The German Film Festival's 2024 Program Is Here with Brand-New Gems and a Werner Herzog Retrospective

The touring fest is celebrating German cinema's past in two ways, including via a selection of past standouts such as 'The Marriage of Maria Braun' and 'Toni Erdmann'.
Sarah Ward
Published on April 10, 2024

Whether he's behind or in front of the camera, making his own version of Nosferatu or documentaries about volcanologists,  popping up in Parks and Recreation or playing a villain in a Jack Reacher movie, there's no one in the film industry like Werner Herzog. His voice is famous, including get a use in family-friendly animation not once but twice. His work as a director is thoroughly inimitable. He's one of Germany's cinema greats — and Australia's 2024 German Film Festival is recognising him as such.

This year's touring event, which has dates with Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Byron Bay between Tuesday, May 7–Wednesday, June 5, boasts a Werner Herzog retrospective on its just-announced full lineup. A documentary about him is on the bill, so get excited to see Werner Herzog: Radical Dreamer on the big screen. Also set to flicker through the projectors: Aguirre, The Wrath of God, about searching for El Dorado; Fitzcarraldo, which focuses on trying to move a steamship over a Peruvian mountain; and Nosferatu the Vampyre, featuring Klaus Kinski, as with the aforementioned two titles, but this time as Dracula.

There's also Heart of Glass, which gets experimental in a Bavarian village — and The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2024.

Clearly, the German Film Festival has the past on its mind with its latest program. That also comes through in a second way, by marking 70 years of German Films, the organisation tasked with promoting the country's movies beyond Germany. As part of that retrospective, the Oscar-nominated Jacob the Liar, Oscar-winning documentary Serengeti Shall Not Die, Rainer Werner Fassbinder's iconic The Marriage of Maria Braun and unforgettable recent standout Toni Erdmann will all play the fest. So will Trace of Stones and Yesterday Girl, both from 1966 — the first from East Germany, the second from West Germany.

Looking backwards isn't the only thing on the agenda, however. As it usually does, the event will bring some of the best German and Austrian movies that premiered at this year's Berlin International Film Festival to Australia. 2024's fest spans six such titles, starting with opening night's World War II-set From Hilde, With Love, which follows a young woman in the anti-Nazi resistance movement. From there, centrepiece choice Foreign Language features the always-exceptional Nina Hoss (Tár) in a tale about a friendship playing out through letters, while closing night's Treasure stars Lena Dunham (Sharp Stick) and Stephen Fry (The Morning Show).

Plus, Andrea Gets a Divorce brings tragicomedy to the program, Scorched Earth gives the lineup a crime thriller and Every You Every Me is a social-realist drama.

Elsewhere, highlights come via One for the Road, complete with a dive into Berlin's nightlife, then a switch to attempting to get sober; the Leipzig-set Dark Satellites, which tells of three love stories; Lubo, the latest must-see starring Franz Rogowski (Passages); Blind at Heart, which takes the leap from the page to the screen; and Not a Word, joining the ranks of recent films — such as Tár — to feature a conductor as a key character.

And, as always, the Kino for Kids section returns with movies for younger viewers, making heading to the fest a family affair. A comedy about teen sisters who love skateboarding, an adaptation of the novel The Flying Classroom and Lassie — A New Adventure are all on that part of the bill.

German Film Festival 2024 Dates:

Tuesday, May 7–Wednesday, May 29 — Palace Electric, Canberra
Wednesday, May 8–Wednesday, May 29 — Palace Norton Street, Chauvel Cinema, Palace Central, Palace Moore Park, Sydney
Thursday, May 9–Wednesday, May 29 — Palace James St, Palace Barracks, Brisbane
Friday, May 10–Wednesday, May 29 — Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, The Kino, The Astor Theatre, Pentridge Cinema and Palace Penny Lane, Melbourne
Wednesday, May 15–Wednesday, June 5 — Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas, Palace Nova Prospect Cinemas, Adelaide
Thursday, May 16–Wednesday, June 5 — Luna Leederville, Luna on SX & Palace Raine Square, Perth
Thursday, May 16–Wednesday, June 5 — Palace Byron Bay, Byron Bay

The 2024 German Film Festival tours Australia from throughout May and June. For more information, visit the festival website.

Published on April 10, 2024 by Sarah Ward
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