German cinema comes into Fokus
Films from Germany season hits cinemas across the country
The ineffable cool of Berlin might seem a cliché if it wasn’t for the regular stream of brilliant film-makers who found their muse in Germany’s capital city. The centerpiece of Fokus: Films from Germany, a programme of new and vintage cinema touring across Scotland, is Victoria, a stunning thriller from actor-turned-director Sebastian Schipper. Victoria has a unique premise; the entire 138 minute film is short in one continuous take as dawn breaks over Berlin.
Having appeared in the similarly groundbreaking Run Lola Run, Schipper coaxes high-octane performance levels from his young cast as they scramble through hard-core clubbing, a violent heist, a piano recital, a kidnapping, and a police-shoot-out, with a tender, bitter-sweet love story between Victoria (Laia Costa) and Sonne (Frederick Lau) at the heart of the story. Not out until April 2016, Victoria is a blistering slice of modern cinema that commands attention.
Other new work includes documentary B Movie: Lust & Sound In West Berlin (pictured) which deals with the post-punk scene that exploded in the 1980s faster than you can say Einstürzende Neubauten. And a restrospective tribute to Rainer Werner Fassbinder includes not only the brilliantly shot (by Martin Scorsese’s regular cinematographer Michael Ballhaus) Fox and His Friends, but also Baal, his rarely-screened 1970 version of the classic Brecht text beloved by Berlin’s adoptive son David Bowie. With footballing hamster action in family-friendly film My Friend Raffi offering light relief, Fokus offers a strong-enough cinematic selection to make Berliners of us all.
Scotland-wide, Fri 20 Nov–Tue 15 Dec.