2013, 93 min, Germany, Dir: Johannes Naber

While advising companies on how to maximize profits, cutthroat business consultants Öllers and Niederländer insulate themselves from the dangerous locations where they do business by hunkering down in their various 5-star hotels. When the newly hired Bianca is sent to assist in negotiations, her constant critique of her colleagues’ unscrupulous behavior is unsettling to the executives, who pride themselves on their ability to remain emotionally disconnected. The protagonists reach grotesque extremes within the walls of their hotel, giving Stefan Weigl’s screenplay the feel of a chamber play that’s both darkly comedic and a stinging indictment of contemporary global economics. In German and English with English subtitles.

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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