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LET’S GET INTO THE GROOVE!

Sedat Aslan
Sedat Aslan

There’s music in the air at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN this year! Several selected musical films invite you to experience the theater as a club or even a concert hall as you listen to magical melodies by magnificent musicians.

LET’S GET INTO THE GROOVE!

What happens when the paths of a nightclub operator, a bartender, a university professor, a suicidal woman, two petty criminals, and a recently unemployed man cross on the eve of the lifting of a ban on dancing in New York City? Answer: everyone gets into the groove! Christina Kallas’ approach to major philosophical and social issues in her indie gem PARIS IS IN HARLEM is as free-flowing as an evening of jazz. Moreover, the amazing music gets into your head from the very start. The place that everything revolves around over the course of a day is the historic Paris Blues bar in Harlem. The film gives us such ample performances that at some point we feel like we’ve actually been to this bar, or at least feel like going straight to the nearest jazz bar.

This is only one of the films at this year’s festival that have a strong musical focus, that whet our appetite for music, and that in a sense even transform the movie theater. This is felt most intensely in the crescendos conducted by Ennio Morricone in THE GLANCE OF MUSIC, in which his longtime friend and collaborator, director Giuseppe Tornatore (CINEMA PARADISO, THE LEGEND OF 1900), turns the movie theater into a concert hall, leaving the stage to the maestro, his melodies, and his innumerable admirers. What results is a chronicle of a long career which reveals the maestro’s immense virtuosity and the essence of his soul as a self-critical artist, and which magically brings Ennio Morricone back to life.

 

Ennio Online1

the glance of music

The precise counterpart to this is SIRENS by Rita Baghdadi — a musical documentary about Slave to Sirens, the first all-female metal band from the Middle East. Baghdadi skillfully uses techniques from feature films to tell a universal coming-of-age story. Five young women from the outskirts of Beirut — Lilas, Shery, Maya, Alma, and Tatyana — have big dreams, but few opportunities in their homeland. A performance at a British music festival doesn’t deliver the breakthrough the band had longed for, and to make matters worse, Lilas and Shery have a falling-out. Will the band be able to work things out?

Combining documentary and feature-film elements as he often does, Rosa von Praunheim portrays the dichotomy of a life split between public appearances and private longing in REX GILDO – THE LAST DANCE. Rex Gildo’s songs and musical films were immensely popular; his biggest hit was “Fiesta Mexicana” in 1972. Von Praunheim, an old master of film directing, offers a portrait of a flamboyant lifestyle in the social context of the gay pride movement, while also describing the normative pressures of the Schlager music industry and the profound changes underway in society today. Archival footage and recently released interview sequences complement the newly shot fictional content which resurrects the classic Schlager world in deceptively bright colors.

Sirens Online3

Sirens

Hallelujah Online1

HALLELUJAH: LEONARD COHEN, A JOURNEY, A SONG

Rex Gildo Online2

REX GILDO – the last dance

HALLELUJAH: LEONARD COHEN, A JOURNEY, A SONG is dedicated to another musical icon, albeit in a completely different context. This multifaceted collage around one of the world’s most popular songs shows how Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, initially rejected by the record company, ultimately went down in history. This purely documentary work by two Emmy Award-winning filmmakers features a wealth of previously unreleased archival and interview footage, and uses the song’s eventful journey to paint a complex portrait of a musical legend.

Directors Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller will answer your questions about HALLELUJAH: LEONARD COHEN, A JOURNEY, A SONG on Friday, June 24, at 4 pm in the Karolinensaal at the Amerikahaus. You can also meet legendary director Rosa von Praunheim at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN in a FILMMAKERS LIVE! talk on REX GILDO – THE LAST DANCE titled “King of Queer” on Friday, July 1, at 6:30 pm in the Theatersaal at the Amerikahaus. Join us where the music’s playing, and “Let’s get into the groove!”

See also

The worth of living
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The worth of living

November 30 2022

In cooperation with the NS-Dokumentationszentrum München, FILMFEST MÜNCHEN will show the documentary A BREATH OF LIFE by Matteo Botrugno and Daniele Coluccini on Wednesday, December 7, at 7 pm. Admission is free. The two co-directors will be present and will have a conversation with Filmfest programmer Julia Weigl after the film.

New German Cinema in the Westpark Yurt
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New German Cinema in the Westpark Yurt

October 27 2022

On four Thursdays in November, the Gans am Wasser yurt in Munich’s Westpark will be turned into a screening room, as films are shown on the big screen in a casual, autumnal living room atmosphere, and all absolutely free of charge.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
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MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

July 4 2022

The 39th FILMFEST MÜNCHEN came to an end this weekend with the Award Ceremony. After two years of the pandemic, we’ve managed a fresh start!