Tag Archives: Daniel Brühl

The death of my champions league dream

With Dortmund crashing out of the the final 16 stage of the Champions League after losing tonight at home to Juventus 0-3 that destroys my dream of an all German final in Berlin. Bayer Leverkusen are out as well after losing on penalties to Atlético Madrid, though of course I never thought they would get anywhere near the final. Now Bayern are the only German team left standing. I guess it would be cool if the final were between Bayern and one of the Spanish teams, preferably Barcelona. Then it would be a half German half Spanish final, just like Daniel Brühl. And if I’m remembering correctly, he’s a Barcelona fan as well.

I’m kind of annoyed, not because Dortmund lost or because they could have played better, or because I’ve been cheated out of my all German final dream, I’m annoyed because I stayed up to watch this game and I really shouldn’t have. Though if I’m being honest, they were only part of the reason, the other two reasons are Hansi related and sticker related. I simply had to finish my new Hansi story before going to bed, equally I had to order and pay for my new stickers and album before going to bed.

We’re starting the Euro 2008 collection this month, a box of 100 packets of stickers, the German version of course and in the original box. After this is the 2006 World Cup album and this season’s Bundesliga album. My 2012 album is just three stickers away from completion, the Swede I’m missing plus two others which I got in a trade but apparently the person I traded with got confused between the international version and the German one, thanks to their carelessness I now have two stickers with white borders when they are meant to be purple. I’m not risking another trade, I’m buying them online instead.

I really should not have stayed up for the game, but I got so wrapped up in my new story and my notes and ideas for other things that I was just too excited to even contemplate sleep. I’m starting to pay for that now and I know I’m going to pay for it tomorrow. I know it’s a very short sighted way of viewing things but as long as I’m awake for Freiburg’s game this Saturday at 14:30 and for Germany’s game on Wednesday and Sunday then anything else is unimportant. It’s interesting that such a sleeping pattern is not at all healthy or responsible but that it can be very conducive for writing.

Films in 2015 to look forward to

Alone in Berlin – I just found out that a film is being made of this. Alone in Berlin is one of my favourite books ever; this is really great, though it’s not so great that the film will be in English, I’m a stickler for realism and it’s really distracting to have a film set in Germany and the characters speaking English, especially when one of the actors in question is actually German. I hope it turns out to be better The Book Thief last year.

Colonia Dignidad – Daniel Brühl and Michael Nyqvist in the same film, I don’t need to know what it’s about that’s enough of a reason right there to be excited and to add it to my must see list. As it happens the film itself sounds like something I would enjoy. To make things even more interesting Martin Wuttke (Inglourious Basterds Hitler) is in it too. The director is Florian Gallenberger who’s worked with Daniel Brühl before on City of War: The Story of John Rabe which is a fairly decent film, not flawless but not as bad as some people make it out to be.

The Face of an Angel – another Daniel Brühl film, the reviews I’ve read online so far have been negative, that doesn’t dampen my enthusiasm any, I’d rather make my own mind up and truth is I’d go to see practically anything Daniel is in regardless of how bad anyone says it is.

Inherent Vice – I’m currently reading the book, it’s the first Thomas Pynchon book I’ve attempted on the advice of someone online. They said it was a less intimidating introduction to Pynchon than say Gravity’s Rainbow which I have up next to read. I’m 100 pages into Inherent Vice so far and loving it, so I can’t wait for the film. I’m not a big fan of Paul Thomas Anderson though I do have fond memories of Magnolia. I’ve also seen Punch Drunk Love which I couldn’t get on with and There Will Be Blood which I’m still trying to make my mind up about. I want to see it a second time to decide once and for all but I keep putting it off which probably says it all. I am psyched to see Joaquin Phoenix play Doc, he’s the best thing about Gladiator and I really liked him in Her last year.

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter – “A jaded Japanese woman discovers a hidden copy of Fargo (1996) on VHS, believing it to be a treasure map indicating the location of a large case of money.” – I bet this gets a limited release and I won’t get a chance to see it at the cinema, that’s a shame since I would put that in my top five of films I really want to see. It sounds fantastic, exactly the kind of thing I would enjoy, partly of course because I love the Coen brothers and Fargo.

Stones for the Rampart – Another one I’ll probably have to wait for the DVD release for. Nazis and the Polish resistance, like I could resist that.

Chappie – I like Neill Blomkamp and count District 9 as one of my favourite films, true Elysium was a little disappointing but I’m sure this will be excellent (despite Hugh Jackman who I don’t like being in it) not least because Sharlto Copley is in it.

