Category Archives: Art & Cinematographie

Berlin and Beyond Film Festival in San Francisco: Feb 9-15, 2018

BEUYS ©zeroonefilm | bpk | Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung |Stiftung Museum Schloss Moyland | UteKlophaus

Listen Up, Everyone! Berlin & Beyond – The German Film Festival is Coming to Town

On Friday, 09 February 2018, the Berlin and Beyond Film Festival, presented annually by the Goethe- Institut San Francisco, will kick off its 22nd year at San Francisco’s historic and iconic Castro Theatre (February 9th-11th). Expect red carpet premieres, with actors and filmmakers in attendance, along with screenings – for the first time – at Landmark Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley on February 12th, and at the auditorium of the Goethe-Institut in Downtown San Francisco from February 13th-15th.

With an annual attendance of more than 10,000 film-goers, the Berlin & Beyond Film Festival has been the leading festival of contemporary German cinema in the Americas since 1996, and has presented more than 500 motion pictures, along with the presence of celebrated film figures, including Fatih Akin, Moritz Bleibtreu, Daniel Brühl, Hannelore Elsner, Florian David Fitz, Bruno Ganz, Maria Schrader, Barbara Sukowa, and Wim Wenders.

WELCOME TO GERMANY (WILLKOMMEN BEI DEN HARTMANNS) © Warner Bros Entertainment

The opening night film, Welcome to Germany (Willkommen bei den Hartmanns), begins at 6:30pm on Friday, 09 February 2018 (a Northern California premiere). In the film, a well-off Munich family offers boarding to Diallo, a refugee from Nigeria. Their lives are tested when they have to face racism, bureaucracy, and terror suspicions because of him. A timely social comedy, Welcome to Germany, was the highest grossing German film at the local box office in 2016 and first part of 2017 with more than 3.5 million admissions. The film’s Writer and Director, Simon Verhoeven, will be in attendance.

THE BLOOM OF YESTERDAY (DIE BLUMEN VON GESTERN) © Edith Held/DOR FILM-WEST/Four Minutes Filmproduktion/DOR Film

The festival’s Centerpiece Film, The Bloom of Yesterday (Die Blumen von Gestern), directed by Chris Kraus, will enjoy its San Francisco Premiere at 6:30pm on Saturday, Feb 10th at the Castro Theater. In this film starring: Lars Eidinger, Adèle Haenel, Jan Josef Liefers, and Hannah Herzsprung a Holocaust scholar (who is secretly the grandson of a Nazi war criminal), takes on an intern who is the granddaughter of a Holocaust victim. The mismatched pair bond over familial legacies and stumble towards romance.

Lars Eidinger (Personal Shopper, Clouds of Sils Maria), who plays Totila Blumen, will be in attendance.

EGON SCHIELE: DEATH AND THE MAIDEN (EGON SCHIELE: TOD UND MÄDCHEN) © Novotny & Novotny Filmproduktion

Also celebrating a San Francisco premiere is the Castro closing night film, Egon Schiele: Death and the Maiden (Egon Schiele: Tod und Mädchen), directed by Dieter Berner, and starring Noah Saavedra, Maresi Riegner, Valerie Pachner, and Marie Jung.

This film takes us to the beginning of the 20th century when Egon Schiele was one of the most provocative artists in Vienna. His life and work are driven by beautiful women and an era that is coming to an end. Two women will have a lasting impact on him – his sister and first muse Gerti, and 17-year-old Wally, arguably Schiele’s one true love, immortalized in his famous painting “Death and the Maiden”. Schiele’s radical paintings scandalize Viennese society, and Schiele is also prepared to sacrifice love and life for his art.

The Castro closing night film will screen on Sunday, February 11th, at 8:30pm.

Tickets and passes are available online through Brown Paper Tickets, and at select venues. Visit www.berlinbeyond.com to view the film schedule, to purchase tickets, and for more information about the festival and venues, including helpful transit and parking hints!

See you there at #BerlinBeyond22 !

