My Picks for German Currents 2018

by Tom Nguyen

The 12th Annual German Currents Film Festival in Los Angeles, happens October 19-22, 2018 at the Egyptian Theatre. The annual festival features the latest German and Swiss cinema and is a co-production between of the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles and the American Cinematheque. This year’s festival kicks-off with a red carpet opening night LA premiere of director Arne Feldhusen’s tragicomedy MAGICAL MYSTERY OR THE RETURN OF KARL SCHMIDT, and will conclude with the US premiere of KREATUR by the renowned dance company Sasha Waltz & Guests, followed by an after-party at The Theater at Ace Hotel, co-presented with UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance.

Here are the films I’m looking forward to seeing, all of which are making their Los Angeles premieres:

Switzerland (2017), 97 min. DCP Projection
Swiss-German with English Subtitles
Sat, 10/20/2018, 8:00 PM
When 15-year-old Mia (Wedler) moves to the suburbs of Zürich, she must adjust to life in a new town and high school. Eagerly wanting to fit in, she joins a clique of popular girls headed by Gianna (Pastelle Holthuizen), and plunges into a wild teenage existence in an attempt to cope.
For Mia, the experience of puberty, and its effects on her rapidly changing body, take a horrific turn; one that is accompanied by webbed toes and dark, scaly patches on her skin. In her despair, she attempts to numb herself with sex and drugs, hoping to halt the tidal wave of physical change that is overwhelming her.  As she gradually loses herself to her own manic behavior, ultimately transforming into the being that has slumbered within her for years, Mia seeks help from Gianna to save herself.
Deftly blending fantasy with the grotesque elements of body horror, Writer-Director Lisa Brühlmann creates a unique, otherworldly coming-of-age story filled with magical realism.

Germany/Austria/France (2018), 115 min. DCP Projection
German and French with English Subtitles
Sun, 10/21/2018, 5:00 PM
1981, Quiberon, France. Romy Schneider (Bäumer), the most famous female star in Europe of her time, has come to this small seaside village to recuperate, and, with the support of her close friend, Hilde (Minichmayr), begin to fight her demons. But, this is more than just the reunion of two old friends.
Despite her previous negative encounters with the German Press, Schneider has granted “Stern” magazine reporter Michael Jürgs (Gwisdek) and photographer Robert Lebeck (Hübner) an interview and photoshoot that form the basis of this film. What unfolds over these three days is a cat-and-mouse game between the fragile actress and the ambitious writer, in which Schneider bares her soul, almost to the breaking point.
Cinematographer Thomas Kiennast’s striking camerawork captures not only the feel of Lebecks photographs, but also Schneider’s vulnerability. Writer-Director Emily Atef’s screenplay comes to life through the powerful performances of the film’s cast.   What emerges is a multifaceted portrait of a compelling actress and woman who unsparingly gives her all.

Germany (2017), 111 min. DCP Projection
German with English Subtitles
Sun, 10/21/2018, 7:30 PM
1956. During one of their secret visits to a cinema in West Berlin, East German high school pupils Theo (Schicher) and Kurt (Gramenz) see graphic newsreel footage depicting the violent suppression of the people’s uprising in Budapest. Back at home in Stalinstadt, the boys share the startling news of what they’ve seen with their classmates. When the class agrees to hold a moment of silence for the victims of the Hungarian struggle for freedom, no one is prepared for the repercussions of what this act of solidarity unleashes. Caught-up in the political machinery of a state determined to make an example of them, the students are faced with a decision that has dramatic consequences for their futures; do they choose to stand together, or allow the state to tear them apart? Director and screenwriter Lars Kraume’s adaptation of Dietrich Garstka’s eponymous book, an account of own experiences and those of his 18 classmates, offers a timely and sobering reflection on the nature of protest and political action.

To learn more about GERMAN CURRENTS, visit the official Festival website at:

Tickets to the German Currents 2018 screenings at the EGYPTIAN THEATRE
can be purchased at the box office and in advance via The American Cinematheque’s Fandango links.


$15.- / Opening Night Film & Gala Reception
$12.- / General Audiences
$10.- / Seniors, Students
$8.-  / Cinematheque Members
$9.-  / FoG Members (box office only, must present membership card!)

6712 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Phone: +1 323 466FILM

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