Soldiers of the Damned – this probably won’t be very good, a low budget horror film, Nazis and the occult, but I’m a sucker for stuff like this so I’ll see it if I can.

Child 44 – One of the reasons I’ll dislike this is the same reason I’ll dislike Alone in Berlin, they’ll be speaking English (hopefully not with Russian accents, I find that doubly distracting). Despite the language issue, they have assembled a mostly excellent cast. I think Tom Hardy will be perfect as Leo, Noomi Rapace as his wife less so. I find her very overrated, I didn’t rate her performance in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and I’ve yet to see her impress me in anything else either.

Avengers: Age of Ultron – obviously I’m less excited about this since I no longer have any interest in TK. I also found the first Avengers film kind of dull, it has lots of funny moments but overall the film is very forgettable. Still I feel compelled to have it on my list, if not just because of the chemistry between Robert Downey Jr and Mark Ruffalo. I also really like Chris Hemsworth as Thor. I would be more excited for it if Dr Eric Selvig was in it, I don’t care that Loki isn’t, I can live without him.

Rosewater – Jon Stewart’s directorial debut, it sounds interesting and as a bonus Kim Bodnia (Martin from The Bridge is in it).

Kicking Off – It’s about football, I’m sold. Basic summary of the plot, their team needs a win to avoid relegation; they don’t get that win, so the two main characters plan to kidnap the referee, sounds fun.

Red Army – a documentary about the Red Army hockey team. Cool, a sports documentary and the former USSR, will be lucky to see this at the cinema, very unlikely to happen.

Minions – I saw Despicable Me 2 before the first one and I’m glad I did because if I had seen them in the proper order I would not have bothered going to see the second one. I didn’t find it as funny or entertaining as the second one. I do love minions though; they are incredibly cute, simply irresistible.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E – on my list purely because Christian Berkel and Alicia Vikander are in it. I wish Henry Cavill wasn’t the main character, Man of Steel, two hours of my life I’ll never get back.

Midnight Special – the latest collaboration between Jeff Nichols and Michael Shannon. I don’t care what it’s about, doesn’t matter, anything with Michael Shannon in is worth seeing. He also has Freeheld and Frank & Lola coming out this year.

Spectre – I’m not fond of Daniel Craig as James Bond (my all time favourite is Timothy Dalton with Pierce Brosnan coming a close second) but I have to see this. Not just because I got my wish, there’s a note on my iPod from the 10th March 2013 saying that one of the roles I’d like CW to play is a Bond villain. In a conversation about the same subject I said that he would be perfect to play Blofeld, it wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination to picture him like that. And that’s who he’s rumoured to be playing.

The Hateful Eight – where better to end the list than with Quentin Tarantino’s latest project. With or without CW this will be undeniably awesome. The US date is listed as being the 13th November. Shame that’s not the UK date, it would make a fantastic birthday present.

A new year?

Today is the first day of a new year and it feels no different to yesterday. The only difference is that where my Quentin Tarantino calendar was there is now a huge Die Mannschaft one, the picture for January is the team celebrating after the Argentina match. The one other indicator that it’s the New Year is that there’s no post, it’s weird, the middle of the week and no mail. Plus I’m expecting quite a good few packages in the mail, some which I cannot wait to get my hands on, so it’s frustrating on that count as well.

At the beginning of each and every year, it’s impossible not to think the same thing, where did all that time go? When you look at the months ahead, it seems like such a long time but it’s always gone before you know it. You always feel like you should have got more done and read more books. And spent less time watching things you’ve already seen. That’s sort of taken care of itself, for whatever reason I’m less interested in watching TV at the moment. I’m not going to bother analysing the possible reasons, I’m just going to accept it and treat it like a gift, and hopefully the time can be put to better use and not solely spent playing Playstation.

Another thing I can’t stop thinking about is how I sometimes wish I could go back in time and relive certain events, not to do anything differently, just because I’d like to experience those things again. Like seeing Rush at the cinema or Django Unchained.

I normally don’t do anything to celebrate, nor do I watch any of the stuff on TV, I treat it like just another day. I made one exception to that this time around; I celebrated the New Year on German time because I watched online the celebrations at the Brandenburg Gate. I’m very glad I did since they showed all that has happened there this year and one of the things they showed was of course the homecoming ceremony for Joachim Löw and the team.

