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German-English ping-pong


The new releases to hit German screens yesterday are either local or English-language. Up against two US blockbusters – including the eagerly awaited US co-production Scoop by Woody Allen and UK sci-fi comedy Alien Autopsy by Jonny Campbell – five German films opened this week, headed by Pingpong [+see also:
film review
interview: Matthias Luthardt
interview: Sebastian Urzendowsky
film profile

Since its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival (in the Critics Week section), the debut film by 34 year-old Dutch-born francophile director Matthias Luthardt charmed critics and juries with its subtle style of injecting venom into the secret life of an ordinary middle-class family.

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The film – produced by Junifilm and sold by Media Luna Entertainment – is being distributed by German outfit Arsenal Filmverleih.

Meanwhile, Wim Wender’s company Reverse Angle are releasing another Cannes title (presented out of competition), The House is Burning by Holger Ernst. The outfit are also handling its international sales. The English-language title recounts a few hours in the lives of a handful of young American drifters who feel threatened by the adult world, which exacerbates their insanity and violence.

Senator is releasing comedy title Where is Fred!? by Anno Saul (Kebab Connection), a Hofmann & Voges Entertainment and Neue Bioskop Film co-production, starring Jürgen Vogel, Alexandra Maria Lara and Til Schweiger, whose search for a girlfriend sees him going so far as to pretend to be a handicapped basketball player.

The fourth German feature of the week is Smoke Signs by Rudolf Thome (You Told Me You Love Me), starring well-known actress Hannelore Elsner (her fourth time appearing in one of Thome’s films) as a single mother who welcomes at her guesthouse and into her life a worn-out traveller not eager to leave.

Produced by Berlin-based Moana Film, the film is on release through Prometheus.

Ventura are releasing the only documentary of the week, Vom Schaukeln der Dinge by Beatrix Schwehm, a Trifilm production about the life of cabaret actor and author Rudolf Höhn who suffered from Parkinson’s disease during his career.

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(Translated from French)

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