Joachim Hellwig and defa futurum

Even if you are a fan of East German films and have seen nearly everything in the DEFA catalog, you may not be familiar with the name Joachim Hellwig. Hellwig primarily made documentaries. He was a bit of a party wonk, and avoided rocking the boat, so you won’t find any of his films on… Continue reading Joachim Hellwig and defa futurum

What Should I Watch?

A guide to what to watch while your stuck at home during the pandemic. Here are a few you East German films with English subtitles that are well worth seeing. I’m often asked for recommendations on East German movies that people should watch. There’s no one answer to this. I once showed my personal favorite… Continue reading What Should I Watch?

Chemistry and Love

The Silent Star is sometimes cited as the first East German science fiction film, but that is not entirely correct. Before the state was officially founded, when it was still known as the Soviet Sector, DEFA put out its first science fiction film—Chemistry and Love (Chemie und Liebe). It’s a breezy comedy that takes place… Continue reading Chemistry and Love

Signals

In 1968, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey sent shock waves through the film world. While some complained about its nearly incomprehensible plot, everyone was impressed with the film’s technical achievements. It is not an overstatement to say that Kubrick’s film represented a quantum leap in special effects. The genre would never be the same… Continue reading Signals

In the Dust of the Stars

If I was to choose the one film that got me interested in East German Cinema, it would have to be this one. Sometimes referred to as the “East German Barbarella,” In the Dust of the Stars (Im Staub der Sterne) is one of the strangest film to grace the movie screens of the GDR;… Continue reading In the Dust of the Stars

Eolomea

In 1968, Stanley Kubrick’s classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey, ushered in a new kind of science fiction movie. Monsters from other planets and war-minded invaders took a back seat to a more cerebral approach to the future. Actions became less important than ideas, and ideas could be expressed in the most abstract terms imaginable. This… Continue reading Eolomea

The Silent Star

It is worth noting that while people often give Star Trek credit for using a multi-ethnic cast at a time when TV in American was almost exclusively the domain of white males, The Silent Star had already done this six years earlier.