Müpa Film Club

Fates from the density of new German Cinema

By the early 1970s, Europe’s new-wave revolutions were roaring across the film world. In the FRG, however, it was only then that New German Cinema emerged, bringing excitement to movie screens that continues today. It is not the external world its protagonists are at war with, as the world, the era and history have all already eaten their way deep inside them.

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wim Wenders, Werner Herzog, Volker Schlöndorff – an impressive list. Very different artists. Fassbinder was the most sensitive of them when it came to exploring how personalities are shaped by social influences. Wenders’s heroes are looking for their place, their home, in a globalising world. (At that time, the term ‘globalisation’ was still relatively obscure.) In Werner Herzog’s films always address the dilemmas of savagery and civilisation, and of primary and secondary nature. Schlöndorff, for his part, is an unwavering moralist bent on constantly exploring how long an individual’s capacity for moral tolerance can last. What is it that connects them all to each other? More than anything else, the fact that their protagonists are left to their own devices when compelled to make a decision. The filmmakers behind New German Cinema are the chroniclers of an age in which the community is growing increasingly uncertain. This is no longer the age of lone justice-seeking heroes, who may once have felt that they were acting in the name or interest of some community, but one of solitary individuals who have to carry a disproportionately large burden. The last work in the series deviates, in a sense, from this general theme. The Wim Wenders film Faraway, So Close! (1993) is already entering a new era after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, with many changes afoot across Europe. As with German cinema itself. But this is another story, one in which we ourselves are also actors here and now.

The Big Woody Allen Ride

Müpa Budapest Film Club's new series, The Big Woody Allen Ride, is a compelling selection of the actor-writer-director's work. Eighteen films. That's something. Although, when you consider that this is less than a third of Woody Allen's film output... Incredible. When did he even sleep? (I'm sure he would have a joke to make about the connection between insomnia and narcolepsy.) In 1950, he entered the world of moving pictures as a television writer. By going through his films, we not only get to know him, but also – through his work and performances – how the world has changed over seven decades. Woody Allen is a strange comedian. There is a strong cultural-artistic tradition in his jokes, sayings and quips. But to make us feel a little less stunned and inadequate, he quickly helps us out of our predicament with a joke. To make us laugh. To make us understand. The rest is desire, love, affection... Life and death. (But he has a joke for that too.)

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