Introduction Kino Klub Goethe

Peter Bosma
update: november 2017
My intention with the monthly screenings of Kino Klub Goethe is to offer visitors an exciting and surprising introduction to the rich history of German cinema. 

As a film programmer I consider myself as a generalist, this means knowing just a little bit about many decades and national cinemas. Therefore it is a pleasure to be challenged to specialize myself in German cinema. Since March 2013 I have the privilege to program entirely to my own discretion a series of monthly screenings of highlights chosen from a wide range of German films. These screenings are labeled as Kino Klub Goethe and are held at the Goethe Institut Niederlände in Rotterdam (Westersingel 9). From 2015 onwards the Deutsche Bibliothek in Den Haag has joined this series. For me this assignment is inspirational and very honorable. Happily enough, there is also an audience for my whimsical choices.
The workflow is easy. I can choose from the ‘DVD Gesammt Verzeichnis’, a yearly adapted catalogue of films available on dvd and also cleared rights for non-commercial screenings.
I recognize in this list many film titles that we have successfully shown in the Netherlands in the seventies, eighties or nineties, but which are rarely seen in the 21st century. A reprise is therefore justified. Incidentally I can also choose from the offerings of Dutch film distributors, as in the case of Salzmänner von Tibet (1997) or the television serie Welt am Draht (1973). More recent reprises are also possible and can be considered as relevant to keep the memory alive. Some examples of films which were released in the 21th century in the Netherlands and deserve second chances or second viewings: Soul Kitchen (2008), Effi Briest (2009), Drei (2010), Oh Boy (2010), Hannah Arendt (2011), Berliner Tagebuch (2012), and Barbara (2012). Fortunately, I also encounter inspiring films, which to my knowledge were never released in the Netherlands, such as Goya or Der arge Weg der Erkenntnis (1971), or Unter den Brücken (1946). Absolute Giganten (1999) also has the status of 'previously unreleased'. It is an early film by director Sebastian Schipper. The screening of this suited nicely in the month that his most recent film Victoria (2015) was released in the Netherlands.
Gradually a number of red threads can be distinguished in my explorations, with the following keywords: modern classics, ensemble films, films by female directors, and films with a cosmopolitan repercussion. Spontaneously, my selection also includes big names from German cultural history, such as films about Johan Sebastian Bach or Bertolt Brecht, and film adaptation of novels by Franz Kafka (Klassenverhältnisse, 1984) and Theodore Fontane (Effi Briest, 2009). Incidentally, book adaptations are not dominant in my selection. Adaptations of modern novels are limited to interesting incidents such as Das Wochenende (2012), Die Vermessung der Welt (2011), Emmas Gluck (2006), and Katz und Maus (1967). After a few seasons it becomes clear that I seem to have a preference for a number of contemporary directors such as Wim Wenders, Christian Petzold, Fatih Akin, Wolfgang Becker and Tom Tykwer. Among the older generations Helmut Kaütner and Konrad Wolf  are among my favorites.
For each screening I provide a handout with information and recommended sources. These handouts can be found on my website:
Programma of the pilot in Spring 2013
Programme first season (2013-2014)
Film tip in february 2014: Menschen am Sonntag (1930), silent film with live musical accompaniment, screened at EYE (Amsterdam) with a new score by Albert van Veenendaal, performed by Oene van Geel (altviolin), Miriam Overlach (harp) and Albert van Veenendaal (prepared piano).
Programme second season (2014-2015)
Programme third season (2015-2016)
Film tip in may 2016: Menschen am Sonntag (1930), silent film with live musical accompaniment by the pop band Mik Adrian, screened at Filmhuis Den Haag.
Programme fourth season (2016-2017)
Film tip in february 2017: Kino Klub Goethe on the Campus, a screening of Victoria (Sebastian Schipper, 2015) held at Erasmus Paviljoen on the Woudenstein campus of the Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. A cooperation of Studium Generale, student club ESN-Rotterda andKino Klub Goethe.
Film tip in may 2017: Ich und Kaminski (Wolfgang Becker, 2015), another adaptation of a novel by Daniel Kehlmann, presented in the series Deutsches Kino, screened at Filmhuis Lumen in Delft and Ketelhuis in Amsterdam.
Film tip in june 2017: Das Cabinett des dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920), sielnt film with live musical accompaniment by Kevin Toma (piano), Bianca Bongers (cello) and Huib van de Grint (guitar), screened at Tante Nino in Rotterdam as the 60th edition of the Khachapuri Kino Club.
Programme fifth season (2017-2018)
Recommended books about German films
Relevant websites & blogs recent German films
Silent movies / Stumm Filme
Silent cinema has not been programmed yet at Kino Klub Goethe. Still, there is an abundance of fascinating material. Some options:
The silent metropole in Weimar Cinema
Love is a battle
  • Variety (E.A. Dupont, 1925)
  • Asphalt (Joe May, 1929)
  • Die Büchse der Pandora  (G.W. Pabst 1929)
Silent Global Cinema in Berlin/ emigrated directors
The subconscious is muddy water
Further Reading about German silent film