Your 25 favorite German films

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Your 25 favorite German films

Postby A » Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:25 pm

Since we had a little controversy surrounding the "100 most significant German films" list, how about making our own?

I thought that 100 was probably too big a number for most of us, so I limited it down to 25. I think this way we can all endorse aour favorite masterpieces in an easier way.

German here means all films produced on what was considered "German" soil throughout film history, including the GDR or the Third Reich. Hope this statement is clear enough.

I'll try and list mine in order of preference (though it's really tough).

1. Marseille (Angela Schanelec / 2004)
2. Bungalow (Ulrich Köhler / 2002)
3. Klassenverhältnisse "Class Relations" (Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet / 1984)
4. Verrückt bleiben, verliebt bleiben (Elfi Mikesch / 1997)
5. Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders / 1984)
6. Heaven (Tom Tykwer / 2002)
7. Zwischen zwei Kriegen "Between two Wars" (Harun Farocki / 1977)
8. Unter der Milchstraße "Under the Milky Way" (Mathias X. Oberg / 1995)
9. Der Felsen "A Map of the Heart" (Dominik Graf / 2001)
10. Sophiiiie! (Michael Hofmann / 2002)
11. Rosa Luxemburg (Margarethe von Trotta / 1986)
12. Die Bergkatze "The Wildcat" (Ernst Lubitsch / 1921)
13. Vampyr - Der Traum des Allan Grey "Vampyr" (Carl Theodor Dreyer / 1931)
14. L'amour, l'argent, l'amour "Love, Money, Love" (Philip Gröning / 2000)
15. Der Aufenthalt "The Turning Point" (Frank Beyer / 1983)
16. M (Fritz Lang / 1931)
17. Verfehlung (Heiner Carow / 1991)
18. Othon (Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet / 1969)
19. Metropolis (Fritz Lang / 1927)
20. Händler der vier Jahreszeiten "The Merchant of Four Seasons" (R.W. Fassbinder / 1972)
21. Frau fährt, Mann schläft (Rudolf Thome / 2004)
22. Pünktchen und Anton "Punktchen and Anton" (Thomas Engel / 1953)
23. Goff in der Wüste "Goff in the Desert" (Heinz Emigholz / 2003)
24. Identity Kills (Sören Voigt / 2003)
25. Gegen die Wand "Head-On" (Fatih Akin / 2004)

Boy, this was much more difficult than I thought it would be. Maybe I should have settled for a Top 50...
Let's see what you got. We can still expand our lists later on.

Re: Your 25 favorite German films

Postby wpqx » Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:39 pm

1. Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980)
2. M (1931)
3. Aguirre the Wrath of God (1972)
4. False Movement (1975)
5. Hitler, A Film From Germany/Our Hitler (1977)
6. Not Reconciled (1965)
7. Wings of Desire (1987)
8. Variety (1925)
9. Metropolis (1927)
10. The Great Ecstasy of the Sculptor Steiner (1977)
11. Kings of the Road (1976)
12. Olympia (1938)
13. The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (1972)
14. Cobra Verde (1987)
15. Die Nibelungen (1924)
16. Faust (1926)
17. Westfront 1918 (1930)
18. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1932)
19. Das Boot (1981)
20. Pandora's Box (1928)
21. Nosferatu (1922)
22. The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979)
23. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919)
24. Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (1927)
25. The Tin Drum (1979)

Very clearly I need to see some contemporary German films.

Re: Your 25 favorite German films

Postby R6dw6C » Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:25 pm

Thanks for realising my idea, A. It would've probably lasted a few more months for me to pull myself together...

I really insisted on this thread because of that "The 100 most significant German Films" and though there isn't one really bad film on your list, wpqx (expect of the awful, bluffy "Wings of Desire"), it confirms that internationally, most people totally depend on which films are mentioned in the pursuant literature and, of course, which are available on DVD. In other words, it's very difficult to get an authentic idea of German cinema. If compared to other european countries - one can easily get an idea of what Italian, British or French Cinema covered (thanks to television and DVD) but countries like Germany, Spain or Scandinavia...

I'll be back tomorrow...

Re: Your 25 favorite German films

Postby wpqx » Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:48 pm

Well obviously availability has a great deal to do with it. The few contemporary German films I get a chance to see are usually internationally safe fare like Downfall. I'm just a little embarrassed that the newest film on my list is from 1987. That said I did like Run Lola Run a lot and might even amend the list, but I feel odd calling that the best German film of the last twenty years.