I don’t understand why people get drunk on New Year’s, unlike some people I wasn’t one of the unlucky idiots who woke up with a hang-over today, of course that’s not just because I didn’t consume any alcohol last night but also because due to the odd time at which I got to sleep yesterday, I haven’t been to bed yet. Apart from fireworks it was strangely quiet here, well at least in the sense that no-one in the vicinity threw a party, there was still some very talkative and not at all quiet idiots close to home. Another reason not to get drunk, people who do so don’t seem to know that they are talking rubbish and that they should shut up.

My only plans for the first day of the year were to watch Germany v Portugal (their first WM 2014 game) and the 1998 and 2002 official World Cup films. The 1998 one providing the most entertainment despite the fact that Germany was eliminated in the quarter finals by Croatia. The source of the fun is that the German team featured none other than Oliver Bierhoff, Jürgen Klinsmann and Andreas Köpke. The last game I watched of 2014 was Germany v Portugal, the third place match from the WM 2006 and it’s perfectly mirrored by my choice for today’s game. It wasn’t intentional, in fact it wasn’t my first choice, I was going to watch the final since I’ve only seen it once and to be honest I don’t remember a great deal of it. But it bothered me to watch them out of order, so I decided to start from the beginning and watch them all.

In some ways 2014 was similar to 2013, in both years the focus of my obsessions switched at almost the same time. In January/February of 2013 it was Christoph Waltz, then in September I abandoned him for Daniel Brühl. In 2014 Thomas Kretschmann replaced Daniel in February, and then of course he himself was replaced in the summer by Joachim Löw. The summer was when he replaced him but it was in September that I began my collection.

I hope this truly is a new year, that I can avoid a repeat of that, not least because I don’t have another German lined up to replace him. And because I don’t want him to be replaced, plus it would be rather inconvenient given the amount of money and time I’ve spent on my collection, that didn’t prevent the others from falling out of favour though.

Whereas with 2013 I feel like I can easily divide the year up according to my obsessions, it’s not so easy to do so for the past year, not so much because it all seems the same, it just seems a little murkier. Maybe it’s because in 2013, in terms of progress and me being less helpless and doing more for myself, it was so much more noticeable. The steps taken were bigger. So now it feels like I’m hardly moving at all.

2015

I’m not a fan of the concept of New Year’s resolutions; nevertheless I do have a list of things I’d like to get done, some of which I’m already working on, why wait for the new year to start making improvements?

The fun stuff first:

  • to learn how to tie a scarf like Jogi Löw
  • to obtain copies of the following games: Germany vs Russia, Finland, China and Sweden (his first game in charge in 2006). And the rest of Germany’s Confederations Cup matches from 2005, I only have the Brazil one. There are more I need that I haven’t come across yet, but they are the important ones. For example I wouldn’t mind having copies of the 2008 and 2012 European Championship matches with German commentary.
  • to get a Bayern shirt from the time Hansi Flick played there and a Stuttgart shirt from when Klinsmann played there (it doesn’t have to actually be from that time, a retro one would suffice, I missed out on one on eBay last month so I know they exist). I think a Freiburg shirt from Jogi’s time would also be cool but I don’t know if that’s obtainable.
  • to write more of the Hansi und Jogi adventures, and to finish Jürgen and Roman’s “Zwölf kleine Fuβball Spieler” story.

And now, not so much the important stuff, because that would imply the previous ones are not important and the second point is especially important, more that these are not obsession related:

