MAREN ADE BEFORE TONI ERDMANN
“One of the 50 best filmmakers under 50 . . . If I had to point to one young filmmaker in the world whose future seems to me the brightest, it would be Maren.”
Kent Jones, Cinema Scope
If there was a film in 2016 that rivalled the curveball humour, squirmy awkwardness, or blindsided joys of German writer-director Maren Ade’s universally-adored Toni Erdmann, we didn’t see it! Named the best film of the year by the International Federation of Film Critics – a first for a woman-helmed picture – Ade’s coup de maître may feel like it came out of left field, but it’s only the latest (albeit, the most loudly trumpeted) in a succession of acclaimed, prize-winning films from the gifted 40-year-old filmmaker. To mark the Canadian theatrical release of Toni Erdmann (due January 27, 2017), we present Maren Ade’s remarkable preceding features, The Forest for the Trees (2003) and Everyone Else (2010) – both beguiling, measured comedies that further established the so-called “Berlin School” as Germany’s first substantial new wave since the New German Cinema of the 1960s and ’70s.
“Marvellous . . . A tartly comic tale of teachers
“[Does] for the 21st-century couple what
on the verge of a nervous breakdown . . .
Polanski’s Knife in the Water or Antonioni’s
For a college project, it’s astonishing.”
L’Avventura were doing in the ’60s.”
Jamie Wooley, BBC
Philippe Garnier, LA Weekly
“This insightful, affecting, and tightly-
“So much is right and true in this lovely,
realised piece bodes well for Maren Ade’s
delicate work that it comes breathtakingly
future career . . . A commanding lead
close to perfect.”
performance by Eva Löbau.”
Manohla Dargis, New York Times
Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily
The Forest for the Trees
Germany 2003. Dir: Maren Ade. 81 min. 35mm
Germany 2009. Dir: Maren Ade. 124 min. 35mm
Maren Ade’s fantastic debut feature, winner of a Special Jury Prize at Sundance, is a compactly-crafted, disarmingly-honest account of an idealistic young teacher drifting comically out of her professional and personal depths. That it was Ade’s thesis project as a student at the Munich Academy for Film and Television – completed when she was just 26 – makes its maturity and directorial aplomb all the more impressive. Melanie (played with cringe-worthy perfection by Eva Löbau) is a mousey twentysomething hoping for a fresh start in southwest Germany after being offered a teaching post midyear. She begins to unravel when her progressive but undisciplined teaching style fails, her colleagues ostracize her, and her disastrous misreadings of a trendy neighbour’s social cues jeopardize a desperately sought-after female friendship. Shot on digital video in Ade’s hometown of Karlsruhe (where both her parents work as teachers), the film has a lo-fi, home-movie quality that adds to its intimacy, unease, and unexpectedly sublime denouement.
The first film by a “Berlin School” affiliate to win big at Berlinale – runner-up for Best Film; top prize for Best Actress – Maren Ade’s extraordinary second feature confirmed what her superb debut feature (The Forest for the Trees) made a compelling case for, and her latest (Toni Erdmann) took a victory lap for: the arrival of a confident, refreshing new voice in European cinema. An incisive, erotic, emotionally on-point portrayal of modern love in your thirties, it features festival breakouts Birgit Minichmayr and Lars Eidinger as Gitti and Chris, an in-love German couple vacationing at Chris’s family villa in Sardinia. Upon meeting a seemingly happier, more career-successful couple, their latent insecurities, romantic posturing, and aptitudes for cruelty shift into focus. Delicately crafted by Ade with wit and uncommon honesty – not to mention face-palming awkwardness, fast becoming her forte – Everyone Else found a spot on the year-end top-ten lists of Film Comment, Village Voice, and Variety.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3 – 6:30 PM SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4 – 8:50 PM SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5 – 6:30 PM
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3 – 8:10 PM SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4 – 6:30 PM SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5 – 8:10 PM
(Der Wald vor lauter Bäumen)