More in March with award-winning films at the outdoor Pattaya Rooftop Film Fest 2012

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The Pattaya film festival 2012, jointly organised by dusitD2 baraquda Pattaya hotel, the Goethe-Institute Thailand, BMW and Pattaya Mail Media Group— in honour of the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Germany, has run into its second half.

The outdoor-style festival has been applauded and well received by both Thais & foreigners for being innovative in bringing German films to screen on the Rooftop Lounge of dusitD2 baraquda Pattaya.  The first time ever in Thailand and South East Asia rooftop film festival opened its curtain on Friday 3rd February 2012 showing renowned contemporary German films.   Four out of nine outstanding German films have been screened and viewed by hundreds of movie lovers.

The remaining five festival weekends will feature the final five, not-to-be-missed German award-winning & most celebrated films.  In particular, the “must-see” films of this festival are the acclaimed “Run Lora Run” (March 16), “A friend of mine” (March 23) and “The life of others” (March 30).

The festival continues this Friday, March 2, with a showing of “Kirschblüten – Hanami” (Cherry Blossoms) with next Friday’s movie being the 2006 release “Tough Enough”.  A brief synopsis of both movies can be found below.

There is no admission fee for The Pattaya Rooftop Film Festival; guests can simply enjoy a selection of drink packages available on each night.

For more information or reservations please contact Tel. 038 769 999 or Email: [email protected]

Kirschblüten – Hanami (Cherry Blossoms) (2006), Director: Doris Dörrie, colour, 127 min.

Rudi (Elmar Wepper) is unaware that he is suffering from cancer and only has a few weeks left to live.  The doctor has only informed his vivacious, esoteric wife Trudi (Hannelore Elsner) of his diagnosis, and she decides that they should take a last holiday together.  When they arrive on the Baltic coast, Trudi dies unexpectedly – and Rudi fulfils her lifelong dream of visiting Japan and seeing Mount Fuji.

A poetic journey into the heart of the human soul.  The story of a selfless love.  Captivating and melancholy.  A deeply human and poignant love story about a couple in their mid-sixties, played by Elmar Wepper and Hannelore Elsner, who only truly discover one another once death has parted them.

Review:  “Exquisitely made, this gentle, intelligent film is full of warm humour.  It’s a piece of work in which every detail counts, every shot beautifully framed and lit.  A fly clinging to a windowpane, a handkerchief tied to a railing, a pair of slippers on a mat – all these little things are full of meaning.  Cherry Blossoms invites us to slow down and discover the hidden layers of meaning in our own lives.  It requires and solicits a certain generosity of spirit and an openness to experience, but what it offers in return is something remarkable.”  (EyeForFilm.co.uk).

Tough Enough – Knallhart (2006), Director: Detlev Buck, colour, 98 min

The tragic story of a fifteen-year-old who longs to escape the violence at his school and his miserable private life.  He starts working as a drug runner and is forced to commit murder.

Young Michael Polischka wanders lost yet purposefully through the streets of Neukölln until he enters a police station.  Blood clings to his shoe and he proceeds to tell Police Commissioner Gerber his story as the film flashes back to earlier events.  On Michael’s fifteenth birthday his mother has a nasty quarrel with her partner.  The dispute escalates and a short time later mother and son are standing on the roadside with their suitcases.  His mother’s rich lover has chucked them out of his house.  He has the money and the power.  He graciously stuffs some banknotes in the boy’s hand and asks him not to call him “Klaus” any longer, but “Dr. Peters”.  The two castaways “relocate” from the classy neighbourhood of Zehlendorf to Neukölln.

Michael also has to change schools and ends up in a class in which both teacher and pupils have lost all optimism.  Exasperation with the hopeless situation leads to aggression and violence.  A Turkish boy named Erol and his pal have a habit of blackmailing anyone weaker than them and victimize Michael.  Michael looks to his new friends Crille and Matze for help.

To get money, the three of them break into Dr. Peters’ villa, making off with everything they can carry.  While pawning off the loot, Michael’s unflinching manner catches the eye of Hamal, the head of a drug gang.

Following his last two relatively insignificant comedies, Love Your Female Neighbour (Liebe Deine Nächste) and Bundle of Joy (Liebesluder), director Detlev Buck makes a radical about-face and risks a fresh start.  The resulting work addresses a burning topic of the day, telling a brutal tale of suffering yet with an unrelenting sensitivity, something which was not necessarily to be expected from a director known for his laid-back and brash approach to filmmaking.

Rare, abrupt flashes of humour only serve to prevent the film from becoming an exercise in melodramatic self-pity, yet these cheery moments are always smothered as quickly as they arise.