Never Look Away

Tom Schilling paints

The Lives of Others director atones for The Tourist with an era-straddling epic about about art and love I was talking to a journalist friend of mine a couple of weeks ago, about Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s new film. He recalled interviewing the director around the time of his triumphant debut, The Lives of Others. Von Donnersmarck, he said, was almost hyperventilating with the excitement of having been approached to direct a Hollywood caper with big stars, budgets, etc. That film turned out to be The Tourist, a vanity project for Angelina Jolie and (to a lesser extent) co-star Johnny Depp, written and re-written so many times (including by Downton Abbey’s Julian Fellowes) … Read more

The Lives of Others

Ulrich Mühe

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 7 October Foundation of the German Democratic Republic, 1949 On this day in 1949, the German Democratic Republic (DDR in German) formally came into being. After losing the war, Germany had first had its eastern border shifted considerably to the west, to the Oder-Neisse line (reducing its landmass by about 25%). Germany had then been divided up between the four “victorious” powers, USA, USSR, GB and France (on the winning side if not technically victorious), with the easternmost portion of what was left handed over to the USSR (former German territory further east became part of Poland). Known sarcastically in the … Read more