Sunday, January 20, 2008

that kid of mine knows how to pick films

The Resident Offspring has awfully fine taste in films and she picked an excellent one for us this weekend.

Die Fetten Jahre sind Vorbei (The Fat Years are Over), entitled The Edukators for world release, is the story of young German revolutionaries, who work surreptitiously to install unease in the hearts of the uber-wealthy in an attempt to educate and to exact change in the system. They break into the homes of the wealthy, not to steal, but to artfully rearrange the furniture, and leave a message declaring that the days of plenty are numbered.

When Peter's debt-ridden girlfriend, Jule, moves in with him and Jan, the dynamics of the relationship of the trio take a decided shift, resulting in an impetuous action which detracts from their normally careful and measured attacks.

And then all hell breaks loose. A botched break in, a desperate kidnapping, and an uneasy love triangle, threaten their relationship, their ideologies, and their very freedom.

I guess it's probably evident that I loved this film. It is smart, compelling, and tackles revolutionary theory engagingly without resorting to preachiness or to formula. The three actors who play Jan, Jule, and Peter are all beautiful to watch and are utterly convincing as idealistic young people trapped in a consumerist society. Yet, the director was clever enough to allow the development of their increasingly sympathetic characters to unfold slowly and realistically. I cared greatly about all four major characters in this film (including the conservative industrialist kidnap victim), and was left with a feeling of joy and well-being at the end of The Edukators. It's a warm, funny, and at times highly suspenseful treatise on the nature of love, ideology, and responsibility.

I can't wait to watch it again.

(gossip: there have been rumours of a Hollywood interest in remaking this film, setting it in the US instead of Germany, causing Daniel
Brühl, who plays Jan, to declare (I assume ironically) that he hopes the part of Jan is played by either Jake Gyllenhaal or Eddie Murphy.)

25 comments:

Toccata said...

When I read reviews like this it makes me think I should join the times and get myself a DVD player.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Sometimes it is really worth buckling into the pressure and amassing the technology, Toccata. Although going to a lovely little art house theatre would be even nicer.

Dale said...

Intriguing Barbara, while I was watching the trailer, my mind wandered briefly to "Goodbye Lenin" and then I saw it's from the same people. I loved that film. Great review of both the movie and your daughter.

Allison said...

Ooohhhh I must see this film! *frantically searching online* It looks fab and I am intrigued that Hollywood plans to do a remake...even if it just a rumour. Sometimes its fun to see how well they can mess up a good picture.

I'm going to go watch the trailer again now. :)

John Mutford said...

I might as well hand over my Zip.ca account to you. Thanks for the latest add.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You have a very astute eye, Dale, and I believe Bruhl is in both films. Now I really want to see Goodbye Lenin. Had a chance to see it last year but didn't feel like subtitles, silly me.

I hope you can find the film, Al, it's well worth it. Watching the trailer over and over isn't quite the same somehow. Although I did watch one trailer, with no dialogue, where they actually used the "in a world gone mad" guy to do the voiceover. It was ludicrous!

A zip.ca account - yes, I'll take one of those, John. There's been considerable interest expressed in Netflix by some quarters around here lately.

Deb said...

I might even buckle down and search out this one. Looks really good.

phlegmfatale said...

Gawd, why can't Hollywood promote already-brilliant works in their native language? (Well, of course because if they re-make it, they'll make more money, and we can't be sharing the pie, now, can we? That's ironic, considering the theme of the film). Bastiges.
Anyway - looks like a really good movie.

jim dandy said...

Daniel Brühl was great in Goodbye Lenin, Joyx Noel, and Ladies in Lavender. I will look for this film with anticipation. (Before Hollywood ruins it by starring Matt Damon, haha) Daniel has been in many other films that I just haven't seen. I prefer to stick with the foreign language ones.
Auf Wiedersehen

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It's really watchable, Deb, but I wish these films were easier to find. Not Blockbuster material.

The lack of originality that goes behind some of these Hollywood decisions is mind boggling, Phlegmfatale, and yes, there is lots of good original materal. Sheesh.

I envy you your access to so many of these great films, Jim Dandy. I have to travel downtown to get to a decent videostore - no easy feat around here.
I'll keep an eye out for those other Bruhl films, as he is pretty wonderful.

justacoolcat said...

Ok, it's going on the Netflix. Eddie Murphy may be a master of disguises, but I'm not sure he can pull off playing a 20 year old.

Johnny Yen said...

I put that one on my Netflix queue months ago, and it's about to come up.

Do you remember the movie "Letter To Breznhev," that came out in the eighties? It's about a British girl who falls in love with a Russian sailor and petitions the Soviet government to be allowed to move back to Russia with him. It's never been released on DVD.

gifted typist said...

This is great, another movie for my flick list. I don't understand much German but love the multisyllabic sound of it.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

That would be an academy award performance, Just A. I sometimes play that I am a 20 year old and then I hurt myself and I stop.

I remember hearing about that film, Johnny Yen, but I have never seen it. I guess I likely will not get a chance to now. Damn.


It's one of the most multisyllabic languages around, Gifted Typist. I love how they just keep tacking adjectives onto the noun to make one megaword. Such fun!

BeckEye said...

It is impressive that you can understand German films. I got "Trainspotting" through Netflix and I had to watch it with the subtitles on.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

hahaha German is easy compared to Scottish heroin addict, Beckeye! I needed subtitles for that one too.

mellowlee said...

I need to see that movie NOW NOW NOW oh, sorry hehe! Excellent review Barb, I will look for it this weekend! XO

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I loved this film! Daniel Bruhl was in two other very good films called "Joyeux Noel" and "Goodbye Lenin." I recommend them both and I also recommend you listen to that kid of yours when it comes to picking out movies, she's a genius.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I hope you have a decent video place where you can find it, Mel. It's seeewww guud!

I'm so glad you saw The Edukators too, Dr M! I am going to look for more Bruhl films for sure - he's wonderful, and I pinky swear that I will always and forever listen to my kid's advice on films.

Anonymous said...

Guten Morgen! Great review, Barb and fine choice, Eva. I look forward to seeing this film and practicing my rusty German.
Berni

Barbara Bruederlin said...

And they use some dialect too, Berni, which I believe is apparent in the trailer. That is so much fun.

mellowlee said...

There's a good video rental place not far from where I live that I will check out this weekend. I hope I can find it too!!!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

A good video rental place is a godsend, Mel. Hope you find it or a good replacement.

Funnypants said...

I'm waiting for all the great movies to be dubbed into Bayerisch. Somebody's already taken a shot at Full Metal Jacket and Pulp Fiction.

Found you through Giftedtypist, and happy I did - echt tolles blog you have here!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Hi Funnypants, welcome! I am not so good at Bayerisch, but did find those clips rather hilarious - thanks for the links. Very kind of you to drop by.