By Chaedy Ritherdon


There is a common complaint in popular media that Hollywood is a slave to profit margins, which has resulted in cinemas being dominated by a disproportionate number of sequels and remakes. Well, if Hollywood isn’t giving you what you want, foreign films can deliver new stories told in new ways.


The 15th Audi German Film Festival began in Melbourne recently, and will be screening films at the Palace Como and Palace Kino cinemas for the next two weeks. Germany produces over 200 feature films each year, and the films that have been selected to screen at this festival represent the very best of German filmmaking talent, whether they’re big budget or independent gems.


Yes, this will mean that you’ll have to read subtitles as none of the films are dubbed, and for some people with reading or vision difficulties this can be a significant obstacle. However, if you are able to do what you can to overcome this obstacle, your efforts will be rewarded with films that will delight you, thrill you, touch your heart and fill you with joy.


Film critic and journalist Peter Krausz has been involved with the festival since it began fifteen years ago. I spoke with Peter about his involvement with the festival, and while he loves all the films being screened this year, I was able to get his top five, “Must See”, films:


From Caligari to Hitler (2014)
Documentary, 118 mins, Rated 15+
A must for all film geeks and nerds. Learn about the German filmmakers that brought us Nosferatu, Metropolis and Faust.
Saturday 16 May (+ Q&A)
11am @ Palace Como
Tuesday 26 May
6pm @ Palace Como


The Circle (2014)
Documentary/Biography/Drama, Queer, Swiss, 102 mins, Rated 18+
Presented by the Swiss Consulate and the Goethe-Institut. A story that chronicles the love between two Swiss men during the 1950s. Part documentary, part drama, this film features interviews with the two men (now in their 80s) and dramatisations of some of the key moments of their lives together.
Saturday 16 May
6pm @ Palace Kino
Monday 25 May (Swiss Soiree)
6pm @ Palace Como


The Whole Shebang (2014)
Comedy, Drama, 124 mins, Rated 15+
A bittersweet look at love, memories of the past, and the joy (and pain) of mother-daughter relationships.
Saturday 16 May
8:30pm @ Palace Como
Thursday 28 May
9pm @ Palace Kino


The Dark Valley (2014)
Western, Austrian, 114 mins, Rated 15+
Set in the Austrian Alps, this film has all the tropes that make a great Western.
Sunday 17 May
8:15pm @ Palace Kino
Saturday 23 May
6pm @ Palace Kino
Saturday 30 May
6pm @ Palace Como


The Cut (2014) + Q&A
Historical Drama, 138 mins, Rated 15+ (predominantly filmed in English)
The story of a man who survived Medz Yeghern, the Armenian Genocide that took place in Turkey during the Great War. Years late he discovers that his two daughters also survived, and travels the globe to reunite with them.
Thurs 21 May (+ Panel Discussion)
6pm @ Palace Como
Sunday 24 May
6pm @ Palace Kino
Sunday 31 May
6pm @ Palace Kino


The festival is organised by the Goethe-Institut here in Melbourne, as part of their mission to encourage Australians to learn more about German language and culture. In addition to screening films, the festival also features special events that are educational, while others offer a decadent experience of German music, food and drink. Three of these events are the stand outs, and definitely should not be missed:



Swiss Soiree
Monday 25 May
Presented by the Swiss Consulate and the Goethe-Institut. Be spoilt rotten with Swiss food, drinks and music before the screening of this year’s Swiss contribution, the 2014 drama, The Circle. Tickets are $28 for the film, food and drinks.



Faust – A German Folk Tale (1926)A Silent Classic with a Live Soundtrack
Tuesday 26 May, 8:30pm @ Palace Como
Silent Film, Biblical/Supernatural, 107 mins, Rated M 15+
The 1926 silent classic. German composer and special guest of the festival, Thomas Köner, will create a unique live soundtrack for Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s last film.


Soul Kitchen
Wednesday 27 May, 6:30pm @ Deckchair Cinema
Comedy, 99 mins, Rated M 15+
Soul Kitchen is Fatih Akin’s declaration of love for German food and his hometown of Hamburg. The film will be followed by some soul music by DJ Marcus Knight and some soul food created by executive chef of Hophaus Bier Bar & Grill, Marc Brown. All accompanied by a selection of the finest German beers, Austrian white wine from Niederösterreich (Lower Austria), and red wine from the Burgenland region. Tickets are $70 for film, food and drinks.


Check out the Audi German Film Festival’s website (www.goethe.de/ozfilmfest) for more information about all the special guests, events, films and to book your tickets in advance. The Northsider’s website also feature reviews for a selection of films being screened this year.


Goethe-Institut course participants/ Palace Movie Club Members: $15.00
Adult: $19.50
Concession: $17.00


The festival ends on Sunday 31 May.



Chaedy studied film production at the University of Canberra and George Mason University in the USA. She has a particular love of science fiction films, and is not a fan of chick flicks, romcoms, or “lowbrow” comedies.

Something to say..? Leave your comments here.

Stay up to date via TwitterStay up to date via TwitterStay up to date via TwitterStay up to date via Twitter