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Mark G on Oliver Hirshbiegel's THE DOWNFALL, Twyker's short film TRUE, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS and More!!!

Hey folks, Harry here.. Our friend from Germany, Mark G. has once again filled us in on more of what was shown to distributors and press in Munich recently! Can't wait to see a trailer for AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS -- And this new film about the last days of Hitler by the director of DAS EXPERIMENT - sign me up now. That will be intense!

I went through my German language report and guess what, I found some more info:  

- Three minutes from AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS: Looks very expensive (which it is) and boasts loads of cameos, most worth mentioning: A hilarious Kathy Bates as Queen Victoria, Arnold Schwarzenegger as some kind of foreign mogul (forget his Terminator look, from now on he will be remembered for this movie - his haircut got the biggest laugh) and (Luke &) Owen Wilson who seemed to be straight out of the Shanghai movies. Nobody asked for a new 80 DAYS movie but it certainly looks like a very family-friendly and entertaining adventure movie (no wonder Disney picked up the US rights). Of course Jackie Chan does his usual stuff.  

- Some scenes from RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE (technically a German production): I've never seen the first one, never played the games, so I can't tell that much. At the beginning we see Milla Jovovich inside a water tank, some scientists try to wake her up. When she does wake up, she is supposed to remember nothing, but to everyone's surprise soon after she remembers everything. Other scenes were action pieces, mostly set in the dark.  

- TRUE, the new movie by Tom Tykwer (Lola rennt/Run Lola Run), albeit a short film. As usual, visually very exciting, very fast (a techno beat pumping up the movie) and neatly cut, it tells the story of a French blind man who falls in love with an American actress played by Natalie Portman. I'm not going to tell you the twist ending. TRUE is part of a compilation movie but will be seen first with WAS NUETZT DIE LIEBE IN GEDANKEN this February.  

- Fifteen minutes from DER UNTERGANG (something like THE DOWNFALL or THE DECLINE), the new movie by Oliver Hirschbiegel, the director of Das Experiment which made it to the USA. I'm sure DER UNTERGANG will make its way to America as well as it is one of the most expensive German movies ever made. It deals with the last days of Adolf Hitler in his Fuehrerbunker mostly told through the eyes of his secretary (if this sounds familiar, there was a documentary called Hitler's Secretary not so long ago). This movie is based on the secretary's recollections and the book DER UNTERGANG by Joachim Fest (a historian), Bruno Ganz plays the madman. Looks good, but to early to tell...  

- I''ve seen scenes from plenty of other German movies, mostly dumb teen comedies with a The Fast and the Furious touch, lots of German animated movies, including the first CGI movie BACK TO GAYA (animation is pretty big in Germany, there are many movies which did better business than the Disney or DreamWorks counterparts), two spoofs - one called 7 ZWERGE - MAENNER ALLEIN IM WALD (7 DWARFS - MEN ALONE IN THE FOREST) which features most of Germany's top comedians (yes, Germany has comedians), the other being (T)RAUMSCHIFF SURPRISE - PERIODE 1 (DREAM/SPACESHIP SURPRISE - PERIOD 1), Michael "Bully" Herbig's follow-up to Der Schuh des Manitu, the biggest German blockbuster ever and Austria's biggest hit of all-time (bigger than Titanic), which spoofs all things SF and is based on his TV sketches of a gay crew on board of a Star Trek - TOS like vessel. Sure to be one of the biggest hits of the year back here.

Since 2004 seems to be the year of the Zombies I also have to mention the German teen comedy DIE NACHT DER LEBENDEN LOSER (THE NIGHT OF THE LIVING LOSERS - great title isn't it?) about three teens who become Zombies. One teen movie I'm actually looking forward to is SOMMERSTURM (SUMMER STORM) by the producing team of Claussen+Woebke, probably the best producers in Germany (they cast Franka Potente in her first movie - a leading role - and are responsible for the Oscar nominated Jenseits der Stille/Beyond Silence by Caroline Link who won last year for Nirgendwo in Afrika/Nowhere in Africa). SOMMERSTURM is about three teams of rowers in a summer camp, one of the rowboat teams consists of only gay men, which leads to complications. The movie seems to be a very nice coming-of-age story.  

Well, I think I covered all the news from Munich. Once again here's the German language version.

Bye, Mark G.

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