Re: Your 25 favorite German films

Postby R6dw6C » Sun Mar 23, 2008 6:48 pm

I'll comment more extensively (in general and also on my own list) when I'm back, meanwhile, here's my list (I'll fix the formatting later):

Hamlet (Sven Gade, Heinz Schall, 1921)
Die freudlose Gasse The Joyless Street (Georg Wilhem Pabst, 1925)
M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder M - A City Is Looking For A Murderer (Fritz Lang, 1931)
Zu neuen Ufern To New Shores (Detlef Sierck [= Douglas Sirk], 1937)
Liebe '47 Love '47 (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1948)
Der Verlorene The Lost One (Peter Lorre, 1951)
Das fliegende Klassenzimmer The Flying Classroom (Kurt Hoffmann, 1954)
Monpti (Helmut Käutner, 1957)
Die toten Augen von London The Dark Eyes of London (Alfred Vohrer, 1961)
Der Schatz im Silbersee The Treasure of Silver Lake (Harald Reinl, 1962)
Die endlose Nacht The Endless Night (Will Tremper, 1963)
Die Tote von Beverly Hills The Dead Woman of Beverly Hills (Michael Pfleghar, 1964)
Abschied Farewell (Egon Günther, 1968)
Sieben Tage Frist Seven Days of Grace (Alfred Vohrer, 1969)
Götter der Pest Gods of the Plague (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1970)
Rote Sonne Red Sun (Rudolf Thome, 1970)
Deadlock (Roland Klick, 1970)
Ich liebe dich, ich töte dich I Love You, I Kill You (Uwe Brandner, 1971)
Faustrecht der Freiheit Fist Right of Freedom (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1974)
Das Ende des Regenbogens The End of the Rainbow (Uwe Frießner, 1979)
Alpha City (Eckhart Schmidt, 1985)
Schramm (Jörg Buttgereit, 1993)
Die tödliche Maria Deadly Maria (Tom Tykwer, 1993)
Requiem (Hans-Christian Schmid, 2006)
Auf der anderen Seite The Edge of Heaven (Fatih Akin, 2007)

I would've loved to expand it to 30 or 35 films but I wasn't sure if that's okay, so I tried to limit it to 25.
As usual, I didn't order the films by my personal appreciation but by the years they were produced.
Furthermore, though this is a very personal list, I tried to include at least two films from every decade, that's why the two latest efforts are in (they also are personal favourites nevertheless).

Re: Your 25 favorite German films

Postby R6dw6C » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:47 pm

@ wpqx:

If you desire to see more contemporary German films (and not German mainstream as "The Downfall" or "The Perfume"), the more interesting and worthwhile German films of the last few years mostly are available with English subtitles here; that reminds me one more time that I have to finish that index of English friendly German DVDs. "Run Lola Run" is a fine film but definitely not the best German film of the last 20 years. Hope you'll get a chance to see Tykwer's "Deadly Maria" and "Winterschläfer" in the Future.

The main unpleasant thing about the availability of German films in the US (of all international countries, Japan, France and Greece (!) probably offer the most diverse assortment) is that they almost only release our classics and popular films. Many of the films on my list (like "The Endless Night" or "Seven Days of Grace" [which was promoted in the US as a horror film at its time - absurd, as it is a reserved boarding school drama with some crime elements. You could probably count Germany's horror films on two hands, the genre isn't very popular here]) will probably never appear on DVD in the US (and aren't available on VHS, too). So, I'm not surprised that your list consists of renowned classics ("Not Reconciled" is an exception, though. It's an invisible film. How did you get to see it?).

@ All:

Just wanted to add that the inclusion of "The Dark Eyes of London" and "The Treasure of Silver Lake" is a bit special. Both films are warm childhood / youth memories (not only for me but for millions of Germans) and belong to the small number of features which I've seen over and over again over the years, probably, I've seen both around 10, 15 times or so. Though my point of view is different nowadays (much of the erstwhile magic has gone), I still love and adore the Karl May and Edgar Wallace-Films very much (the Wallace films first evoked my fascination for cinema), even though I know that they're extremely naive and kitschy. So, I simply had to include one film of each series in my list. Beside that, they're already a part of our cultural history and are shown on TV over and over again. Every German knows Winnetou and Old Shatterhand, as well as Joachim Fuchsberger in the repeating role of the young and charming Scotland Yard Inspector (opposed by villains like Gert Fröbe, Klaus Kinski and Albert Lieven).

A told me that it's all right to expand the lists.

Oh, and if you want to know more about one of those films, ask me! (I believe A has more luck because he already reviewed many of his favourites ).

Re: Your 25 favorite German films

Postby wpqx » Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:00 am

I got a DVD-R of Not Reconciled which looked to be transfered directly from a film print. Not the best quality but beggars can't be choosers when dealing with Straub and Hulliet.

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