Category Archives: Daniel Brühl

Solitude

Time alone is very important to me, solitude is not a luxury but an essential. I just don’t have a great deal of tolerance for being around other people, regardless of whether I want to be or not. So it stands to reason that today has been a very trying day. I’ve had twelve near continuous hours of social time, I’ve not been by myself for more than ten minutes all day. It’s a price worth paying for getting to see the Captain America triple bill and the all important midnight screening of Civil War. It’s a price I’ll be paying for dearly in the days to come. I’m already paying for it now in fact. Too much social time and having to adjust to being in a strange place at the same time means I can’t sleep. All I need is some time alone, not just from the person with me but from my own thoughts. My goal originally was to write something for my “Fallen Soldier” story before seeing Civil War, it didn’t work out quite so well. I have a lot of notes but so far no actual story. Seeing The Winter Soldier again fixed that. I now know how to start and have a few ideas for later on as well. Problem is I need to write them down now so I can sleep, if I don’t they won’t stop bothering me and I won’t get any sleep anyway.

Although I’m sure I would be having trouble sleeping anyway right now thanks to the end of Civil War, I can’t believe they froze Bucky. Just in case him having his arm torn off by Iron Man wasn’t enough, now he’s back on ice as well. I hope it’s a Han Solo type deal, him being unfrozen in the next film. Up till then the film was perfect, I certainly enjoyed seeing Iron Man getting smashed up and the scene with Antman going giant was just priceless. So many one liners and witty exchanges, too many to remember in fact so I’m glad I’m seeing it again later today. I have a feeling it won’t be the last time I see it either.

The only complaints I have is the fact Daniel Brühl was not in it much, a shame since I liked seeing him playing a different kind of character. Two things I have to mention, it was strange hearing him call Bucky by his actual first name James, weird because of course he played Niki Lauda in Rush, his rival and sort of friend being James Hunt. Second of all Daniel looked different, I can’t put my finger on it but he reminded me of how he looked in Rush a little, before the accident obviously. The other complaint is that there wasn’t enough of Sebastian, I would have liked more scenes delving into his and Captain America’s friendship, hopefully that’s to come in one of the next installments. As for German related trivia, the airport they fought at was in Leipzig, I hope that’s a good omen for later on. I don’t expect Bielefeld to smash Leipzig, holding them to a draw would do. Now I am rambling, it’s not a good mix at all. Popcorn, cookies, a late night and now too many ideas. I can’t wait to get home so I can be by myself again. I was fairly certain I could never live with someone else anyway, I mean actually choosing to because I do live with other people right now, it’s just not by choice. Now I have the proof that even choosing to live with someone may not work, I really do need my own space and a lot of it. This is just one day and night and I’m already going crazy. If it’s loneliness or this then the latter is definitely the better option.

Daniel Brühl – Heute leute – 8/12/2015

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Im Leben von Daniel Brühl

Im Leben von Daniel Brühl

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Daniel Brühl – Champions League Final 2015 – pre-match show

Today just could not get any better, an interview with Jogi, a new picture of Hansi and to round things off Daniel Brühl was part of the pre-match show for the final as well. Just in case things couldn’t get any better, the segment included a scene from his new film “Ich und Kaminski” from which there is a picture of him. He’s a big fan of Barcelona because he was born there but he grew up in Cologne strangely enough. Strange because that’s where Hansi played for a few seasons after Bayern. I don’t know if he supports a German team or not, I’ve never heard him mention it. I like to think he does.

Daniel Brühl - Champions League Finale 2015 - pre-match show 1 Daniel Brühl - Champions League Finale 2015 - pre-match show 2 Daniel Brühl - Champions League Finale 2015 - pre-match show 3 Daniel Brühl - Champions League Finale 2015 - pre-match show 4 Daniel Brühl - Ich und Kaminski

Once Upon a Time in Nazi Occupied France

That was apparently what Tarantino wanted as the title of Inglourious Basterds, as much as I like the actual title with its characteristic Tarantino-esque misspelling, I really like that and wish they had kept it. I was also tempted to title this post “I love numbers” which isn’t actually a line from the film, it’s a comic mishearing by a critic (from Sight and Sound I think). They thought that’s what Landa had said when he uttered one of his best lines (I know all of his lines are his best lines, but it’s my favourite in particular) “I love rumours.” Though for obvious reasons it would have been, in a very dark way hilarious, if that’s what the Jew hunter had said.

Inglourious Basterds delivers upon what if offers on the poster, an uproarious, inglourious thrill ride of vengeance. It’s enjoyable for film buffs and casual fans alike, if you get the references it just adds to the fun and if you don’t it doesn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the film.

