Touch Me

1994
Background Paul Cox was serving as the jury president for the “Arts and Cinema” competition at the 1993 Istanbul International Film Festival when Ziegler Film approached him about making an Erotic Tale. “Would around Christmas be okay? I’ve got a few weeks free between projects. But what’s an erotic tale?” A stopover visit to Berlin resolved the issue: he spent a weekend “surfing” the private channels looking for something that vaguely resembled an erotic film. “Maybe it’s time to make a sweet, tender movie about two girls spending a wonderful weekend together at a farm in the country…” Cox’s Illumination Films survives on the principle that the best way to compete against Hollywood is to form your own company and “make low-budget films against the grain.” Man Of Flowers (1983) and My First Wife (1984) dealt with sex, fantasy, and the outsider as few independent filmmakers would dare, “because they’re honest films about myself, about my own emotions, but I guess they say something to other people as well.” For the teasing opening scene in Touch Me, Paul Cox assembled all his friends to paint a “Naked Maya” in an art-studio. Then his “Maya” went off to spend a tender weekend in the country with the art teacher…to commune with nature…over wine and Mozart. Touch Me was desired by a gay and lesbian festival. “This is as close to soft-porno as you can get and still be watching an erotic tale,” voiced a critic. “Claudia Karvan is beautiful,” said another. So is Gosia Dobrowolska, an art teacher any normal male would like to spend a weekend with in the country. Synopsis Two woman, the elder in her early forties. the younger in her twenties. They are good friends. The older woman. Sarah, is an artist, a painter, who has first and foremost found solace and sexual fulfillment in her work. The young woman, Christine who often models for Sarah's art classes. is heartbroken about her lover: the man does not understand her. We watch the close rapport between the two women as Christine patiently poses for Sarah's rather whacky group of students. After classes, Christine talks about her relationship with Roderick. " I used to really like him. Sometimes I still do". He's even jealous of her posing for art classes. Says she doesn't have the body. We see Christine at home with her boyfriend. It is hardly a scene of passion and love. Their lovemaking is routine... As complete contrast, we see Sarah's illicit rendevous with her married lover, Stewart. Abandoned and carefree passion. Sarah persuades Christine to join her for a weekend in her country house in the hills outside Melbourne. For the first time, Christine smiles. She discovers a trampoline in the middle of a meadow filled with yellow flowers. She chases wild horses through the fields and the two of them scream with delight as they rush back to the house In the evening, they relax in front of the fire. Sarah gently massages Christine. Their weekend is over, Christine returns to the city totally self-contained in her newly found sensuality and freedom.

Vroom, Vroom, Vroom

1994
Once upon a time a teenager named Leroy did a bent-over old lady a favor. Leroy was a loner, not because he wanted to be, but because the other boys had things he did not have: like girlfriends. All Leroy had was pimples on his face.