The Venues:
Castro Theater (Feb. 09-11) 429 Castro Street (at Market) San Francisco CA 94114
Landmark Theatres Shattuck Cinemas (Feb. 12) 2230 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley CA 94704
Goethe-Institut Auditorium (Feb. 13-15) 530 Bush Street (street entry, near Grant) San Francisco CA 94108

CREDITS: Images Courtesy Berlin & Beyond Film Festival, Photo Copyrights (see underneath images):  ©Warner Bros Entertainment, ©Edith Held/DOR FILM-WEST/Four Minutes Filmproduktion/DOR Film, ©Novotny & Novotny Filmproduktion

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Christopher Chin is an accomplished underwater videographer and writer who has traveled extensively and speaks several languages. He studied German at the University of California, Berkeley, and quickly fell in love with the German language, culture and people. In early 2006, Christopher co-founded The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education (COARE), and currently serves as its Executive Director.

Christopher is an internationally recognized expert in ocean policy and conservation issues, and has provided valuable and persuasive testimony to various governing and legislative bodies in the U.S. and in Canada, and he has had the privilege of addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations on two separate occasions.

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INTIMACY

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Intimacy

(A Poem by Nils-Henrik Fuertes)
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Laughter echoes off the timeworn landscape of birch cabinetry
Pealing in my ears as I sit on
My straight-backed chair,
Chattering of my siblings such an archaic sound
Yet worn with a love I never forget.

The glare of cheerful electric lights enlightens every corner
Enhancing the metallic sparkle of the fridge.
Dull green paint on the walls
A faded memory of the old days
Like an endearing grandparent.

Calm air flows smoothly from the humming kitchen vent.
Classical music ever-present in the background.
Dancing flames tapping
A variety of rattling pots on the excited stove
Attempting to consume the savory scents drifting about the room.

Sugary orange yams with cinnamon
Melting in a tray of warm creamy butter,
Homemade goodness enveloping my senses.
A stark contrast to the homely furnishing
Splashing color upon the scene.

Dishes bang on the smooth granite countertop
Met with the subtle and sophisticated
Tinkling from champagne glasses,
And the merry jingle of silverware,
Preparing for the feast.
Ice-cold cider whooshes into glasses with gusto
Eggnog clouds my nostrils,
Radiating heat from the oven clings to my face.
Tenderly.
Softened by the breeze of pattering footsteps.

Water merrily babbles from the sink like a well-known relative
Harmonizing with the whistling of the teapot.
Grouchily the oven screeches on its rusty hinges
Competing with the oblivious chirping of my parakeet
Not aware that a bird is being prepared for dinner!

The spice-filled pumpkin pie waits on the microwave
Awaiting its moment of glory,
Gravy splashes in the boat.
Mashed potatoes steaming impatiently
As the cranberry sauce giggles in its bubbly pot.

Stealthily, I sneak up next to the animated stove
The hilts of the knives glinting me a mischievous smile,
And there it is!
The gem of Thanksgiving dinner
A seasoned turkey roasting to a crisp inside of the searing oven.

Thanksgiving is shortly upon me.
My kitchen is now alive with newfound sensations,
A reassurance to me and my family
Warmly filling my heart.
Affection.

 

©Nils-Henrik Fuertes

Image: Rockwell [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


 

 

Art Sampling in Los Angeles

Art Walks are calling

These days beautiful Southern California weather and warm temperatures are beckoning us outside. What better time to check out the LA art scene, especially since some great art events are just around the corner.

One is in fact happening tomorrow. The Brewery Art Walk Community opens its doors tomorrow and Sunday from 11am to 6pm. More than 100 participating artists in residence let you experience up close how they live and work. If you see some artwork you like, strike up a conversation with the artist right there and then. At the Brewery Art Walk you are basically breathing art. Anything you can remotely call art, you can find here.

Brewery Art Walk is fun, it’s hip and eclectic! There is a spring and a fall art walk and we used to visit at least one of each every year. The atmosphere is definitely a bit crazy but totally fun and groovy. Even people-watching becomes an adventure.

The famous Venice Art Walk is coming up on May 21st (12pm to 6pm). Contrary to the Brewery Art Walk it is not a free event since the proceeds of the event go to the Venice Family Clinic.  Artists as well as architects are opening their homes and studios to the public and let everyone participate in their creative process. Special Studio tours are often offered and apart from fascinating art you can see some stunning homes. The impressive silent auction features famous names like Ed Ruscha, Billy Al Bengston , Sam Durant and many more.

