Sunday, January 16, 2011

German Gems 2011

Bummed that I've missed 2 years of the San Francisco 'Berlin and Beyond' German Film Festival

I was excited to see that another film festival 'German Gems' was on screen this weekend in SF.

I caught a film each on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday's film 'The Architect' was the unfolding over a disasterous weekend of a highly dysfunctional family coming to terms with itself. The sordid details of the situation would have made for an hour plus of grimacing and squirming if not for the liberal application of humor throughout. Recommended viewing !

Sunday's film 'Celebration of Flight' is a documentary centered around a (then) 78 year old retired pilot's dream of building and flying his own airplane. On the surface, not an unusual story. What makes this case so special is the magnetic personality of David (the pilot), and the fact that he was building this plane in the garage of the house that he built on a hill in the middle of the tropics of the Dominican Republic. His friendships with the people of the Island are quite an uplifting affirmation of life. During the Q&A, it came up that the filmaker sacrificed quite a bit the making of her self-financed film which took many years to complete. Happily, she reported that she got Clint Eastwood to see the film and as a result may get some backing to create another feature film about the life of David. From the glimpses of that life that we got this afternoon from the film and the Q&A session, a film about his life adventures would make an engrossing movie indeed.

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