  • Make more time for German and put more effort into it. Maybe I should start watching German TV every day, if I’m going to watch TV I may as well get something out of it.
  • To be able to get beyond the first page of kicker magazine without a German dictionary.
  • To keep the number of sleepless nights to a minimum, and if there is any, no all night video game marathons, reading or making videos fine, but no all night Dragon Age adventures.
  • To spend a little more time outside and get some exercise.
  • Actually save some money this time around and don’t just blow it all on whatever obsession is currently ruling my mind. But don’t have absurdly high expectations and expect too much, don’t put too much pressure on yourself by calling it a Germany travel fund or something similar. Just call it the Bundesliga fund or the Freiburg fund or something similarly vague. And no excessively stupid purchases like £50 DVDs from Japan or action figures that cost £100 or more. In fact no buying of DVDs and blu-rays at all, unless it’s something that I really have to have like “Der Große Traum.” Not counting football related ones that is, I’m still getting the DFB Pokal box-set as planned, and more of Germany’s friendlies and this is the best yet, the match when Stuttgart won the Pokal when Jogi was in charge and their Cup Winner’s Cup match against Chelsea. I know I’ve partly broken this before I’ve even really began, with the winning of the signed football. Hopefully there won’t be too many repeats of this particular mistake in the months to come.
  • Related to the previous one, this year I’ve been downsizing in regards to my collection, partly because I wanted the money and partly because I felt like I had too many. I currently own 865 DVDs and 257 blu-rays. I think I should continue to reduce that number, one way or another. I used to think that my collection was the most important thing in the world; I’ve been reconsidering this for several months. Partly because of something CW said that I can’t let go (“collections weigh me down”) and partly because of something someone asked me a few months ago when discussing the subject of moving out and living in Germany, the question being: what would I take with me, what from my possessions did I absolutely have to have with me wherever in the world I was. I’ve been mulling over my answer since they asked and realised that there isn’t actually that much that I feel like I couldn’t part with, whether temporarily or permanently. I’m no longer as attached to my film collection as I once was, my books are a different story but I’m sure if I tried I could narrow it down to at least fifty that I would have to keep regardless of the circumstances. I think I would probably not want to leave my PS3 behind.
    As for the list, I think it would be the following: the contents of my Deutschland/Die Mannschaft shelf, all of my football t-shirts, shirts, shorts and socks, my pictures and posters, my laptop and hard-drives and whatever other gadgets I have, my notebooks and some DVDs/blu-rays that I most definitely could not part with; Inglourious Basterds (the UK special edition, the French steel-book and the German special edition), Rush, Django Unchained, The Grand Miracle of Bern, Das Leben der Anderen, Goodbye Lenin to name a few. Essentially the German ones mostly, with just a few non-German exceptions.
  • Read more books. Last year I read 97, this year so far only 71. I was hoping to improve upon last year, obviously that’s not going to happen.
  • To learn how to accept compliments, or at least to make such occasions a little less awkward. To have some understanding of the concept of social reciprocity  in general I suppose.  Before adding this to the list I read up a little on it, one of the things I read was that when someone asks you how you are, you’re not really supposed to answer, you’re meant to politely say “I’m fine” (this I knew) and then you are meant to ask how they are, to reciprocate in others words. I didn’t know that, if I didn’t know that, how am I ever going to get the rest of this stuff?
  • To do things that make me happy and that I want to do, and not what other people think I should be doing. That means not obsessing over the fact that some people find the videos I make strange, I like them a great deal and that is enough. In fact I like the videos and the subjects of said videos more than the people in question.
  • Same with the videos that I like that I didn’t make, it doesn’t matter if anyone finds it strange that I spend so much time watching them. Some of them have come in useful anyway, the EM version of Gimme Hope Joachim, I worked out a good deal of the lyrics by myself, it’s good listening practice, turns out songs are good for learning German.

Four things in 2015 I’m looking forward to:

  1. The Germany v USA friendly on the 10th June – I already know what I’m going to call the video, the Jogi vs. Klinsi highlights
  2. The last series of Justified
  3. The Bridge series 3 – I don’t know if it’s next year it’s on UK TV, I hope it is.
  4. The Face of an Angel – one of Daniel Brühl’s new films.

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.

Fifa Street

I got the game a few weeks ago but only just got around to playing it. It’s pretty cool, not only can you create your own squad but you can choose what lanaguage they speak (plus accent choices) and what country you’re going to start out it in.

It’s cool hearing German. It’s bugging me because I think I recognise some of the voices. I can’t figure it if it’s because I actually recognise them or it’s just because I think they sound like someone else. It’s Cars 2 in German all over again. Whilst watching that I was convinced that one of the characters was dubbed by Gedeon Burkhard, turned it out it wasn’t him but the voice actor it was is also from Munich. So not so good that I mistakenly thought he was Gedeon but good in the sense that I must be getting a little better at beginning to recognise German accents.

My squad is Jogi Löw, Hansi Flick, Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller, Roman Weidenfeller, Bastian Schweinstiger, Max Kruse, Daniel Brühl and Sebastian Koch.

My third match was in Stuttgart. The opposing team was composed of Manuel Neuer, Bastian Schweinstiger, Frank Ribbery and Arjen Robben.

My team: Manu, Schweini, Hansi und Jogi.

This was definitely going to be interesting, Neuer against Neuer. It was quite some time before anyone scored. Eventually it was Hansi that broke the deadlock. Funnily enough the only player to come close to scoring for the opposition was Neuer on his usual travels.