TONI ERDMANN
2016, Sony Pictures Classics, 162 min, Germany/Austria/ Romania, Dir: Maren Ade

Both Cahiers du cinema and Sight & Sound named this thoughtful comedy the best film of the year. Fond of practical jokes, Winfried (Peter Simonischek) hopes to loosen up his career-centric daughter Ines (Sandra Hüller) by visiting her in the guise of a business consultant named Toni Erdmann. “Ade spins out dozens of luminous, shimmering ideas that speak to the way most of us live, and might even challenge us to rethink how we see our parents and our children.” - Stephanie Zacharek, Time.


FINSTERWORLD
2013, 91 min, Germany, Dir: Frauke Finsterwalder

Set in a sunlit country of shiny, happy people, director Frauke Finsterwalder’s fiction debut offers a visually stunning look at the lives of contemporary Germans over the course of a single day. Through its sophisticated screenplay and ensemble cast including Sandra Hüller, Corinna Harfouch, Roland Zehrfeld and Michael Märtens, FINSTERWORLD intertwines the stories of a police officer with a hidden passion; a documentary filmmaker who lacks vision; a pedicurist and his lonely older client; a wealthy couple who refuse to drive in a German car; a history student who is unmoved by a visit to a concentration camp; and a hermit living in the woods. In each case, something is missing, and these deceptively simple scenarios give way to incisive observations about German identity, leavened with warmth and laughter to create a darkly humorous modern fairy tale. In German with English subtitles.


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