Film Neu - featuring contemporary films from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, has been one of my favorite festivals for many years now. The last one was January 2012 so it has been a while. The opening film is 'Oh Boy' at 7 pm - "Guided by a pitch-perfect jazz soundtrack, we watch our hero meander through a day and night in Berlin...the film doesn’t try to outsmart its audience or glaze its sincerity with sugary levels of irony – or try too hard to do the opposite...Set this all in one of the best portrayals of contemporary Berlin ever...and you’ve got something destined to be an international art-house hit."
A talk with the film's cinematographer follows, and then we walk over to the Goethe-Institut on 7th St. for a reception that includes a buffet with desserts and good beer and wine. The price for everything is $27.50 - not bad for a film, dinner and drinks. It may sell out, so if you'd like to go, you should buy a ticket. Here is the link to E Street Cinema. You want to hit on Friday, Oct. 4 and then 7 pm - Oh Boy. Again, here is ticket link.
The discussions with people at Goethe are always very good - about the film we'll see and films in general. Eddie Cockrell, who has seen every film in existence and been to every festival, comes from Australia for this and is always fun to talk to (and drink with). E Street is across from Metro Center and Goethe-Institut across from the Chinatown Metro.
Awards: Outstanding Feature Film, Best Director, Best Actor (German Film Awards 2013), Best Director, FIPRESCI Jury Award & Fedeora Jury Award (Bratislava 2012), Best Screenplay Award (Munich 2012)
Germany, 2013, black and white, 85 minutes, German with English subtitles.
Director/Screenplay: Jan Ole Gerster Producer: Marcos Kantis Cast: Tom Schilling, Marc Hosemann, Friederike Kempter, Andrea Schröders, Justus von Dohnányi, Arnd Klawitter, Martin Brambach, Frederick Lau, Ulrich Noethen, Michael Gwisdek Sales: Beta Cinema (Oberhaching, Germany) US Distributor: Music Box Films
Discussion with cinematographer Philipp Kirsamer follows the first screening.
The litany of woes facing today’s young people isn’t much greater in number than the laments of their forebears: losing a job, a relationship, looking for a good cup of coffee and so forth. What’s challenging is seeing a fresh perspective along such well-trodden cinematic territory. So it is a pleasant surprise indeed to discover Jan Ole Gerster’s Oh Boy, the luminous black-and-white 24-hour misadventures of one disaffected youth in contemporary Berlin. Passive slacker Niko Fischer (Tom Schilling) can’t seem to do much right but thankfully doesn’t much care. After listlessly ditching his girlfriend and having his stipend cut off by his father, who thought he’d been studying law the past two years, a series of events and encounters serve to bring the young man around… or perhaps not. With its mellow jazz score and obvious love for the metropolis, Oh Boy—the title comes from the Beatles’ A Day in the Life—has echoes of Woody Allen’s Manhattan and Alexander Payne’s Sideways. Winner of numerous of international prizes, including the German Film Awards for best production, director, actor, supporting actor (Michael Gwisdek), screenplay and the original music by The Major Minors & Cherilyn MacNeil, Oh Boy sets just the right tone for another week-long celebration of German-language cinema.—Eddie Cockrell