Administering angel by Anne-Katrin Titze

Francine Prose on Stanley Tucci, Kyra Sedgwick, Addison Timlin, Jessica Hecht, Janeane Garofalo, Peter Gallagher, and Ritchie Coster in Submission: "I think the casting is extraordinary." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Based on Francine Prose's 2000 novel Blue Angel, inspired by Josef von Sternberg's 1930 film Der Blaue Engel, adapted from Heinrich Mann's book Professor Unrat from 1905, Submission links present with past. If Angela Argo in Richard Levine's Submission were to set out to do what Marlene Dietrich's Lola Lola did to Emil Jannings' Professor Immanuel Rath, what would that look like in the second decade of the 21st century?

Ted Swenson (Stanley Tucci) with his student Angela (Addison Timlin)

Submission with cinematography by Hillary Spera (Reed Morano's Meadowland) tells the wayward tale of Ted Swenson (Stanley Tucci), a professor who teaches creative writing at a small Vermont college. Once a celebrated author, he now has trouble putting anything creative on paper himself,
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German Oscar® Winners and Nominees’ Reception at Villa Aurora

Every year Villa Aurora follows its own long tradition of welcoming the German community and friends to socialize and celebrate the German contribution to American culture.

The German co-production “Citizenfour” by Laura Poitras (De/Us, Praxis Films, Br, Ndr) was awarded the Oscar® for Best Documentary Feature yesterday. “Citizenfour” has also received an Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary Feature.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” by Wes Anderson (Gb/De, Neunzehnte Babelsberg Film), another German co-production, picked up four Academy Awards® in the categories Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Hair and Make-Up as well as Best Original Score. It had been nominated in nine categories.

A day before the Oscars®, German Films joined forces with the Villa Aurora and the German Consul-General in Los Angeles to hold their traditional reception in honor of the German Oscar® nominees at the garden of the Villa Aurora in Los Angeles.

The teams of “Citizenfour” comprising the German producers Dirk Wilutzky and Mathilde Bonnefoy, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” with the producers Carl Woebcken, Henning Molfenter and Christoph Fisser, the representatives of the German regional funders Carl Bergengruen of Mfg Baden-württemberg and Kirsten Niehuus of Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg as well as the director Wim Wenders, who was nominated for Best Documentary Feature for “The Salt Of The Earth," celebrated there with guests from the German and international film industry.

The beautiful Spanish Deco home at 520 Paseo Miramar in the Pacific Palisades was bought by the famed author, Lion Feuchtwanger and his wife Marta in 1943 the same year that he published The Devil in France, the account of his imprisonment by the Nazis in the South of France before he fled to the U.S.

In September of 1940, with the support of Varian Fry and the U.S. Vice Consul in Marseille, Hiram Bingham, Lion and Marta were able to join another group of exiles in crossing the Pyrenees on foot. They made their journey from Lisbon to New York on different ships. From there, they traveled to Los Angeles, and in 1943 moved into the Villa Aurora, which soon became a focal point in the lives of many intellectuals and artists who had fled from Germany including Bertold Brecht, Thomas Mann and his brother Heinrich Mann, Marlene Dietrich.

Their German passports had been confiscated by the Nazis. In the McCarthy era, Feuchtwanger was scrutinized as a “premature antifascist” by the House Un-American Activities Committee. Fearing that he would not be allowed to return, he never traveled outside the U.S. again. After years of immigration hearings, Feuchtwangers application for American citizenship was finally granted, but the letter informing Feuchtwanger of the fact was not received until a day after his death.

Marta bequeathed to the University of Southern California the library and the house in exchange for the life-long right to live in the Villa. She was appointed curator of the Villa and was politically and culturally active. The Villa remained a social destination in Los Angeles. In 1987 she died at the age of 96.

