Queer Cinema from Germany - Aren't You Happy? (Das melancholische Mädchen)
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Aug. 7-9, 2020
** This film is only available to viewers in the US. **
Germany, France & Denmark
Series - Queer Cinema from Germany
Tickets are non-refundable.
Goethe Pop Up Seattle, in partnership with Three Dollar Bill Cinema, Gay City, and NWFF present Queer Cinema from Germany, a virtual film series that serves as an introduction to the multiplicity of stories at the heart of contemporary LGBTQ+ films.
About the Film
In search of a place to sleep, a melancholy girl roams the big city. On the way she meets young mothers who celebrate their motherhood as a religious revival experience, finds shelter with an abstinent existentialist for whom sex is just another market, and waits in a drag bar for the end of capitalism. Her attempt to write a book halts at the first sentence of the second chapter, and she finds no place between art galleries, yoga studios, and the beds of strange men. Instead of finding where she fits in, the girl begins to see her depression as a political issue.
In 15 comical encounters, Arent You Happy explores our postmodern society between precarity and self-marketing, serial monogamy and neo-spirituality, disillusionment, and the compulsion to be happy. Susanne Heinrichs debut film is a savvy mélange of pop, feminism, and cheeky humor.
In the beginning was my discomfort in society  In a seminar on Queer Theory I came into contact with Karen Michalskis Alphabet of Feeling Bad, a video work about negative feelings. Seeing this work changed everything. I would probably never have thought of seeing depression not as a fault, illness or individual failure, but rather to politicize it in the context of neoliberal labor and gender relations, for example. Susanne Heinrich
About the film:
9 Lives introduces young people from different strata of society who chose to live on the street. Rather than showing the young people on the streets, the films chooses to place them against the neutral background of a studio, where they talk about themselves, facing the running camera. The filmmaker limits herself to a few remarks or questions from off screen. What unites the young people are broken life stories, neglect by parents and family, domestic violence, social prejudices, homelessness, and drug addiction. And yet, despite all the destruction and painful experiences, each individual is endowed with remarkable strength and talent, which form the focus of the film.
Through its distanced presentation, the respect for the personality of each individual, and the renunciation of media-typical voyeurism and sensationalism, the film awakens the audiences understanding for the social problems of young people, their injuries, and their existential crises. In this manner, each black-and-white moving portrait comes to light in a gallery-like space that is reminiscent of Andy Warhols Screen Tests, in which the Pop artist aimed to find great people and let them be themselves. 9 Lives turns bums and punks into screen stars and rightly so.
About the filmmaker:
Maria Speth is an award-winning filmmaker who is often associated with the so-called Berlin School of German filmmaking. She studied at the Konrad Wolf University of Film and Television in Babelsberg and worked as an editing and directing assistant on various films and TV programs. She wrote/directed award-winning films, including the short film Barefoot (Barfuss, 1999, 3sat Award Oberhausen), her feature debut The Days Between (In den Tag Hinein, 2001, VPRO Tiger Award Rotterdam, Grand Prix du Jury Créteil, MFG Star), Madonnas (Madonnen, 2007, Hessian Film Award, Silver Astor Mar del Plata), 9 Lives (9 Leben, 2011, German Directors Award Metropolis, DEFA Foundations Incentive Award, Open Eyes Youth Jury Award), and Daughters (Töchter, 2013). The University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, and the Goethe-Institut Toronto presented her first retrospective in Canada in 2015.
Speth's work often focuses on women who, in many ways, refuse to accept societal roles and common moral concepts.
Northwest Film Forum (View)
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