1999, Paramount, 103 min, USA, Dir: Alexander Payne

Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon face off in Alexander Payne’s devilish satire of high school politics. Overachieving control freak Tracy Flick (Witherspoon) runs unopposed for student body president, while civics teacher Jim McAllister (Broderick) looks on queasily at her monopoly, and ultimately convinces unassuming jock Paul Metzler (Chris Klein) to give the chirpy blonde a democratic run for the title. Payne received an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for the film's caustically funny dialogue.

1985, Universal, 142 min, UK, Dir: Terry Gilliam

Director Terry Gilliam’s groundbreaking science fiction satire is an anachronistic masterpiece. Winner of the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay (Gilliam, Charles McKeown and theater legend Tom Stoppard). Inspired by George Orwell’s 1984 and Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS, this darkest of comedies pits Everyman Jonathan Pryce against a world of crushing conformity, pursuing elusive love Kim Greist. Featuring fellow Python Michael Palin as upwardly mobile Jack Lint and Robert De Niro as an outlaw heating engineer, its jaw-dropping retro-futuristic design helped give birth to the steampunk genre.

2011, Edition Salzgeber, 90 min, Germany, Dir: Ziska Riemann

Oona (Sarah Horvath) is an inky, unsmiling goth girl while her best friend Ari (Jella Haase) is her chromatic opposite, a bleached blonde with a psychedelic rainbow wardrobe. Filmmaker and comic book artist Ziska Riemann presents an assured debut, reminiscent of HEAVENLY CREATURES crossed with GHOST WORLD, as her adolescent odd-couple protagonists weather the unforgiving terrains of high school and home, while the adults in their lives (including a suicidal, tortured-artist father and a perpetually sleazy uncle) prove consistently irresponsible. Music videos, Super 16 and short animation sequences pepper this punchy, spunky coming-of-age drama, winner of the Femina-Film-Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival 2011. In German with English subtitles.

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