AN early appearance from future Oscar winner and Nairn resident Tilda Swinton is among the things to look out for when Scotland’s first ever festival of innovative and challenging German Cinema, Fokus, comes to Eden Court in December.
Alongside new films and classics from Bertolt Brecht and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, one of the outstanding proponents of the New Cinema Movement, a highlight will B Movie: Lust And Sound In West Berlin, a rollercoaster documentary journey through Berlin’s post-punk scene featuring not only Swinton, but Scottish writer and broadcaster Muriel Gray.
Produced in partnership between Goethe-Institut Glasgow and Filmhouse Edinburgh, the season of films will be screened across Scotland.
"Film is the contemporary expression of the arts that excites us most — and film is so much more than Hollywood," Nikolai Petersen, director of the Goethe-Institut Glasgow, said.
"Fokus: Films from Germany will show you a multifaceted country with a distinct artistic language and place within European film."
Konrad Siller, project director of Fokus, added: "It’s our ambition with Fokus to present a program of films from Germany chosen for Scotland, rather than showcasing ‘the best of German Cinema’ — whatever that might be.
"This ambition has been present in the conversations with our partners, in particular co-organiser Filmhouse Edinburgh and participating venues all over Scotland, and is guiding our approach to this exciting project."
Fokus at Eden Court, Inverness:
Thursday 3rd December:
Beloved Sisters. Director: Dominik Graf.
In late 18th century German, two beautiful, aristocratic sisters meet a young man who is infatuated by both of them, the writer, playwright and philosopher Friedrich Schiller.
Sunday 6th December
Finsterworld. Director: Frauke Finsterwalder.
Five interwoven strands depicting a school trip to a former concentration camp, the relationship between a policeman and a documentary filmmaker, the strange rituals of a retirement home pedicurist, the tale of a forest hermit raising a baby raven, and a rather snobby couple on a road-trip.
Monday 7th December
B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin 1979-1989. Director: Jörg A Hoppe, Klaus Maeck & Heiko Lange.
Documentary featuring Nick Cave, Blixa Bargeld, Gudrun Gut, Die Tödliche Doris, Muriel Grey; narrated by Mark Reeder.
Before the Iron Curtain fell, everything seemed possible in walled-in West Berlin, which became a creative melting pot for subculture and pop culture alike. Right in the midst of it all was Mancunian musician Mark Reeder. Now, through a lovingly compiled collection of visual and audio material, he returns to that frenzied but creative decade.
Saturday 12th December
The first full-length work of iconic playwright Bertolt Brecht, this television production of Baal (by The Tin Drum director Volker Schlöndorff) transposes the action from the Weimar Republic to contemporary West Germany. Anarchic poet Baal (Rainer Werner Fassbinder) lives in abject squalor and roams through forests and along motorways, greedy for schnapps, cigarettes, women and men.
Sunday 13th December
Fox and his Friends. Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
In one of Fassbinder’s most highly-regarded and accessible films, he takes the lead role as Franz, an unemployed showman and prostitute whose fortunes change after he wins the lottery.
Monday 14th December
The Marriage of Maria Braun Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
During the last days of the Second World War, Maria (Hanna Schygulla) marries Hermann Braun, but their marriage lasts only one night before he is called back to the front and reported missing. Maria’s belief that her husband is alive and will return to her leads to tragedy, but her life also becomes inextricably linked with the fortunes of her country as she takes on the world of business during the great German economic boom of the 1950s.