Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Attention, Yet Another Film Review (two in fact): Goodbye Lenin (2003) and East of Bucharest (2006)

I saw with my father last night ‘Goodbye Lenin.’ If the term 'German Comedy' is not an oxymoron, I don't know what is. (I do know that some Bosch will object to my characterization though. A cute, sweet enough film, but the nostalgia for the former East Germany (which I can sort of understand) fell a little flat. The too often used voice over reminded me very much of that of Oskar the diminutive drummer in ‘The Tin Drum, a far better film. While the idea of having your mother missing the fall of the Berlin Wall as a result of a coma and convincing her that it was actually the 'Wessies' who were flooding into East Germany because they were tired of the ‘rat race’ was a clever enough conceit, but the film did not quite capture the horror of the state (for some at least). A much better, funnier film about the time, albeit in a different land, I thought was ‘East of Bucharest,’ a movie about a television talk show where people recount (and lie) as to where they were and what they were doing on December 23rd when the Securitate expelled and afterwards murdered Nicolae Ceauşescu, who knocked down central Bucharest to build a palace bigger than Versailles, and faked the revolution. What I particularly found fun was the absurd question that the Television host presented to his two guests, a drunken professor and a kindly old man: ‘Did our town have a Revolution or Not?’ Indeed, there was something very Ionesco about the film. Both films are worth watching, and both cover the same period, but I found the latter just that much better and that much more terrible.

Tonight, Das Boot: The Original Cut

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