reRun/Gastropub, you get 'em both -- first-run, too -- for the price of a single ticket. What the films have in common is their director/co-writer, German semi-wunderkind Dennis Gansel, shown above, who is building up a resume of hip, smart movies that boast content, style, and high entertainment value.
Before the Fall (Napola) burst across Europe (it didn't open here until 2006). An interesting film featuring strong performances, it laid out how very seductive the Nazi stance and mentality must have been to the Austrians and Germans of that period. If the movie didn't quite convince me in toto, it was impressive enough to have remained with me over the past half-decade. Now, with his 2008 work THE WAVE, we're able to see further evidence of both Gansel's talent and his lingering interest in how fascism gains entrance into the mindset of a population -- particularly its youth.
Todd Strasser, which, in turn, was based upon an "experiment" that took place at Cubberly High School in Palto Alto, California, in 1967, during which a teacher demonstrated via his students how even would-be democratic societies are not immune to the appeal of fascism. (The teacher is played here -- and very well -- by Jürgen Vogel, above.)
Frederick Lau (two photos above) as the most susceptible student, and Max Riemelt (above) and Jennifer Ulrich (below, left) as the wavering (he more than she) "good kids" in the group.
Daughters of Darkness, but this new one's a lot more frisky, frightening fun) and feminist -- the latter in these girls' own blood-sucking manner, of course.
Nina Hoss (on poster, top, and above, left, in fang-mode) as the top-tier vamp. Ms Hoss -- who has shone in films as diverse as Yella, Jerichow and A Woman in Berlin -- is clearly slumming here. And enjoying it a lot, as any good actress should. How often do classy stars get the chance to vamp 'n camp like this?
Anna Fischer (above), who comes across like a just-past-her-teen-years Jennifer Tilley. She's the youngest of this killing crew, and her despair at realizing, upon awakening, that she has both fucked and then finished off the young doorman who's had a crush on her, is a moment very nicely done.
Karoline Herfurth and Mr. Riemelt (above, right), and Herfurth -- as the young woman who's been recruited by Ms Hoss but who does not quite fit into things -- proves a fine protagonist who goes from scary/scrappy (two photos up) to glamorous (below) in no time. (And wasn't this dinosaur/ferris-wheel theme park, above, just used in the recent Hanna?)
IFC Films' popular Midnight series, open this Friday, as a double bill, at the reRun/Gastropub. Click here (or on the link previous) for screening times and whatever else you might need. This is a special engagement of sorts. Further theatrical screenings will begin in June, and the films hit VOD, as usual with IFC, around the same time.