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High up and far below

Maike Müller
Maike Müller

High above the clouds and deep in the basement, six genre films with cult potential explore the human condition.

High up and far below

Science fiction, fairy tales, and horror are some of what FILMFEST MÜNCHEN has to offer this year — from Germany, Argentina, the United States, and Brazil. TIDES is set in outer space. In this drama, the Earth must be discovered anew. Having been rendered infertile by years spent on another planet, human beings must determine whether they can repopulate the home planet they’d once destroyed. This is grandiose, atmospheric sci-fi from Germany. In Filmmakers Live!, director Tim Fehlbaum and producer Thomas Wöbke talk about their film and what the future may hold for German genre cinema.

A little further down, but still high above the clouds, vampires are loose in an airplane. BLOOD RED SKY is wacky, but not apathetic: the vampire attack is the responsibility of a mother who really just wants to protect her son. Director Peter Thorwarth also talks about his horror thriller in Filmmakers Live! In THE PINK CLOUD, the sky is angry. In director Iuli Gerbase’s Brazilian dystopia, a poisonous cloud forces people to go into lockdown because if they’re outdoors, it will kill them in seconds. It’s impractical to be stuck inside with someone you’ve just had a one-night stand with, as Giovana, the protagonist, is. Fortunately, the open-air cinema offers plenty of fresh air to go with the film. Gerbase herself will engage in a discussion with other directors from the Americas in a Filmmakers Live! talk.

Karen Cinorre, the director of MAYDAY, will also be participating in this talk. Her film takes the audience to a surreal parallel world that seems fairytale-like, but also has a very dark side; it features metaphorically charged dialogues and an extraordinary heroine’s journey. THE DOG WHO WOULDN’T BE QUIET is also a bit apocalyptic. It deals with the frail existence of a man of about thirty who wanders through the world, somewhat lost, in a kind of diving helmet.

Nearly all of these films take their dystopian world with a grain of salt — and almost all of them have cult potential. As does A PURE PLACE, which is set in beautiful Greece. But the members of a cult that follows a leader named Fust don’t have it so nice, at least not all of them. The “dirty” children live in the basement and make soap while everyone upstairs walks around in dazzling white robes. Two siblings break out of the basement, each taking a different path to escape this “Hygiene Ad Absurdum”, as the Filmmakers Live! talk with director Nikias Chryssos and actor Sam Louwyck, who portrays Fust, is so wonderfully titled. Perhaps they and all the other sufferers of dystopia in the genre films at the Filmfest will succeed in escaping to a better life.

 

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