There haven’t been that many films that inspired me, but I haven’t seen several suggested must-see films either. In this post, I will share some of those that I have already watched and some of other people’s suggestions as well. That’s why this list dates from spring 2024 back to last year.

Filmm agazines and flyers 2024

Seen, unseen, still recommended

Sometimes, we don’t have to watch an important film ourselves even though it is very important. Especially when you’re susceptible and already suffer from all the bad news. Otherwise, you should definitely go and see them, including Green Border, The Zone of Interest, and Io Capitano.

Saiorse Ronan’s film about Barbie was celebrated and controversial: Feminism? Pinkwashing? Clever marketing for a toy doll that is already far too successful? Make up your own mind, because I haven’t seen the film (yet), despite numerous recommendations.

I also didn’t see Oppenheimer yet, which takes us to biopics. Biopics often show a biased or simplified version of people, which is not necessarily wrong. Biographies of artists, musicians and fashion designers can be beautiful and entertaining, inspiring us to take a closer look at their lives and work.

Films by, about, and featuring Musicians

I only watched the trailers of Back to Black, Bob Marley: One Love, and Priscilla. Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse has been praised for being a talented singer, while the film about Priscilla Presley (inadvertently) does not feature any music by Elvis. Bob Marley is still an important and famous musician, but maybe it was about time to present him to a new generation of audiences again.

Another less mainstream film that I had no opportunity to see yet, although it was supposed to screen in 2023: Omen (Augure) by Baloji, a musician from Belgium who composed the score and conceived the story. I saw him perform on stage at Open Source Festival several years ago, and I’m still excited about some of his tracks like “L’hiver indien” and “Soleil de Volt” (a hip hop cover of Dooyo by Dur-Dur Band). His film promises to be a multicultural trip. There should be more of this cultural and musical crossover!

The Boy Who Owns The World (Der Junge, dem die Welt gehört) tells a story about a lonely quest for inspiration, poetry, freedom, and love. It’s maybe the most enigmatic and ambiguous movie of recent times.
Written and directed by Robert Gwisdek, aka Käptn Peng, this unusual independent film features the musician Julian Vincenzo Faber in a dreamlike setting that is aesthetically illuminated in black and white. Multilingual dialogue, piano music, and the sounds of nature, an old villa, and birds are among the many coincidences in this film.

Rickerl features yet another musician: David Öllerer, commonly known as Voodoo Jürgens. The feel-good film, whose story doesn’t leave many questions unanswered, celebrates a world of smoky pubs and demo tapes in Viennese dialect, which is often only understandable thanks to the subtitles. It’s partly based on true events involving various people and the main character’s own life.

Magic (Sur)realism: Poor Things, La Chimera

Film posters of La Chimera and Cè ancora domain at ILKINO in Berlin Neukölln La Chimera by Alice Rohrwacher is a fictional film, but inspired by real memories and the so-called magic realism of famous Italian film makers of past decades. The quirky story is set in the 1980s in the summery Italian provinces, where various people struggle through life in their own way. Not only Isabella Rossellini, a former opera singer in a decaying villa, but all the other roles are also superbly cast. Like the black and white and more serious film There’s Still Tomorrow (C’è ancora domani), La Chimera was an unexpected success with audiences.

Perhaps magical, but far from realistic, Poor Things with Emma Stone is maybe already one of the most unusual and most acclaimed films of 2024, as a feminist adaptation of a novel that combines the aesthetics and themes of Frankenstein with modern elements, begins in black and white and later becomes squeakily colourful and crosses boundaries in every respect.

Lonely Strangers

“Don’t cross the Rubicon,” a futile warning sounds in The Holdovers, a film which, with its wintry setting and Christmassy loneliness, was actually released too late in German cinemas and is therefore only now appearing in my film tips. Similar to Sissi & I, the film is not only set in the past but also makes use of the cinematic aesthetics of times gone by and very slowly tells a story of misunderstood characters who are brought together by fate. The story may come across as clichéd American, but it provides some touching and many very funny moments and is also worth seeing in spring or summer.

Also, with beautiful reminiscences of the 1980s, All of us Strangers tells of loneliness and love between men and within the family. What if? asks a writer who is in danger of becoming entangled in his memories while working on an autobiographical novel. His only neighbour in the large tower block, played by Paul Mescal, seems to be present in impossible situations, taking the story beyond factual reality.

Last but not least, I would like to mention a film that almost didn’t make it onto my spring list due to its supposed boredom: Perfect Days is a Wim Wenders film which is probably praising the idea of a simplistic Japanische a little bit too much. A quiet film that was originally intended to be a promotional film for architecturally ambitious public toilets in Tokyo. There has been a similar criticism about another, yet unseen, Japanese movie, Evil does not exist. But both are a must-see, at least for fans of Japanese aesthetics.