Tips for Friday
Jesse Eisenberg at the opening ceremony
FILMFEST MÜNCHEN 2019 has begun and there are so many great films to discover. If you weren't able to be at the opening gala last night, you'll have another opportunity to see the opening film THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE at 7:30 p.m. in the Carl-Orff-Saal at the Gasteig. Director Riley Stearns and lead actor Jesse Eisenberg, world-famous from his role in THE SOCIAL NETWORK (2010), will be present for a Q&A after the screening. You can get even closer to this duo at 5:30 p.m. in the Black Box. During a Filmmakers Live! discussion, they'll talk about the film shoot, give some background to the film, and take questions from the audience. As with all Filmmakers Live! events, admission to this one is free of charge, so get there quickly while seats are still available.
If you'd prefer to start the weekend off with a bang, you'll find plenty of action-packed choices among this year's films. France in particular is a source of several exciting thrillers. At 8:30 p.m., for example, KNIFE + HEART is showing at the Rio. In late-1970s Paris, Anne is a struggling director and producer of soft-porn films. Mysterious murders suddenly occur during a film shoot. The cast and crew appear to be in the crosshairs of a treacherous killer. Vanessa Paradis in the leading role lends her star quality to a film that's both colorful and bleak. CLOSE ENEMIES, the latest film by David Oelhoffen, is somewhat grittier. Two childhood friends from the same bad neighborhood suddenly meet again as adults on different sides of the law: Driss is now a cop, while Manuel is involved in criminal activity. When fate forces them to collaborate, both of their lives start to come apart. CLOSE ENEMIES, with Matthias Schoenhaerts in the role of Manuel, is showing in the Carl-Orff-Saal at the Gasteig at 10:30 p.m.
French cinema also offers something for the heart. In OUR WONDERFUL LIVES, Margot checks into a rehab clinic. There she struggles not only with herself and her addiction, but also with her new acquaintances. Ultimately, she finds more friendship and support among this motley assortment than she had imagined. This is an ode to cohesion and solidarity, today at 4:30 p.m. at the HFF. ONLY YOU (Münchner Freiheit 3 at 6:00 p.m.) is about the love of one's life. This British drama is the story of Elena and Jake, who experience love at first sight. She's nine years older than he is, but that's not the only reason why their relationship soon becomes more complicated than they'd expected. In PRÉLUDE, David's love for his new girlfriend Marie is the only positive development in his life. He was a star in his home town, but at the conservatory he soon notices that not everyone is cut out to be a concert pianist. The pressure to succeed starts to become too much for him. The world premiere of PRÉLUDE with young acting talent Louis Hofmann (DARK) and Liv-Lisa Fries (BABYLON BERLIN) will take place at 9:00 p.m. at the Sendlinger Tor Kino.
One of this year's guests of honor is Danish director Mads Brügger. Like no other, he combines elements of documentary and feature filmmaking to create quirky but incredibly exciting films. Today at the Filmmuseum, no fewer than three of his greatest projects will be screened one after the other. The evening starts off with THE AMBASSADOR at 5:30 p.m. In this film, Brügger masquerades as a Danish diplomat and smuggles a blood diamond out of Africa. This topic is highly charged, and Brügger's self-portrayal as an old colonial master is amazing to watch. Following this is his first film as director, THE RED CHAPEL, in which Brügger and two comedians travel to North Korea to test the censorship in that country. A screening of THE SAINT BERNARD SYNDICATE, Brügger's first feature film, concludes things at 10:30 p.m. Although he doesn't appear in this film himself, documentary elements again feed into the plot. Two wacky guys have the perfect business idea: to sell Saint Bernard dogs to Chinese people as the pets of the upper class. So it's off to the Middle Kingdom. What could possibly go wrong? With a great deal of warmth, the heroes maneuver through a positively absurd situation.