Some people have voiced the opinion that whilst the first twenty minutes or so is undeniably sheer genius, that the film loses its way later on, in particular what QT refers to as the “French film” segment being criticised for its slowness compared to the rest of the film. I don’t think so; my view on it can be summed up with a quote from The Wire: “and all the pieces matter.” I think it all fits together perfectly; each and every segment is required. The film is pretty long, two hours and thirty-two minutes (including in the credits) and yet I couldn’t imagine a single thing that could be cut or that would need to be.

Nor do I think that the film suffers when Landa is not on-screen, despite my considerable appreciation for the character, it’s almost a relief when he’s not on screen for the simple reason that the scenes he is in are so fraught with tension that it’s a relief not to see him for a while. The relative calmness of the French section counteracts the intensity of the rest of the film nicely I think.

I honestly don’t have a single thing to criticise, there isn’t anything I think could have been done better or improved in any way. From a writing perspective, I think it may be the best thing QT will ever do and maybe from a directorial standpoint as well. The casting was simply unbeatable, I obviously hugely appreciate the fact that you have Germans playing Germans; in fact my favourite thing about the film is that the correct languages are spoken. I also like how speaking or not speaking a particular language, or rather speaking it correctly is an important part of the story. On this note my favourite scene is the one with the solider in the bar after Hicox and the two Basterds have been shot. The exchange goes something like this:

Aldo: What are you?
Werner: I’m a German you idiot.
Aldo: You speak pretty good English for a German.
Werner: I agree.

To me, that was QT mocking all of the films that have had English speaking actors play Nazis over the years.

Overall, the film is so perfect it really is impossible to pick a favourite scene. If I were to list my favourite scenes I would just ending up describing the film from beginning to end. Nor could really I pick a favourite character, Landa I obviously like, but I equally like Wilhelm Wicki, Lt. Aldo, Frederick Zoller and there are many I like amongst the characters who don’t have a great deal of screen time as well such as Richard Sammel as Seargent Werner Rachtman, Christian Berkel as the bartender and Denis Ménochet as the farmer in the very first scene. And not forgetting the truly disturbingly perfect Sylvester Groth as Joseph Goebbels. Nevetheless Landa is the one I have written pages and pages about, in fact I have so many notes on him and my interpretation of his character that I think it’s best to give him a post of his own so that he doesn’t steal this post like he stole the film.

The film ends with the words “you know, I think this may be my masterpiece”. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece. He may have won the Oscar for best original screenplay for Django Unchained but in my mind, he should have won it for this. Whilst both films have great quotable dialogue, Django obviously having the advantage given that almost all of the film is in English, for me it’s Inglourious Basterds that is better overall and that showcases Tarantino’s talents as a writer.

Four favourite films – 2014

My four favourite films that I’ve seen at the cinema in 2014, usually it’s a top five but here its four, in honour of Germany’s fourth star:

1. In Order of Disappearance – I was resigned to waiting for the DVD to see this, so it was a pleasant surprise to find it was at the cinema, albeit only for six days which was a shame, since I would have liked to see it again.  A dark Norwegian revenge thriller with a little something extra beneath the surface and Stellan Skarsgard and Bruno Ganz are in it, plus a few moments of that deliciously dark Scandinivian humour, what more could you want? I don’t want to repeat myself, not when I’m not sure that I can sum it up any better than what I wrote not long after seeing the film: https://kretschmannland.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/in-order-of-disappearance/

2. What We Do in the Shadows – I just saw this yesterday, it’s about a group of vampires who have a film crew following them around in order to make a documentary about them. It was a riot, very funny, lots of good vampire jokes. One of them wanting to go to a party dressed as Blade for example. All kinds of funny situations that you just never would have thought of, like a 3000 year old vampire called Peter having his teeth brushed for him by one of the younger vampires. Or a vampire who refuses to do his share of the dishes and leaves blood encrusted dishes around the place. Of course my favourite moment was the scene in German, and the pedant in me enjoying correcting the slight but important (at least to me) translation error. I liked that the film starts out as if it’s a real documentary and the format is maintained throughout the film, including towards the end when the cameraman is attacked by a werewolf and we see him being torn to shreds through the lens of his own camera. The fact that it feels like a real documentary just adds to the humour. As for why it makes my list, it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen, it’s weird and different and made me laugh a lot, which not a lot of films that are meant to be funny do.

3. Frank – Frank is another weird one. A bit too strange for some people I think, definitely not something that appeals to everyone’s tastes. I’m not a big fan of Michael Fassbender, I think he’s a little overrated, but he was brilliant in this. My favourite scene was him and Dom talking when he comes up with the idea of saying his facial expressions out loud, that was genius. I can’t really explain how or why it worked, I’ve seen the film three times (twice at the cinema) and each time it has defied any real explanation. There’s just something about the band and how their for lack of better word “craziness” feeds off of each other. I enjoyed seeing Dom put in his place at the end, after his earlier musings about why he couldn’t have anything dark in his past, when he asked Frank’s parents about what caused his illness. It’s good for something to dispel the myth that mental illness equals genius, or to be more precise that they are related in some way, that such an illness always comes with such a talent or a gift. Besides isn’t it kind of offensive, like implying that their talent is because of their illness, not something that they are good at and worked at?

