I Stayed in Berlin All Summer

Country: Germany

Year: 1994

Genre: drama

Directed by: Angela Schanelec

Film run: 47 minutes

Schanelec’s graduation film, starring herself, follows the trials and tribulations of two couples in Berlin, their perceptions of others colored by subjective fantasy and their own positions within an anxious and frequently unforgiving world.

Location: Romanian Literature Museum – Pogor Memorial House

Places in Cities

Location: Romanian Literature Museum – Pogor Memorial House

Country: Germany

Year: 1998

Genre: drama

Directed by: Angela Schanelec

Film run: 1 hour 57 minutes

Schanelec’s sophomore feature is a coming-of-age story crafted with her signature sensitivity, absence of sentimentality, and delicate use of cinematic form to convey the pains of becoming. Quiet teenager Mimmi (Sophie Aigner) lives in Berlin with her single mother, but while on a school trip to Paris she falls in love and becomes pregnant, the already complicated path from childhood to adulthood growing ever more obscure. Increasingly drawing upon ellipsis and stylistic austerity to achieve a powerful rawness of feeling, Places in Cities marks a formative transitional point for Schanelec, rendering a familiar genre all the more moving through the delicacy of her compositions and the rhythmic force of her editing.

Passing Summer

Country: Germany

Year: 2001

Genre: drama

Directed by: Angela Schanelec

Film run: 1 hour 25 minutes

Lives intersect as the seasons slowly change in Schanelec’s third feature, a tranquil drama in which moments of tenderness and awkwardness shared by an ever expanding network of Berliners ebb and flow across a summer full of uncertainty and possibility. We begin by following Valerie (Ursula Lardi), a young writer who has decided not to travel over the summer and to instead settle in her new apartment. Her subsequent encounters with acquaintances and strangers – and their encounters with others – suggest a vast emotional landscape, one in which the characters’ hopes and anxieties are tested by the slow, inexorable passage of time.

Location: Romanian Literature Museum – Pogor Memorial House

Marseille

Location: Romanian Literature Museum – Pogor Memorial House

Country: Germany, France

Year: 2004

Genre: drama

Directed by: Angela Schanelec

Film run: 1 hour 35 minutes

An apartment swap between a young photographer from Berlin, Sophie (frequent Schanelec actor Maren Eggert), and a French student sets up a slyly understated narrative experiment in one of Schanelec’s signature films. As Sophie drifts about the port city of Marseille in winter, snapping pictures and fleetingly entertaining the idea of a romance with a mechanic, she begins to feel a sense of release, of being unburdened from the people and everyday dramas of her life back home. But as with any trip, Sophie’s time in Marseille must come to an end, and as she returns, she searches for herself in the gap between the absolute freedom of her vacation and the everyday anxieties and tensions of normal life.

Afternoon

Country: Germany

Year: 2007

Genre: drama

Directed by: Angela Schanelec

Film run: 1 hour 37 minutes

Schanelec herself stars in her fifth feature, a characteristically sensuous and tense reworking of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. An estranged family of artists meets for a holiday rendezvous at a villa in Potsdam, including selfish theater actor Irene (Schanelec), her psychically fragile son (Jirka Zett), and her sickly older brother (Mark Waschke). Irene struggles to connect with these two fraught figures, and as old resentments and older wounds bubble up to the surface, the family must endure the emotional reckoning it has long deferred. In one of her most visually beautiful films, Schanelec paints the agony and the ecstasy of the familial bond with the soft, warm light of a summer afternoon.

Location: Romanian Literature Museum – Pogor Memorial House

I Was at Home, But…

Location: Romanian Literature Museum – Pogor Memorial House

Country: Germany, Serbia

Year: 2019

Genre: drama

Directed by: Angela Schanelec

Film run: 1 hour 45 minutes

An elliptical yet emotionally lucid variation on the domestic drama, Schanelec’s latest film — which won her the Best Director prize at the 2018 Berlinale—intricately navigates the psychological contours of a Berlin family in crisis: Astrid—played with barely concealed fury by Maren Eggert—is trying to hold herself and her fragile teenage son and young daughter together following the death of their father two years earlier. Yet as in all her films, Schanelec develops her story and characters in highly unexpected ways, shooting in exquisite, fragmented tableaux and leaving much to the viewer’s imagination, hinting at a spiritual grace lurking beneath the unsettled surface of every scene.

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