Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Heißer Sommer: wie wunderbar!

As the new year rang in this year, I did something I never thought I would do: I joined Netflix!

I resisted its siren lure as long as I could, fearing that I would turn into a recluse or one of those dreadful cinema snobs...but then I realized that I could watch as many German movies as meine Augen could handle...and then suddenly it seemed like an educational project. Sign me up, Mr. Netflick!

Well, things started out promisingly enough, with a viewing of "Kebab Connection," (Sibel Kekilli, post-porno scandal), then moved into the Herzog standards, "Stroszek" (enjoyable) and "Herz aus Glas" (creepy, dude). But then came...

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Whoa. Okay, it's clear that the distributors recognize the cult/camp appeal: I mean, take a look at that CD cover! What were the East Germans thinking? I suppose possibly they were hoping that they could distract the cinema-going youth from the real events of 1968, which looked more like this:

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than like this:

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But let's not get caught up in these litte nuances. How can you not love a movie that features frisky East German teenagers, jawdropping dance sequences (on the Baltic Sea! in barns! on moving train cars!), hilarious lyrics that aren't particularly well-translated, and a plot line that emphasizes the collective good over individual love?

Answer: you can't. Especially when you add in these dudes:

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who are initially derided as "halb-Männer" before the ladies come to their senses and start snogging them. Halb-Männer or halb-nekkid? I think the answer is obvious, no?

Saturday, January 20, 2007


There has been plenty written about the angry bears in Russia who can't hibernate, the snowmobile clubs in Vermont whose members are dejectedly sitting out the season, and the fact that we're all going to suffer a big fat drought in the spring...while it's all pretty awful and apocalyptic, I'm just glad that one day I'll be an old-timer who can regale all the local children with the tales of the time snow fell in NYC back in 2007.