Anna Steinbauer: 14-year-old Leila wakes up after a harmless tonsil operation and is blind. Doctors botch and unequal treatment due to their migrant roots? The desperate father Attila immediately suspects this and embarks on an anger and revenge campaign that is as emotional as it is testosterone-driven. Kida Khodr Ramadan With “Égalité” he creates the moving psychogram of a father who is forced by a stroke of fate to question his own, oriental conceptions of the family. A great cast, subtly staged chamber piece, in which only the string music is applied a little too thick.
Gloria Mundi – Return to Marseille
Fritz Goettler: A little girl just born – and Robert, an old man, his grandfather, just released from prison where he has served a sentence for manslaughter. You belong to a family that is connected on different levels, not just in good terms, it is about social pressure and new beginnings, about strikes and adultery. A soulful little oratorio of solidarity from Marseille by Robert Guédiguian. The parents of the family are his regular actors Ariane Ascaride and Jean-Pierre Darroussin. The film closes in a mystical way towards a conciliatory end, thanks to Gérard Meylan as grandfather Daniel. He writes haikus: to find beautiful moments and capture them for eternity.
Hotel Transylvania: a monster transformation
Josef Grübl: “The transformation continues to mutate.” Such sentences are currently heard not only from people in the guise of virologists, but also from monsters in academic guise. But the differences are not that big, at least not in the fourth part of this animated film series. Here Count Dracula transforms into a middle-aged man with plauze and bald head, while his human son-in-law mutates into an increasingly ferocious monster. Sounds creepy, but it is aimed at a child-like audience – adult viewers should get nervous with all the fidgeting. The animation specialists Derek Drymon and Jennifer Kluska were allowed to direct a feature film for the first time. This cannot be seen in the cinema, but on Amazon Prime.
Lunana – happiness lies in the Himalayas
Sofia Glasl: The young teacher Ugyen wants to go to Australia to become a musician, but the Bhutanese government transfers him to the most remote Himalayas to teach there. Electricity is only available here when the sun is shining, there is no internet or cell phone reception at all. In the second Oscar entry that the South Asian country of Bhutan has submitted so far, filmmakers circumvented Pawo Choyning Dorji esoteric kitsch with lovable characters and fine wit. The result is a feel-good film in the best sense of the word, which asks what remains for the young population in a kingdom that threatens to be divided by the onset of digitization.
Philipp Stadelmaier: A young Swede (Sofia Kappel) comes to Los Angeles to get started in the porn industry. Ninja Thybergs debut film dispenses with any psychologization and instead deconstructs (perhaps a little overemphasized) the aesthetics of pornography: any “pleasure” remains artificial, staged, pure pose. A strong film about an almost horror-like dressing of the body and the blurring of the line between consensus and humiliation.
David Steinitz: Part five of the horror film saga is probably ashamed of its sequel number and is simply called “Scream”, like the beautiful original from 1996. The directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett have taken over the series from the late horror guru Wes Craven and continue it according to his scheme of splatter comedy. In the small town of Woodsboro, teenagers continue to be filleted by a mask killer, which doesn’t stop them from cracking funny lines. The result can best be compared to another cultural asset of the 1990s: the foam party. Once was great for everyone – but five times is really only for fetishists.
Fritz Goettler: Sometimes you are almost shocked when Kristen Stewart in costume and hairstyle, posture and look actually looks like Princess Diana in the pictures that you know from the magazines. Sandringham, the Queen’s country house, Christmas 1991: three days when Diana’s marriage to Crown Prince Charles was finally broken, and her future. The Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín staged Stewart between iconography and pathos, a sad Alice behind the mirrors, lost in her fight against her husband’s hermetic family and the ghosts and scarecrows of her past … and that of all of England too.