How do you think it feels to be cut out of a supporting character in a film? Countless supporting actors from the 120 productions from 52 countries that were screened at this year’s Munich Film Festival, including 35 world premieres, must have met this fate. But now they’re getting justice: she wondered what it was like for a character to have a technical error or what Kim Novak felt when she was bathed in a green fog by Alfred Hitchcock in “Vertigo”, the 36- year-old director Sophie Linnenbaum. Her film “The Ordinaries”, Linnenbaum’s degree from the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf, answers all of this. So spectacular and innovative that it won the New German Cinema Promotional Prize, which has been considered a career barometer since 1989, in the director and production categories and thus 50,000 out of a total of 70,000 euros in prize money.
“The Ordinaries” is a science fiction saga shot in Eisenhüttenstadt with elements of 1950s musicals. An ominous institute decides on an army of supporting characters who all want to get a lead role – that’s why the talk is annoying of “outtakes” and “storylines”. The talented Paula (Fine Sendel) finds herself in the shadowy world of the brutally oppressed film proletariat in search of her father, while the main characters dance in their brightly lit villa.
Naira Cavero Orihuel, a graduate of the Munich Film and Television University (HFF), also moved to Forst and the surrounding area in southern Brandenburg. In the drama “Wut auf Kuba”, which she directs in a realistic and raw way, Lena Schmidtke plays a rebellious single parent so convincingly that she received the sponsorship award in the acting category. The psychologist, intensely embodied by Anne Ratte-Polle in “Alle will be loved”, to whom the camera brings the camera almost therapeutically close, wants to reconcile everything that goes terribly wrong. Katharina Woll directed this sharp-tongued tragic comedy and, together with her co-author Florian Plumeyer, received the sponsorship award for the screenplay.
Many of the 15 films that Christoph Gröner empathetically curated as artistic director of the Munich Film Festival for the renowned New German Cinema series seemed thematically overloaded and overly serious. The jury, which also included the actress Almila Bagriacik and the director Sönke Wortmann, missed dramaturgical compression and the occasional wink. This also applies to quite exciting hybrid films such as “Sostalgia” by Marina Hufnagel or the monumental experimental film “Der Rote Berg” by Timo Müller. While Hufnagel fades in infographics on global warming into the quiet plot on Pellworm, Müller and his producer Jessica Krummacher rely on the magnetic effect of red rock near Trier. Grains unfold a hypnotic effect, semi-documentary druid dialogues inside the mountain confuse and fascinate at the same time – so much concentrated geology was rare in German films. In ten years of work, “Der Rote Berg” has become his personal whale Moby Dick, says Müller.
The Munich summer atmosphere was particularly boisterous this year, despite the rampant crises. The economically stricken film industry and the audience that flocked to it after initial hesitation were happy about the many opportunities to meet under a white-blue sky, including a “Beergarden Convention” in the garden of the centrally located America House. To everyone’s relief, it replaced the city’s cultural center in Gasteig, a gloomy stronghold high above the Isar that will be renovated indefinitely. For the first time, all guests at the opening ceremony were able to celebrate in one room and see Marie Kreutzer’s film “Corsage” together. This is how the much-cited cinema atmosphere, an endangered species, unfolded in the 1,600-seat new Isar Philharmonic Hall.
Klaus Lemke, who was born in Prussia, embodies the laid-back attitude to life in Munich, especially in the 1970s. With his proven cutter Florian Kohlert, the 82-year-old created an enchanting montage of his best film scenes, “Champagne for the eyes – poison for the rest”. He greeted the cheering audience with a sign: “Art comes from kissing.”
Lemke is proud of always working without a script – and he appreciates the wit of the German language. The films “When are you coming to kiss my wounds” by Hanna Doose and “Servus Papa, See You in Hell” by Christopher Roth (“Baader”) demonstrate the courage to improvise in this sense.
The always worth seeing Bibiana Beglau seeks refuge with Doose as a failed Berlin artist in her parents’ house in the Black Forest, where she meets her sick sister and former friends and causes chaos with a lot of screaming. However, the film cannot quite decide between ironic social criticism and family constellations and overwhelms its subject.
Christopher Roth’s sect drama is based on real events surrounding the authoritarian Viennese performance artist Otto Muehl and his commune. He is embodied with brilliant energy by Clemens Schick, who wants to claim the right to the first night with the young Jeanne (Jana McKinnon). Sex is compulsory in the commune, love is strictly forbidden, but Jeanne loves Jean. This is how a highly exciting event unfolds, in which many ghastly rhymes have to be endured (“Otto, you do your thing and you’re our king.”)
And then there was the top-class ensemble of speakers that presented the razor-sharp sentences of the Austrian Nobel Prize winner in Claudia Müller’s film “Elfriede Jelinek – Letting the language off the leash”. “The woman belongs in the house. Then she stays there,” says Sophie Rois, for example, with a love of laconicism. Müller’s artful montage homage awakens an appetite for sophisticated literature. The documentary filmmaker said she had to be 58 years old to finally be able to make a film the premiere was not without bitterness.This reference to age discrimination among women was just the right grain of salt in the summer euphoria.