THE LEGEND OF TIMM THALER OR THE BOY WHO SOLD HIS LAUGHTER
TIMM THALER ODER DAS VERKAUFTE LACHEN
2017, Beta Cinema, 102 min, Germany, Dir: Andreas Dresen

James Krüss’ celebrated 1962 children’s novel comes to life in this delightful fantasy about a young boy’s reckoning with his own identity. Timm Thaler (Arved Friese) is an ordinary child, but he has an extraordinary laugh - a laugh so contagious that the devil himself (Justus von Dohnányi) would trade untold riches to obtain it. After the devious Baron tricks him into trading the laugh for the ability to win any bet, Timm embarks on a quest to settle the score, while discovering the priceless nature of true happiness. With sun-kissed cinematography and big-budget set pieces, this German blockbuster is good-hearted fun for the whole family.


OH BOY
2012, Music Box Films, 83 min, Germany, Dir: Jan-Ole Gerster

Jan Ole Gerster's wry and vibrant feature debut OH BOY, which swept the 2013 German Film Awards, paints a day in the life of Niko, a twenty-something college dropout going nowhere fast. Niko lives for the moment as he drifts through the streets of Berlin, curiously observing everyone around him and oblivious to his growing status as an outsider. Then on one fateful day, through a series of absurdly amusing encounters, everything changes: his girlfriend rebuffs him, his father cuts off his allowance, and a strange psychiatrist dubiously confirms his "emotional imbalance." Meanwhile, a former classmate insists she bears no hard feelings toward him for his grade-school taunts when she was "Roly Poly Julia," but it becomes increasingly apparent that she has unfinished business with him. Unable to ignore the consequences of his passivity any longer, Niko finally concludes that he has to engage with life. Shot in timeless black and white and enriched with a snappy jazz soundtrack, this slacker dramedy is a love letter to Berlin and the Generation Y experience. In German with English subtitles.


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