Random tangent, one of the things that amused me greatly at the time (because of what I called the Kretschmann Connection) was that when Dom is getting tweets about where Frank might be, he gets one from a call girl agency located on the Volga. This amused me because the Volga is a river in eastern Russia which flows into Stalingrad, the Kretschmann Connection needing no further explanation there.

4. I couldn’t decide about my fourth favourite, at first I put The Rover here, then I changed it to Rush. I know it’s cheating a little since Rush was not released in 2014, but I did see at the cinema this year as part of the Bafta tour. I still think The Rover is an excellent film (as is Animal Kingdom) it’s just that Rush is special, even if I am still disappointed in Daniel Brühl. Rush is  just perfection, it doesn’t get anything wrong. It’s top class in every aspect. The acting is first rate, Daniel is just as perfect as anyone could ever be in any film ever. Chris Hemsworth is equally as terrific as James Hunt. Also great is Pierfrancesco Favino as Clay Regazzoni, he manages to hold your attention which is quite something given that most of his scenes are with Daniel. One of the first things I thought after the film was, why have I never heard of this guy. I just looked him up and it turns out I had seen him in two films, World War Z and Angels and Demons. In the first he was  W.H.O doctor, there quite a few of those, so impossible to remember him. I don’t even remember seeing Peter Capaldi. Though funnily enough I remember the German one, Moritz Bleibtreu. As for Angels and Demons, I will never submit myself to that borefest again. I only did the first time because Stellan Skarsgard, Nikolj Lie-Kaas and Thure Lindhart were in it.

Anyway, back to Rush, the film itself is a bit like Niki Lauda, to the point with not a wasted word. There were some areas that could have been covered a little better, their marriages for example, neither Marlene nor Suzy were well used and their characters were a little underdeveloped. But personally I don’t mind that so much, the film was about Lauda and Hunt’s rivalry and racing, and a film can’t always cover everything that happens. Anyway to cover all of the intrigues that surrounded the two of them, would take a whole mini-series.  I will concede that it’s a shame that Alexandra Maria Lara didn’t get more to do.

Forget about Daniel winning the Oscar for best supporting actor (which he should have done) the people responsible for the makeup should have won one for their work. Before the accident, their work was great, afterwards it was incredible.

I think the best thing about Rush is that in all the excitement and drama of the track there is room for the little moments, Niki and Marlene’s exchanged glances as he gets out of the car and decides to stop to name one. There are plenty more but I haven’t seen it in a while, that moments there sticks in my mind, I really liked that and think about it often. And little details, like James Hunt going around with no shoes on. The film somehow manages to find a way to please diehard F1 fans and people who have no clue or interest in the sport at the same time. On that count it did it’s job a little too well, with some people pointing out that it makes F1 look more exciting and action packed than it actually is.

Other than being a truly terrific film, the reason Rush is on my list is that I really liked Niki Lauda. I knew who he was before the film but I knew nothing of what a character he was back then and how interesting he is. I loved his blunt “I don’t care what you think” style. I loved him in the car with Regazzoni and the scene where Marlene and him break down and he ends up driving an Italian’s car way too fast. My absolute favourite is when he drives a Ferrari for the first time, that scene is just genius.

If the list had been five and not four, either The Rover or The Unbeatables would have been fifth.

Daniel Brühl/Baron Zemo?

Daniel Brühl is going to be in Captain America 3. I know in an interview for Rush last year he said he wanted to be in a superhero film, I didn’t think he was serious. And does he have to be in a film that TK is probably going to be in. I hope he doesn’t start doing more American stuff and less European stuff.

The most obvious character for him to be playing if indeed he is a villain is Baron Zemo, someone who knows a great deal more than I do about the Marvel universe told me that it was likely Zemo would feature in this film, maybe they were right. I know very little of the Marvel universe, comic books aren’t really my thing, so I don’t know how Zemo would fit in to the story with regards to Baron Von Strucker. If they are on the same side or not.

It would be in a way interesting, but it wouldn’t be so good really, since that would no doubt end in his untimely demise at Von Strucker’s hands. Though if he’s going to play a bad guy, he’s going to end up dead anyway. If that’s the case I’d rather it be at the hands of Captain America or one of the heroes, pretty much anyone but Von Strucker.

Just why Daniel, why? Now you’ve guaranteed that I have to go and see it. And just the other day I wrote that you couldn’t put a foot wrong, well you no longer hold that special position, you now join the ranks of the ordinary Germans. You are no longer the sole German who could do no wrong in my eyes.