Sunday, 8 February 2015

We are the night (5 Stars)

As I've mentioned before, I hold a monthly film evening in my home for my friends. Each month there I show two films back to back, on varying themes: the same country, actor, director or genre. Today I decided to show two German films. Today's film evening was a flop. Of the people I invited, almost all of them cancelled. For some reason they thought German films might be boring or uninspiring. Strange. Of the two people who said they would come, only one turned up. Thanks, Alex. But the two of us had a great evening together.

This was the last German language film that was shown at my usual cinema, Cineworld in Birmingham. If I remember correctly it was shown at the end of 2011, and only limited showings, one a day late in the evening. That was before I joined the film club in 2013. I asked my friends, and none of them went to see it. They don't know what they were missing out on. This is a film that looks great on the big screen, but that applies to all recent action-packed German films. The cinematography is always perfect, highlighting the special effects.

I've written about this film a few times before, so I shan't say much now. It's a love story against the background of a battle between police and vampires in decadent 21st Century Berlin. My friend Alex, who has visited Berlin more recently than me, was able to recognise some of the locations. While discussing it with him I became aware for the first time that the film offers a tour of Berlin, the good, the bad and the ugly. We see the rich shopping streets, the luxurious hotels and the run-down slums. We see the old pre-unification landmarks and the new buildings. We see street cafes and Russian brothels. We see the shiny yellow underground trains, the U-Bahn, which ironically travel on rails high above the ground outside of the city centre. It's a beautiful film that showcases a fascinating city that everyone should visit at least once before he dies.

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