Wives' Nest

Franziska Zis has made it. Her debut novel is a huge success. Alexander Karl, programme director at Sender TV, even he wants her as a talk show host.

At Fifty Men Kiss Differently

Marie really should enjoy life: the children have left home and she has all the time she needs to paint.

At Your Own Risk III

Thekla Carola Wied is Anna Marx again...

Can I Be Your Bratwurst, Please?

Background Rosa did one of those photogenic double-takes when he was told by Ziegler-Film that his Bratwurst had been booked by no less 80 international festivals and other film events over the past 18 months - an average of nearly once a week. “Don’t be surprised if we reach 100 by the end of the year,” mused Regina Ziegler. “Maybe we should register the film in the Guinness Book of Records!” That cordial, lasting, mutually esteemed relationship between producer Regina Ziegler and writer-director Rosa von Praunheim goes back three decades - to when Regina assisted Rosa (alias Holger Mischwitzki) on one of the comic cult classics of the New German Cinema movement: Die Bettwurst (1970). Starring Rosa’s fabulous “Aunt Luci” Kryn and the inimitable Dietmar Kracht, the film proved so popular that it prompted an immediate sequel, Berliner Bettwurst (1973), and might have hatched a series had not Dietmar tried to swim Lake Havel one luminous evening. No matter - Can I Be Your Bratwurst, Please? bears all the earmarks of a consummated trilogy: a kinky, ribald, diverting, hilarious Erotic Tale. And not a moment too soon, for it was the last screen appearance of the nonagenarian Luci Kryn. Shot at the fabled Highland Gardens in Hollywood, and starring gay porn star Jeff Stryker in his first full-fledged acting role, Bratwurst confirms Praunheim as a gifted storyteller with a light hand for comic twists, a flair for amusing character portrayals, and a pronounced talent for situational theatrics that walk the fine line between the absolutely absurd and the positively preposterous. As one observant critic remarked, “there’s never been a Christmas dinner quite like this one before!” Synopsis This sweet little cannibal comedy stars the legendary porno star Jeff Stryker in his first legitimate role. Jeff plays a stranger from the Midwest who arrives in Hollywood, rents a motel room, and becomes the major fantasy of the owner, his mother and all the other guests. Young and old, male and female, black and white: everybody finds him delectable. In the end, they invite him for a Christmas dinner.....

Comedy for UNICEF I

It happened in November of 1999: High-level representatives of the German stand-up comedians assembled in Berlin for a good cause:

Death Angel

Sylvie was attacked in a park, on her way to a carnival. Her assailant almost raped her and very nearly killed her before escaping.

Georgian Grapes

Background An acclaimed actor-director in a prominent Georgian film dynasty, Georgi Shengelaya is the second son of renown filmmaker Nikolai Shengelaya, whose Eliso (1928) and Twenty-Six Commissars (1933) rank with the best silent films made in the former Soviet Union, and legendary stage-and-screen actress Nato Vachnadze. His older brother, director Eldar Shengelaya, heads the Association of Georgian Filmmakers and is presently serving in parliament. While a student at the Moscow Film School (VGIK) under Alexander Dovzhenko, Georgi Shengelaya made Alaverdoba (1962/67), a short feature about a pilgrimage to attend a traditional Georgian “Thanksgiving Day” at an ancient church. Folkloric and religious in tone, Alaverdoba embodied the national spirit - and was promptly banned for five years. Returning to Tbilisi to work at the Grusiafilm Studios, Georgi Shengelaya again challenged the Soviet censors with what amounted to a small-scale national epic: Pirosmani (1969/72). A fictional, humanistic portrait of Niko Pirosmanishvili, it tells the story of a legendary primitive painter who died of starvation in 1918 and left behind few details of his life - like Vincent van Gogh, he was to achieve fame and recognition only after his death. Due to its religious implications (besides being is a thinly disguised Passion Play), Pirosmani was shelved by the authorities for three years. As for Georgian Grapes, it follows in the director’s line of popular folkloric tales - Melodies from an Old Quarter (1973), Come to the Valley of the Grapes (1976), A Young Composer’s Odyssey (1984) - that reflect the daily life, the give-and-take humor, the easy-going bucolic existence of his people. Contrast the urban with the rural, add tongue-in-cheek dialogue, spice it with a rhythmic musical motif and an autumnal pastoral setting - and you have an enchanting Georgian fairy tale. Synopsis The days pass slowly for Lia amid the vineyards of a rural Georgian village. Still in the prime of life, her beauty is overlooked even by her husband Sandro, who runs the local car repair shop. Things change when Megi, the comely star of a film being shot nearby, happens upon the scene to get her car repaired. Lia knows a rival when she sees one - although she's also aware she doesn't stand a chance against a mini-skirt. Megi, however, has a few tricks up her sleeve too - she knows what a Cinderella needs to rid herself of the pumpkin.

