander Kluge: 4 Films

Co-sponsored by Cornell Cinema, the Institute for German Cultural Studies, and PG Kino

Designated Tuesdays at 7:15 pm in the Schwartz Center Film Forum

Feb 7 Abschied von gestern (Yesterday Girl), 1966 (1 hour 30 Mins)
March 13 Artisten in der Zirkuskuppel, ratlos (Artists in the Ring, Perplexed), 1968 (1 hour 43 mins)
Apr 3 Die Macht der Gefühle (The Power of Emotion), 1983 (1 hour 55 mins)
Apr 24 Deutschland im Herbst (Germany in Autumn), 1978 (2 hours 3 mins)

Before Werner Herzog or Rainer Werner Fassbinder there was Alexander Kluge. One of the first auteurs of the New German Cinema, Kluge was a guiding light for a generation of filmmakers intent on challenging post-war Germany’s “Papa’s Cinema” in the name of rebellion, critique and confrontation with the nation’s traumatic past and tumultuous present. Kluge began his career as a novelist and lawyer, but following the advice of philosopher and critic Theodor Adorno soon started working in the film industry, acting as an assistant for Fritz Lang during the legendary director’s return to German filmmaking. Signing the landmark Oberhausen Manifesto in 1962, Kluge joined his filmmaking peers in support of short films and features capable of critically educating viewers in a politicized era marked by Cold War politics, student rebellion and intergenerational conflict. Starting in the mid-sixties Kluge would make a string of thoughtful masterpieces vitally linked to his times as well as to his parallel career as an author and philosopher, with groundbreaking works on the importance of art forms like cinema for producing new public spheres. Ever the engaged, timely critic, Kluge has most recently made two ambitious films exploring the global financial crisis. Looking back on his career and the greater achievements of New German Cinema, Kluge remarked, “We felt responsible for drawing society's attention to things. Precisely because we were not powerful we had to grasp everything.”

This winter Cornell Cinema is pleased to present four of Alexander Kluge’s greatest films. His first full-length feature, Yesterday Girl (1966), casts the director’s sister as a young East German crossing the Berlin Wall in search of career opportunities, drifting from job to job on the rough fringes of her new home. Hailed as a breakthrough in post-war German cinema, Kluge adapts the style and concerns of New Wave filmmakers like Jean-Luc Godard for a powerful and poetic critique of West German life. His next film, Artists in the Ring: Perplexed (1968), would win the Golden Bear at Venice in the heady year of 1968, sparking controversy and intense debate. A collage of its times, Artists follows a circus as it transforms from entertaining spectacle into revolutionary experiment, with Kluge exploring the possibility for popular culture to challenge audiences to think critically about their country’s past and future. Organized and overseen by Kluge, Germany in Autumn (1978) is a landmark project, a compendium of short works by the leading lights of New German Cinema, with segments directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Volker Schlöndorff. Examining the political terrorism of the Red Army Faction as it impacted West German politics, media and everyday life in the mid-seventies, Autumn uses a blend of documentary portraits and fictional tales to construct a searing portrait of a violent, fearful turning point in German history. One of Kluge’s most philosophically probing films, The Power of Emotions (1983) is a moving and evocative examination of the fleeting, immaterial emotions that seem to rise out of a hum-drum world of objects, things and commodities. A collage of stories, documentary footage and narrated film essays, Emotions is comprised of chapters detailing, among other intriguing topics, the justice system, the history of opera and the industrial revolution.

The series is cosponsored with PG Kino and the Institute for German Cultural Studies, and is being offered in conjunction with Professor Leslie Adelson’s German Studies graduate seminar on Kluge as a literary author. The screenings are offered for free and will be introduced by Brían Hanrahan, Faculty Fellow in the Dept. of Theatre, Film & Dance, who will also lead post-screening discussions.
(Cornell Cinema)

For more information please visit the Cornell Cinema website

Monday, November 21, 2011

Nov 22: Das weisse Band (The White Ribbon)

Dir. Michael Haneke (Germany, 2009)
144 mins. German with English subtitles
Tuesday, November 22, 8pm
Seminar Room of Alice Cook House (West Campus)
Free and open to the public

Strange accidents occur in a small village in the north of Germany during the years just before World War I. Gradually the events seem to take on the character of ritual punishment. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Nov 15: Caché (Hidden)

Dir. Michael Haneke (France 2005)
117 mins, French with English subtitles
Seminar Room of the Alice Cook House (West Campus)
Tuesday November 15, 8pm

George, host of a TV literary review, receives packages with videos of himself and his family shot secretly from the street, and obscure drawings. He has no idea who may be sending them. George feels a sense of menace, but since no direct threat has been made, the police refuse to help...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Oct 28: Das Schloss (The Castle)

PG KINO presents:

Tuesday, October 25 at 8:00pm

Alice Cook House, Seminar Room

as part of the Michael Haneke series

Dir. Michael Haneke (1997). Running Time: 123 min. English subtitles. Free and open to the public.

“Haneke's screen adaptation is his weakest film to date. It feels rushed and hectic, a far cry from both his first film and the texture of Kafka's original novel. Ultimately, it adds little to our understanding of either Kafka or Haneke.” (A. J. Horton, Central European Review)

How cold does Michael Haneke have to be for a punitively faithful Kafka adaptation to qualify as one of his most humane works? (F. Croce, Slant Magazine)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 27: Mauerhase

Pandaemonium Germanicum presents the PG Kino Spring 2011 series, "Berlin Films II: Love, Life, and Murder”

MAUERHASE (Rabbit à la Berlin)

dirs. Bartek Konopka, Piotr Rosołowski
2009, 49 min. In German (no subtitles)

“The cold war has been examined from many different perspectives
. Only now, though, are we getting the rabbit's point of view on the division of Europe in the postwar years. Bartek Konopka's Oscar-nominated documentary tells the largely ignored story of the thousands of wild rabbits who thrived in the so-called death zone of the Berlin Wall – the strip of no man's land on the eastern side of the wall.

Rabbit à la Berlin isn't exactly a natural history documentary. It is intended more as an allegorical study of a totalitarian system. The rabbits are used as a device to burrow into recent east European social history. Just as the rabbits were expelled from their makeshift Eden when the Berlin wall came down, many in the Soviet bloc had to adjust to the strange new post-communist world.”

-The Guardian

Preceded by an introduction and followed by an open discussion
Free and open to the public

(photo from