Comprehensive guide to Berlin Germany with information on Films in English.

Films in English

Being John Malkovich
(Spike Jonze 1999 USA) John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener 112 mins
Puppeteer Craig Schwartz takes up a new job in an eery New York office in which he discovers a cupboard which, bizarrely, leads him straight into actor John Malkovich's head. Craig's curiosity turns into a lucrative venture as everyone is willing to part with cash for the experience. A charming comedy about a weird idea performed by slightly screwball characters.

Berlin Babylon
(Hubertus Zeigert 2001 D )88 mins
A documentary filmed between '96 and '99 detailing the construction of the New Berlin. 'A counterpart to a Debis promotional film' as the Beliner Zeitung put it, 'this film puts pay to any idea that town planners are Gods'. The film doesn't aim to provide an informative guide to the building boom, but to give an eye level impression; the commentry is provided by interview material from the policy makers themselves.

The Big Lebowski
(Ethan and Joel Coen 1998 USA) Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore 113 mins
The coolest use of the word 'dude' is in itself worthy of an Oscar. Bridges turns being a bowling bum into an enviable artform. In yet another of their irresistable kidnapping tales with bizarre twists, we find it hard to discern fact from stoned hallucination. Goodman cuts a scary psychotic war veteran figure with unpredictable outbursts.

Bread and Roses
(Ken Loach GB/D/E 2000) (Drama) Pilar Padilla, Adrien Brody, Elpidia Carrillo; 110 mins
Ken Loach's latest film - an honest, unpretentious work and with so much to
appreciate - again draws its attention to the sorrows and needs of ordinary
people, as was done so well in My Name is Joe and Raining Stones. In
moving to America with the story, he contrasts people hit worst by the
expanse of capitalism with their struggle for a just way of living
and a consequently necessary growing consciousness of how to formulate their
demands. While the film is celebrated for giving direction to a new
subjectivity and allowance to a utopial way of thinking - long since banished
from the screens and still seemingly impossible in Germany - Loach shows that
there is a long way to go yet. Thus the film stresses the power of love but doesn't necessarily lead to a perfect conclusion. Although the story seems to float along quite easily, it does come across as convincing due to the film being based on real events and thanks to the actors who partly play themselves. A film too rare not to be seen.

Dancer in the dark
(Lars von Trier DK/F/S, 1999) (Musical Drama) Bjork, Catherine Deneuve, Jean-Marc Barr; 140 min.
Selma, an unskilled immigrant single mother in 1960s America who is rapidly going blind, is caught up in an ever-more-shocking chain of events when her desparately confused neighbour steals the money she was saving for the operation which will save her only son from her own fate. No, not quite the Sound of Music. Although 'Raindrops on Roses' is once again a feature song, the combination of Bjork's compelling music and portrayal and von Trier's masterly but depressive direction makes Dancer in the Dark the most post-musical of all musicals. No tear is left unjerked, but the quality of the acting and the depth of the characters make up for the somewhat over-the-top scenario and occasionally wooden script. Just don't expect to come away humming.

(Larry Wachowski, Andy Wachowski, USA 1999) Keano Reeves, Larry Fishburne, Carrie Ann Moss 139mins
Keano Reeves plays a character who knows that there's something wrong about the world he lives in. Then Larry Fishburne turns up and shows him the world as it really is. Matrix won an Oscar for its special effects and combines a good concept, stylised violence and some camp humour. This film is worth seeing.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?
(Joel Coen USA 2000) (Comedy) George Clooney, John Turturro, Charles Durning, John Goodman, Holly Hunter, Tim Blake Nelson , Chris Thomas King; 106 mins.
Three chain-gang convicts go on the loose across the corn fields of the southern states in order to find some hidden booty. On their way they get mixed up with a range of zany characters bearing a distant resemblance to the crew from "Homer's Odyssee". The audience are treated to a cyclops, busty sirens, the Ku-Klux Klan and lip-synced musical interludes as the Coen brothers go off on one of their wacky directorial journeys through middle America.

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