German Filmmaker Andreas Dresen on Movie Making

Andreas Dresen at the Goethe Institut LA

Andreas Dresen with screen writer Karin Howard at the Goethe Institut LA

German writer/ director Andreas Dresen shared his insights into movie making at the Goethe Institut’s “Show and Tell” series in Los Angeles on Monday, October 26. He talked about his beginnings studying directing at the Konrad Wolf Academy of Film and Television in Potsdam-Babelsberg back in the 80s in the GDR. “The school under direction of  Lothar Bisky was a place where creative freedom of expression was somewhat allowed,” said Dresen. “One of my first films as a student was a documentary on military service in East Germany. I wanted to portray the realities of the young soldiers - and even though at the time in 1988 political times were already changing, the film was preceived as too provocative and I couldn’t show it any more.”

Andreas Dresen in Conversation at the LA Goethe Institute

Andreas Dresen, whose career began as the Berlin Wall was crumbling, is currently one of Germany’s most successful filmmakers. He was born in Gera, East Germany, in 1963.
After finishing his studies in Potsdam-Babelsberg , he began working as a screenwriter and director in 1992. Among his most successfull films are: ” Nightshapes”, “The Police Woman”, “Grillpoint”, “Cloud 9 ” and his recent “ Whisky and Vodka “.

Movies that Show Real Life

His highly successful 2008 movie “Cloud 9″ was a small production. “We had a small team because we wanted to be more flexible on set since we shot without any dialogue,” said Dresen. His improvised style in Cloud 9 paid off - despite some critics who felt provoked by seeing love scenes between elderly people, the movie was very well received by an International audience. “I like to make movies that show real life”, explained Dresen. “Life is not black and white and very rarely is there a happy end in real life - so why should there be always happy endings in movies?”

Guests at the LA Goethe Institut

Karin Howard (left) and actress Nina Franoszek (right) with Dresen's wife

Dresen’s new movie “Whiskey and Vodka” is currently playing in German movie theaters and it is Dresen’s first comedy. “My new movie might be seen as a comedy”, said Dresen. “But we are really pointing at important social questions with this film. Does our competitive society make people replacable? “Whiskey and Vodka” tells the story about a film production crew where one actor is backed up by another actor to prevent the production from failing.”

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