IN THE AISLES
IN DEN GÄNGEN
2018, Music Box Films, 125 min, Germany, Dir: Thomas Stuber

A moving portrait of blue-collar workers, IN THE AISLES follows Christian (Franz Rogowski), an aspiring forklift driver, as he acclimates to a new job in a wholesale market in an eastern German province. Although the bleak, mundane life of an overnight stocker quickly sets in, Christian finds himself in the middle of a complicated romance with one of his coworkers, played by TONI ERDMANN star Sandra Hüller. Thanks to its arresting visual design and bold music choices, the film strikes a delicate balance between hopeless monotony and charming romanticism. A Golden Bear nominee at the Berlinale and winner of best lead actor at the German Film Awards. “A poignant and richly sympathetic film.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian.


SCHMITKE
2014, 90 min, Germany/Czech Republic, Dir: Stepán Altrichter

Like his once state-of-the-art C 174 wind turbine, 57-year-old German engineer Julius Schmitke (Peter Kurth) is past his prime. Intrigued by reports of a hermit known as “Bear-Man” found living alone in the woods, Schmitke begins to dream of deep, dark forests. When a model C 174 breaks down outside a small Czech town on the German border, Schmitke and his subordinate Gruber are sent to repair it, encountering an odd assortment of townspeople and the impenetrable Ore Mountain forest. After Gruber mysteriously vanishes, Schmitke is drawn to the woods. Katharina Grischkowski’s extraordinary sound design contrasts the creaking of the C 174 with the eerie stillness of the forest, heightening the surreal atmosphere provided by Christian Pirjol’s haunting cinematography. Altrichter, who also co-wrote the screenplay, deftly balances the bizarre and the beautiful in this desolate, deadpan comic mystery. In German and Czech with English subtitles.


GOLD
2013, The Match Factory, 101 min, Germany, Dir: Thomas Arslan

An official selection (competition) at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival, GOLD is a Western about seven German immigrants who set out in search of gold in the backwoods of British Columbia during the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898. Each have their motives: an older couple seeking security, a father (Lars Rudolph) hoping to help his impoverished family, an unpleasant newspaperman (Uwe Bohm) chronicling the journey, and a mysterious packer (Marko Mandic) with a past to outrun. The last to join is Emily Mayer (Nina Hoss), a metropolitan woman whose delicate demeanor masks a steely determination to survive. Assembled by a deceptively confident businessman of questionable motives, the settlers must travel through a relatively uncharted stretch of Canadian wilderness to reach their goal, the gold fields of Dawson. As the path grows more treacherous, betrayals come to light and desperate choices are made. Following in the footsteps of MCCABE AND MRS. MILLER and MEEK'S CUTOFF, GOLD is an epic that offers an unconventional take on the well-worn Western genre. In German with English subtitles.


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