What’s the atmosphere here? You are walking along the cool Venice community close to the beach with all its restaurants and bars. It’s quite a different setting compared to the Brewery Art Walk which is housed in a previous industrial zone with artists’ lofts in former warehouses. And, yes, people-watching is definitely a must also here… you are in Venice Beach after all!

We started our “art walk season” with last week’s Spring Fling at Bergamot Station. Another art haven, this time in Santa Monica. The venue is easily accessible with LA metro’s Expo Line. If you arrive by car, parking can sometimes become a bit challenging.

The Spring Fling event was a collective Open House of about 30 galleries, welcoming art enthusiasts to check out what’s hot in the contemporary art world. Bergamot Station used to be one of our regular art venues to get our ‘art fix’ quite some years ago. So upon hearing of the spring event we packed up the family and left for LA.

Having not been here for a while I perceived the audience and overall vibe as quite a bit different from the exhilaratingly crazy, creative chaos at the Brewery Art Walk. While still colorful and vibrant the audience seemed to be more on the ‘sophisticated’ side and one could feel that the venue here was managed by various gallery businesses rather than an artist community. But that didn’t mean the art was less intriguing. In fact some of the galleries put on some well curated shows. Walking through Bergamot Station felt more like visiting a bunch of micro museums.

It was quite a coincidence that we stumbled upon the abstract architectural sculptures by German artist, Manfred Müller from Düsseldorf, whose work was featured in a show called “Not From Here” at the Rosegallery.

Taking in all what Bergamot Station had to offer, we particularly enjoyed the art installation “People I Saw But Never Met” by Zadok Ben-David at Shoshana Wayne Gallery. 3,000 hand-cut aluminum figures are installed on the gallery floor covered in white sand (see this post’s featured image).

Another highlight was William Turner Gallery’s “Chance and Circumstances”, an exhibition that featured new works by 91 year-old famous and prolific Los Angeles painter, Ed Moses, a central figure in post-war West Coast Art.

One Show that really captivated us long after we had already left for home was Stephen Wilkes’ “Ellis Island- Ghosts of Freedom” at the Peter Fetterman Gallery. The photography exhibition took you on a trip through an abandoned hospital on Ellis Island that the early immigrants to this country had to pass through before they were allowed access to the ‘land of the free’. Stephen Wilkes captured the eerie atmosphere and its history so perfectly that one was literally pulled into each picture’s story.

One picture was taken from such an angle that the Statue of Liberty was visible in the mirror over a sink in a room, where some Eastern European woman might have had to stay to get her health monitored. Wilkes writes in his remarks next to the image, that he was wondering if this was perhaps the closest she could ever get to the freedom she so had longed for…

Striking, thought provoking compositions left you wanting to find out more about this part of history. Apparently Wilkes just came to visit the hospital for a one-time article assignment but it turned into a 5-year project. You can feel his fascination with his project in his exceptional capturing of the various moods and energy in every image. History comes alive under his camera and we seem to become an invisible witness of the many impactful moments that might have had occurred at that time in history.

Still in thought we solemnly made our way back to our car and were grateful for the appeasing pictures by Tamayo and Diego Rivera at the Latin American Masters Gallery before we found ourselves back on the freeway chaos of the late afternoon traffic.

All Images: ©CaliforniaGermans

Sponsored by ADOLESCO.ORG

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FRANTZ – Movie Release in Los Angeles – March 24

FRANTZ, the latest film from renowned filmmaker Francois Ozon, will be released in Los Angeles on March 24 at the Landmark’s Nuart Theatre.

CaliforniaGermans has 2 pairs of movie tickets to give away for March 24 in Los Angeles! If you would like to receive a FREE pair of movie tickets, send us an email here with your full name and mention the movie “FRANTZ”. We will choose and contact 2 lucky movie goers among the first 10 emails we receive.

-FRANTZ –

A haunting tale of love and reconciliation through the eyes of the First World War’s lost generation.

Set in Germany and France in the immediate aftermath of the First World War, (1914-1918), Frantz recalls the mourning period that follows great national tragedies as seen through the eyes of the war’s “lost generation”: Anna (21 year-old Paula Beer in a breakthrough performance), a bereft young German woman whose fiancé, Frantz, was killed during trench warfare, and Adrien (Pierre Niney, Yves Saint Laurent), a French veteran of the war who shows up mysteriously in her town, placing flowers on Frantz’s grave. Adrien’s presence is met with resistance by the small community still reeling from Germany’s defeat, yet Anna gradually gets closer to the handsome and melancholy young man, as she learns of his deep friendship with Frantz, conjured up in evocative flashbacks.