Wet

1994
Background Bob Rafelson, a compulsive drifter, has just returned home to LA from a six-week tramp across Turkey when Regina Ziegler phoned to ask if he would be interested in making an Erotic Tale. Why not? was his quick response. He had just wasted two years on the disappointing Man Trouble and welcomed a return to his roots. Back in 1969, his BBS Productions (one of the “B’s” stood for Bob) had backed Dennis Hopper’s Easy Riders, a sensation at the Cannes festival. Bob also directed one of the hottest scenes ever seen on the Riviera: Faye Dunaway and Jack Nicholson scorching a kitchen table in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1986). “So how about if I shoot this one in a bathtub?” Six weeks later, Wet was finished - and a screening of Bob’s “shortie” was arranged for Regina Ziegler at an Avid editing studio on Las Palmas in Hollywood. When a cassette was brought to the Cannes festival to preview the series for the Venice selection committee, Cannes scout Pierre Rissient raised an objection: “Can’t you keep it for us until next year?” Wet and The Dutch Master packed the Salle Lumière on a Sunday afternoon in May 1994 under the programming title Séance spécial - Contes de la séduction. So began a tour of the Erotic Tales at over a hundred film festivals. Wet launched the career of singer-actress Cynda Williams, the voluptuous young lady in the tub, who later starred in Mika Kaurismäki’s Condition Red. And when the Erotic Tales were programmed later at the Cairo festival, Wet was the only film that couldn’t be shown because it didn’t pass the government censorship board (no reasons given). Synopsis A huge bath showroom. Brass fixtures along the walls, sink and showers, enameled toilets, jacuzzi tubs, steam showers, all polished and gleaming. Saleswomen and salesmen move uneasily amongst the customers. Hardly anyone can afford the prices. The sales people are energetic but it's hopeless. They haven't made a sale in weeks. The manager Bruce, about 35, oversees the bustle. He's charming, well built. supercilious - and desperate to boost business. Davida. late 20's, enters just before closing time. Bruce senses she is a buyer. Well dressed and confident. Not the average family woman on a tight budget. He moves in. Davida needs a tub and she needs it fast. But she wants to fill one of the baths with water and step in. Not possible. There are rules - hygiene regulations. You can demonstrate the jets in a working tub. You can try out a dry tub. But you can't get in a full bath tub! Health department forbids; insurance forbids. They talk. Davida isn't sure. This is a substantial investment. She needs a tub for two. If she can't try it out she will shop elsewhere. Bruce relents. It's after hours. For this beauty he will make an exception. But is the tub big enough for two? He demonstrates. After hours. After dark. A deal is made.

A Couple Like Paul and Caroline

1993
Paul is the young, dynamic managing director of a sporting goods company. Caroline works in a bank, and some weeks ago she moved in with him. They are a couple, despite the many differences between them.

At your own risk I

1993
At your own risk

Beckmann & Markowski - Fatal Web

1993
Inspector Max Beckmann and his colleague Christian Markowski are faced with a series of unusual murders; at first they are baffled when they establish that the only apparent similarities between the victims is that they are all blonde - and have all

Lakeview Cottage II

1993
A serious car accident results in the death of the woman Michel Camus (Pierre Brice) loves; Sylvia (Gudrun Landgrebe) and her son Bertel are both killed.

Mallorca Love Included

1993
What can you say about a father who forbids his son from doing something and then proceeds to do it himself? One day the translator Eric gets a phone call from Frauke and Alex, his two best friends, who live on Majorca.

On a Shoestring

1993
Stephan Waldhoff, a journalist from Hamburg who is well-known for his committed reporting on social issues, finds himself in a professional crisis: the newspaper he works for decides it will not after all print his series about people who have

The Dutch Master

1993
Background The Erotic Tales began its festival run with a presentation of Susan Seidelman’s The Dutch Master at Telluride, America’s foremost cult and cineaste festival, in September 1993. Screened on opening night with permission of Gilles Jacob (the Cannes festival had already selected The Dutch Master and Bob Rafelson’s Wet for presentation in May 1994), film and director were introduced by guest festival director John Boorman. Seidelman was asked by Boorman about the inspiration for her Erotic Tale: a 17th-century painting hanging in the Louvre, Pieter de Hooch’s “The Drinker.” A year later, Boorman made an erotic short-feature of his own: Two Nudes Bathing (1995), programmed in the Certain Regard at the 1995 Cannes festival. Coincidentally (or was it?), Two Nudes Bathing was inspired by another painting that hangs in the Louvre - by an anonymous artist of the 16th-century Fontainebleau School. Seidelman next presented The Dutch Master in October at a closed screening during the prestigious Hamptons festival on Long Island. Enough members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences saw the film to recommend it for an Oscar Nomination - and it received the Nomination in the Short Fiction Film category. Regina Ziegler’s Erotic Tales were thus the talk of the film world a month before the Cannes premiere even took place! Mira Sorvino, the dentist assistant enchanted by a painting hanging in a museum, doesn’t speak a word in The Dutch Master. She was later chosen by Woody Allen to play the chatty young porno actress who steals the show in Mighty Aphrodite, for which she received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Gilles Jacob, director of the Cannes festival, remembered how the festival had given a supporting hand to producer Regina Ziegler in discovering this fresh young talent - so he invited Mira Sorvino to serve on the International Jury at the 50th jubilee celebration. Synopsis Teresa, a young dental hygenist from Brooklyn in her twenties, is about to marry Joey, a traffic cop. A few weeks before her wedding, while eating lunch on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art with her two girlfriends, Teresa decides on impulse to go inside - and is fascinated by a young man in The Trinker, a Dutch painting by Pieter De Hooch. Suddenly the painting comes to life! A tipsy young woman in the picture has fallen off her chair, gets picked up by the handsome young man, and is carried giggling out of the room. On her next visit to the Met, she is pleasantly surprised when the young man in the painting winks and invites her to step into the picture. She does so - and finds herself in a strange world. To the embarrassment of her family and friends, Teresa doesn’t turn up at the church on her wedding day …