"So, in my fiftieth year, I literally arrived in the U.S. on foot. Has that made me a U.S. citizen? Can a piece of paper change half a century of my life? I don’t believe it. Now, that I have only 10 years to complete the second half of the century, I feel, it is good to have the citizenship of a country that unites my German routes with the ones of many other nations. Being American is very close to being a citizen of the world."

Source: Marta Feuchtwanger: Only a Woman, Years Days Hours, Aufbau Verlag Berlin Leipzig, 1984

Celebrating the Academy Award Nominees at the same time as 20 years of present ownership of the Villa Aurora and at the same time as 25 years after German reunification, restoration of the famed Babelsberg Studios made this year especially notable.

At the party, I had the chance to speak with Mariette Rissenbeek, Managing Director or German Films.

How long have you been with German Export?

I started in 2002, 13 years ago. I was in charge of festivals and public relations. The position gave me rewarding insights into festivals and I was able to meet many producers.

What changes have you seen in your time there?

I started a year after “Good Bye Lenin” and “Nowhere in Africa”. In the 2000s, German films became very popular internationally. Since 2011 I have been the Managing Director which involves lots of administration and politics.

How do German films do abroad?

Every year two to three titles work well. “Phoenix” is doing very well in France. “Hannah Arendt” and “The Lives of Others” did well worldwide. This year we have “Elser” (“Thirteen Minutes”) which just premiered in Berlin and of course “Salt of the Earth” and “CitizenFour” (winner of the 2015 Spirit Award for Best Documentary), “Victoria” which Adopt Films acquired for U.S.

Germans have consistently won Academy Awards since 1929 when Emil Jannings won for Best Actor in “The Way of All Flesh” and “ The Last Command”.

I also had the chance to speak with the Director of Villa Aurora, my friend since her days at Goethe Institute.

How long have you been Director of Villa Aurora ?

Three years in May.

You moved over from Goethe Institute and have changed Villa Aurora significantly. Can you tell us what changes it has undergone since you took over as its director?

When I applied for the position, I gave my vision for the Villa in various areas which included increased visibility, and renovations, as the home was in a rather neglected state. I also wanted our guests to network more with the Los Angeles arts community. So now their work appears in galleries, they give master classes and they show their work.

I had support from the Berlin headquarters and the German Foreign office and so we could renovate, landscape and install better lighting. I love creative work and this has been very satisfying.

Similarly as at the Goethe Institute, I still network and organize events, but I am also a “den mother” to the fellows. At this time we have five artists in residence. Four are here for three months and one is here for eight months – a writer in exile who cannot live in the native country of birth. We have had a writer from Syria living in Turkey; last year we had someone from Viet Nam and before, a blogger from Belarus living in Poland.

We also have an agreement with Cal Arts to send an artist to Germany to work and present their work.

Once again the congeniality and milieu brought together Hollywood and Germany, a partnership which goes back to the first days of the Hollywood we know today.
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Jürgen Hentsch, 1936 - 2011

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Spiegel Online and the Süddeutsche Zeitung are reporting that character actor Jürgen Hentsch has died at the age of 75. Having made a name for himself at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin, Hentsch made his onscreen debut in the East German television production of Herrmann Zschoche's Carla (1965) and appeared in Konrad Wolf's classic antiwar film I Was Nineteen (1968).

Hentsch will probably be best remembered for his portrayal of Ernst Schultze, the psychiatrist who attempts to determine the psychological stability of the infamous serial killer who terrified Germany in the 1920s, Fritz Haarmann (Götz George) in Romuald Karmakar's The Deathmaker (1995). Hentsch also impressed German television viewers with his performances as the Social Democratic Party Chairman Herbert Wehner in Oliver Storz's Im Schatten der Macht and as Heinrich Mann in Heinrich Breloer's mini-series The Manns (2001).

For news and tips throughout the day every day, follow @thedailyMUBI on Twitter and/or the RSS feed.
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Christa Wolf, 1929 - 2011

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Christa Wolf, one of the best-known writers from the former East Germany whose works described war and politics from a woman's perspective, has died," reports the AP. "She was 82."

