Starts Tonight: The Audi Festival of German Films, Plus Our Verdict on The Good Neighbour

| 17 April , 2012 | Reply

Autumn has officially bared its teeth and Sydneysiders (or at least the Sassi team) are feeling the chill.

So take some advice from those who know cold weather slightly more intimately then Australians: there\’s no better way to brave overcast skies then with some apfelstrudel, champagner, and the lichtspieltheater.

At least that\’s what we found out at a special pre-screening for the Audi Festival of German Films, which kicks off in Sydney tonight!

Screening in Sydney\’s historic Chauvel Cinema, the festival kicks off with the cheeky satire Hotel Lux, which sees a cabaret performer escape from Nazi Germany into Soviet Moscow where he is confused for Hilter\’s personal astrologer. Hopefully you\’ve already got tickets to the partei, because opening night is already completely sold out.

But, there\’s no need to cry into your bier just yet: thirty-seven other carefully selected films and documentaries from Germany and Switzerland will be on show in Paddington until the 30th of April. And, just so the rest of you don\’t miss out, the festival will also screen across five other major cities around Australia (check out when the festival will be near you at the bottom of this article).

With so many good films in the 2012 programme it\’s hard to pick just a few highlights. But we\’re really excited about Men in the City 2 (Männerherzen 2) the second instalment of a male take on Sex and the City with Berlin as a backdrop, and Stopped on Track (Halt auf freier Strecke) which follows  a man diagnosed with a brain tumour, and flirts with our ideas about mortality and cinematic veracity.

We can definitely recommend The Good Neighbour (Unter Nachbarn) a chilling psychological thriller from acclaimed director Stephan Rick.

When young gun David (Maxim Mehmet) takes a job at the local newspaper of a small German town, he befriends his new neighbour, the timid Robert (Charly Hubner). The unlikely pair is bound by nothing other than loneliness, but when they accidentally run over and kill a cyclist on the way home from a club, they have a heart wrenching secret in common.

The police have no leads and David is assigned to cover the investigation. He also begins a questionable friendship with the sister of his victim. Concerned that David is getting too publicly involved with the case, Robert urges him to step back. But as Robert clings more and more to their friendship, a deeper problem then their initial crime emerges.

There were two things watching The Good Neighbour reinforced for us. Firstly, the next time we get stuck trying to put together something from Ikea (and yes that\’s a when, not an if) the last place we\’re looking for help is the creepy dude next door. Secondly, we were reminded of the calibre of films coming out of Germany at the moment. So do yourself a favour, and get to the Audi Festival of German Films now.

Festival dates are as follows:

  • Sydney: 18 – 30 April Chauvel Cinema, Paddington & Palace Cinema, Leichardt
    Melbourne: 19 – 30 April Kino Cinemas, Collins St
    Brisbane: 19-25 April Palace Centro Cinema, Fortitude Valley
    Adelaide: 26 April- 1 May Palace Nova Eastend, Rundle St
    Canberra: 3 – 6 May  National Film and Sound Institute, Acton
    Perth: 3 – 6 May Cinema Paradiso, Northbridge

Don\’t forget to look at the website for The Audi Festival for German Films to find out the line-up, session times, and screening dates for your city.


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