The Ring with the Crowned Eagle

1993
As so often before in history, Poland is divided by hostile neighbours. It is 1944, German-occupied Warsaw and the Uprising has collapsed.

Café Scandal

1992
A group of young people start a school magazine and embark upon an attempt to break away from the lethargic, monotonous atmosphere at school. Now, rather than grades or individual excellence, joint action is required in all areas of life.

Cliffs of the death

1992
Dangerous Love: a beautiful woman wants her married lover all to herself. Rita, charming and apparently extremely confident, senses that his daughter Anni is a rival and attempts to drive a wedge between father and daughter.

Closing chorus

1992
CLOSING CHORUS, (…) in a 123-minutes recording by the Mainz theatre department on ZDF, links up in dramatic terms with the “Trilogy of Reunion” and reflects the decline of East German communism as exemplified by individual characters who

I can see what you can´t

1992
There are blind children who develop astonishing abilities to understand their surroundings. Some of them are able to find their way through completely alien environments. Others refuse even to walk towards a chair without assistance.

My Daughter Is Mine

1992
Barbara Auer, in one of her finest film roles, plays Ruth, a divorced mother trying to raise her school-aged daughter Sofia on her own while finishing her medical studies at the university.

The Brigitte Mira Show

1992
The unmistakable Brigitte Mira gives an amazing performance in her solo show from the foyer of the Theater des Westens in Berlin, including cheeky and amusing Berlin songs (“The Sawn-Up Lady”) and provocative, melancholy chansons (“So Was

Vicious Circle

1992
Live recording of a performance at the “Theater des Westens” in Berlin, 1994. The unmistakable actress Brigitte Mira excites audiences with her solo-program at the foyer of the “Theater des Westens” in Berlin.

Rodina Means Home

1991
Winner of the Peace Prize at Berlinale in 1991, where it was presented in the Panorama section, Helga Reidemeister's RODINA MEANS HOME chronicles in a two hour documentary the shaky political atmosphere in Germany and the Soviet Union shortly after

A Lady with a Heart: Both Bitter and Sweet

1991
Brigitte Mira plays the leading role in these four episodes and also links them together as she strolls through the city with her dog, past family homes, tenement blocks and apartment complexes. There is a story hidden behind every door.

A Winter´s Tale

1991
Leontes, King of Sicily, wrongfully accuses his wife Hermione of committing adultery with his brother Polyxenes. He throws his unhappy queen into jail and abandons the child she has in prison to the wilds.

Felix and the Kuckuck Sisters

1991
After many years in America working as a boat-builder, Felix Jung returns to the village where he was born, on the banks of Lake Constance.

Femina

1991
FEMINA tells a story of inner growth, of a woman and her quest for truth through erotic experiences.

Lakeview Cottage I

1991
Lakeview Cottage tells a love story in four episodes in a wonderful setting: the foothills of the Alps in Bavaria, Chiemgauer country.