What follows is a surprising exploration of how Ozon’s characters’ wrestle with their conflicting feelings – survivor’s guilt, anger at one’s losses, the overriding desire for happiness despite everything that has come before, and the longing for sexual, romantic and familial attachments.

Inspired by Ernst Lubitsch’s 1932 film Broken Lullaby, FRANTZ is an elegant and dramatic love story—both between two individuals and between two nations at the core of the imperiled European Union experiment.

Early Praise for FRANTZ

“Exquisite and haunting…one of the talented director Francois Ozon’s very best films.” -Paper

“A richly imagined and superbly assembled period piece.” -The Hollywood Reporter

“Astonishingly beautiful and inquisitive. It’s impossible to deny the sheer narrative sophistication.” -Indiewire

Run time: 113 minutes, Rating: PG-13, Language: French and German with English subtitles


Credits: MusicBoxFilms

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Newport Beach Film Festival – German Spotlight Event

IMG_1312NBFF 2016 – German Spotlight Event

Warning: We’re being watched!  With over 350 independent and international films, as well as nightly gala events and industry seminars, this year’s Newport Beach Film Festival offered a rich variety of events in which art, entertainment, and cultural fans could partake in.

I personally had the honor to attend this year’s German Spotlight, which took place on Tuesday, April 26.  This spotlight is especially dear to my heart since I was an event coordinator for it last year when the German film got finally re-introduced to the Newport Beach Film Festival after seven years of absence.  This year, I was curious to see how it feels like to “only” attend as a guest.  I was very much looking forward to sitting back, relaxing, and witnessing some great German filmmaking.  The evening did not disappoint.

This year’s spotlight movie One Breath literally took my breath away.  The film plot is concerned with two women of complete opposite backgrounds whose lives cross paths.  One is wealthy Tessa, who seems to have it all: a great career, a good-looking husband, and one-and-a-half-year old daughter Lotte.  Elena, on the other hand, escapes from Greek, where she had no perspective, leaving her boyfriend behind to move to Frankfurt for a better life, where she finds out that she is pregnant.  She starts working for Tessa as a nanny, but quickly realizes that the seemingly perfect life and the nice apartment Tessa and her family live in is really only pretense.  Tessa appears to be very controlling, and Elena also gets to witness that Tessa’s marriage and life is far from perfect. One fateful afternoon, both Elena’s and Tessa’s lives change dramatically when Lotte disappears while Elena was taking care of her.  Overwhelmed with the situation, Elena flees back to Greece.  Tessa, who is convinced that Elena took the child, travels to Athens, trying to find her and hopefully Lotte.  Unfortunately in this movie, there is only a happy ending for one of the women!  

One Breath definitely deserved to be selected as the German Spotlight film.  It delivers very strong performances by its actors, especially Jördis Triebel as Tessa and Chara Mata Giannatou as Elena convince in their roles.  The movie really pulled viewers deep into its tragic story, and once the final movie credits were being displayed on the big screen, I had a hard time transitioning to party mode for the after-gala.  I was still sucked into the movie plot, trying to understand why one character deserved a better ending than the other.  

IMG_1314Once I arrived at the German Spotlight after-gala, which was held at SoCo and hosted by Design Within Reach, my mood finally changed.  Loud music was popping out of the design store which got perfectly transformed into an amazing party venue with a DJ, live performances, amazing food from Orange County’s premier restaurants and drinks provided by festival sponsors.  I was most amazed by this year’s ice sculpture which was displayed right at the front and had all four spotlight countries engraved.  Of course, I had to take a couple of fun pictures with it.  The food was really amazing as well; I indulged in beef tacos, tomato soup, and mini cake bites.  

All in all, I was more than impressed about what this year’s Newport Beach Film Festival had put together for the European Showcase Spotlight night.  It is great to know that the German movie has made it back to the event for the second year in a row, and I am personally looking forward to more great European filmmaking being celebrated in Orange County.

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Images & video footage: ©Anne-Kathrin Schulte
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Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes on her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She lives in Southern California since 2011.

If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.

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