08 April, 2009

New German Cinema In New York

The Invention of Currywurst

by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor

The Museum of Modern Art presents Kino! at Thirty: New Cinema from Germany, the Museum’s 30th annual survey of recent German cinema, from April 22 through 30, 2009. Over the last three decades, MoMA has celebrated new cinema from Germany with an annual presentation of contemporary fiction features, documentaries, student works, and animated films.

This year’s selection opens with Germany ’09, a compilation of short films organized by esteemed German director Tom Tykwer. For Germany ’09, which premiered at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, 12 leading filmmakers working in Germany today take a look into the country’s current social, cultural, and political landscape.

An important highlight of this year’s presentation is Laurens Straubn and Dominik Wessely’s Reverse Shot—Rebellion of the Filmmaker (2008), an illuminating documentary about the legendary Filmverlag de Autoren, the founding organization of the New German Cinema movement (Neue Kino). It will be complemented by a selection of that movement’s defining films and filmmakers drawn from MoMA’s archives, including The Merchant of Four Seasons (1971) by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Stroszek (1977) by Werner Herzog, and Sisters, or The Balance of Happiness (1979) by Margarethe von Trotta. Reverse Shot provides a bridge between the filmmakers working 30 years ago, when Germany won its first Academy Award for best Foreign Language film (Volker Schlöndorff's The Tin Drum), and the current New German Cinema.

Kino! at Thirty includes the New York premiere of three feature films by German directors exhibiting at MoMA for the first time, each of which deals with some aspect of modern German history: Ulla Wagner’s The Invention of Currywurst, Christian Schwochow’s November Child, and Christian Klandt’s Weltstadt, all made in 2008. Kino! at Thirty: New Cinema from Germany is organized by the Museum of Modern Art, the Goethe Institute and German Films Service + Marketing. For information on the full program, visit the Museum's website:

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