Looking for Mozart

1991
This is a historical adventure film with a young heroine who appears for a time disguised as a boy.

Marx and Coca-Cola

1991
Martin Baerwald, a yuppie manager from Hamburg and a successful property dealer, gets hopelessly lost in deepest Mecklenburg (former GDR) whilst on a business trip.

Pray for Ricki Forster

1991
On her way home through a park in the centre of the city one evening a student called Susanne Meier is sexually attacked and murdered. She had with her Ricki, a two-year-old boy she was babysitting at the time.

Prime of Life

1991
Three ladies in the prime of life, none of them under 60, live together in a terraced house in the Berlin suburb of Lankwitz.

Sketch Salad

1991
With the assistance of protagonist Ingolf Lück and several other well-known actors in guest roles a number of young authors demonstrate their talents at sketch-writing and the enjoyment they take in performing these pieces.

The long conversation with the bird

1991
Fourteen- year-old Laura has fallen desperately in love with John Barth, an English actor.

Top Prize: Mauritius

1991
Fiete Hansen discovers the huge sum of 2.3 million German marks in his bank account. This surprise deeply annoys the lucky chap who never makes a mistake.

Edgar, the Moral Guardian

1990
The stories are set in an exclusive apartment complex. The janitor also lives in this extensive facility being responsible for the safety of the upmarket residents.

I Want to Live

1990
The human lifespan is no longer limited to 70 or 80 years. Genetic research in the last hundred years has increased life expectancy from 40 to 80.

Korczak

1990
Andrzej Wajda's KORCZAK paid tribute to a man who spent most of his life in pursuit of an ideal.

Musical Gala

1990
We guarantee that nobody will doze off during our show! An international repertoire of musical hits, from West Side Story to Showboat with Sweet Charity looking for the Phantom of the Opera - and all of that at the Cage aux Folles, of course.

November Days

1990
His curiosity aroused by the joy so clearly visible in those television images from November 9th 1989, the day of German reunification, Marcel Ophüls resolved to return to the site of these historic events one year later and talk to the people

Stolen minds

1990
A mysterious child, a young married couple with a host of problems, and a sect which lays claim to not only their sect members’ money but also to their souls.

The Spreepirates II&III

1990
Berlin has a vast network of lakes, rivers and canals, integrated into the urban landscape. In fact, it is often said that Berlin has more bridges than Venice.

The Wall Busters Gang

1990
Karl Heinz Lotz, a DEFA director, tells the story of how an East Berlin family managed to follow this very route to Hungary, then Austria, and finally back to West Berlin - to arrive on that historic day when the wall came down.

Signed by Andrzej Wajda

1989
He is one of the most important international film directors and his successes are

A Desperate Hour

1989
Ruth Feldmann is planning to go away for a dirty weekend with her boyfriend, the police officer Andreas Bongart. She tells her husband Karl, a sergeant in the police, that she has to visit her sick sister for a few days.

A Surfeit of Smith

1989
Three Smith families check in at one hotel. An American and his wife: One glass of alcohol is enough to trigger nymphomaniac seizures in her. Her hubby is restlessly preoccupied preventing her from such predicaments.

All Change

1989
Three guests in a luxury hotel: the well-respected managing director of a computer company, an actor known to be a ladies’ man, and a murderer wearing glasses who has calculated that a hotel room provides the perfect setting for the murder of his

Falstaff

1989
Verdi had fallen in love with Shakespeare’s FALLSTAFF, the wise and amusing clown, the drunkard who can laugh at himself and is well aware that everything in this world is fun - though not always good fun. He had enchanted Verdi.

Interim Report - André Heller

1989
He is as much a part of Vienna as Lipizzaner stallions, Sachertorte and Hans Moser are. But now André Heller intends to leave the city of his forefathers. At the age of 42 he plans a decisive break with his past life.

Inventory

1989
Inventory is the blueprint for an intimate psychological film set in Poland and partially in West Germany in the present day. The main characters are two women, Julia and Zofia, and Zofia’s grown-up son Tomek.

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