"Her first big success was the novel Divided Heaven, which deals with the divided Germany," noted Die Zeit in a biographical sketch that accompanied an interview that ran in 2005. "The book won her the prestigious East German Heinrich Mann Prize, and was made into a movie by East German filmmaker Konrad Wolf in 1964."

From that lengthy interview conducted by Hanns-Bruno Kammertöns and Stephan Lebert and translated by signandsight: "It's still my book with the highest run. One of the official reproaches in the Gdr, apart from criticism of its content, was to say that it was written in too 'modern' a fashion. I can't say it still corresponds to my idea of literature at its best. But after that I wrote
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Discover The Incredible True Story Of Henry Of Navarre

Discover the incredible true story of Henry of Navarre the celebrated warrior king who became one of history.s great defenders of justice and religious freedom.

It is the mid-16th Century and France is awash with blood, as the protestant Huguenots fight for survival against dark forces led by the treacherous Catherine De Medici. When she orchestrates the ultimate betrayal at the infamous St. Bartholomew.s Day Massacre, King Henry IV will fight his life.s greatest battle to ensure her treachery does not go unanswered…

Based on the novel by Heinrich Mann, experience an epic chronicle of one man’s heroic struggle against overwhelming forces in this action-packed and spectacular motion picture event! Out to buy on Blu-ray and DVD on 4th July 2011, courtesy of Showbox Home Entertainment.

In Related News:

The 400 Year Old Mummified Head Of King Henry IV Was Finally Identified In Dec 2010. After nine months of tests,
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Killer Trailer for the Epic Henry of Navarre aka Henry 4

I love me a good historical war movie filled with gritty battle scenes, and Germany’s “Henry of Navarre” aka “Henri 4″ looks like it’s got all the makings of an epic war film that is, supposedly, based on a true story. My history of Henry of Navarre is a tad off (which is to say, nonexistent), so I’ll take the movie’s word for what they say happened, happened. But nevermind the history lesson. As a movie, Jo Baier’s “Henry of Navarre” looks appropriately epic, and that’s its biggest selling point to me. It is the mid-16th Century and France is awash with blood, as the protestant Huguenots fight for survival against dark forces led by the treacherous Catherine De Medici. When she orchestrates the ultimate betrayal at the infamous St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, King Henry IV will fight his life’s greatest
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Berlin Rights Roundup

It's a wrap! The Martin Gropius Bau is empty and the final pickups follow. This is a work in progress and readers are invited and welcome to contribute. Presales have returned in reaction to the reduced number of finished films on offer over the past two markets. Presales applies across the board from Us to French and even Italian films. English language films are increasingly coming out of the major non English language territories but local product is impacting sales on Us films internationally. Business was quickly wrapped up but it was done with a healthy number of buys reported. Lower prices have become accepted but the market must have product as this event proved.

Adriana Chiesa has licensed Federico Moccia’s teen trilogy to Savor to Spain. The first title, Sorry If I Love You (Scusa Ma Ti Chiamo Amore) grossed $27m when released by Medusa on 600 prints in Italy.
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The Forgotten: Gorgeous Lifelike Color By Deluxe

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Gus Van Sant's Psycho remake is always going to divide opinion, those who see it as a conceptual art statement being able to argue, quite reasonably, that its failure to do the things Hitchcock's original does—create a consistent story world, stylized but credible characters, a sense of doom, suspense—is exactly the proof needed of its success as a conceptual artifact, dramatically redundant yet stubbornly existent.

Would the same people say the same thing for Edward Dmytryk's The Blue Angel, a faithful yet utterly arbitrary remake of Josef Von Sternberg's Der blaue Engel. Sternberg's production, Germany's first sound film, is so iconic and so utterly of its time—it marks the beginning of the Marlene myth, as well as the end of silence—that any kind of remake seems like an exercise in redundancy, like the Coens's joke proposal to re-shoot Stanley Kramer's well-intentioned liberal
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