I Love my Family, I Really Do!

Julia loves her family: her four children, aunt Isolde and the dog Victor. The only person she does not love as much is her still-to-be- husband Wolf. He was unfaithful and so she threw him out.

Men and Other Catastrophes

Judith cannot help it, she just is a little clumsy. Any kind of problem just sticks to her like flies to a wall. And of course she is unhappy with her boy-friend Holger as well as with her economics studies at university.

Men Are Like Chocolate

Linda, a 32 year-old-single, works as an art director for the advertising agency König & König. Together with her gay colleague Donald she enjoys watching happy couples on TV.

No Trains no Planes

NO TRAINS NO PLANES is a film about looking for contact and communication, love and intimacy. And about the way people wriggle mainly to escape after all from what they were looking for.

Only a Dead Man Is a Good Man

He likes to sail in the storm, he loves dangerous rock climbing and his wife always has to accompany him. Ursula Winkler does not lead an easy life with Walter, owner of a packaging plant.

Riding the Storm I-V

RIDING THE STORM, a five-part series on the fate of a woman and a family, begins in the summer of 1914 and literally takes the pulse of the entire 20th century.

Second Hand Men

Just recently Sarah became a single mother. Until then she used to have a happy family, a husband Ralf and a son Benny. Sarah though has learned her lesson from that experience and will now only date married man.

The Red Garter

Background “If it’s not erotic, it’s not interesting,” said Spanish playwright Fernando Arrabal. But he never bothered to say just what he personally thought was, or was not, erotic. Neither did Luis Buñuel, one of the great masters of erotic cinema. And you would have to write an essay with multiple references to explain just what that the “Lubitsch touch” meant in the heyday of the Hollywood studio system. Still, no one will deny that there are borders between erotic and erotique - between accepted moral standards and the porno industry. And these borders shrink or expand according to movie production codes and regulations at TV stations. If a dossier were to be prepared on “The Erotic Tales at 250 Film Festivals” around the world, it would have to reflect on the whys and wherefores of those riots in India, that record-breaking attendance in Italy, and those repeated bookings of the entire series in Russia and the Ukraine. But it would also have to measure the borders of propriety in television broadcasting. A case in point is Markus Fischer’s The Red Garter, an Erotic Tale adapted from a short story by Spanish writer Juan Marsé. A prominent Swiss television director, Markus Fischer is best known for his Tatort (Scene of the Crime) series, several of which he has written himself and composed the original score for. But he has also produced and directed documentaries, has edited his own films on occasion, and is well known as a TV guest on talkshows. His approach to the erotic in The Red Garter challenges the viewer to change perspective as the story unfolds. In this psycho-thriller story - unfolding deftly as a dream-sequence or nightmare - the double-rape is experienced in reverse: first as the victim, then as the raped rapist. Synopsis Is it a love story? A tale of passion and betrayal? A game of illicit desires and longings? Or is it a tingling drama of raw emotions? Or how about a thriller to test the boundaries of the genre? Maybe even an erotic thriller to challenge the codes of screen propriety? Let’s just say that Markus Fischer’s THE RED GARTER, based on a short story by Juan Marsé, is all of these. The setting of this Swiss Erotic Tale is a single’s apartment. An attractive young woman is accosted in the corridor by a young man with something rather sinister on his mind. A contest of give-and-take follows - one good turn deserves another …

Beckmann & Markowski - Chased

Chief Inspector Beckmann finds himself involved in an extremely tricky case when a woman claims that she witnessed him committing murder and robbery.

Butterfly Fellings

Housewife Theresa Bayer has won a prize: a holiday in a luxurious and extremely high-class hotel with beauty centre and adjoining golf course.

German Film Awards 1998

The 1998 German Film Awards are presented in the heart of Berlin. The Brandenburg Gate forms an extraordinary backdrop to this occasion: it becomes the gateway to German film.

Little Addendum

Synopsis A two minute political fantasy, Gunther Scholz's LITTLE ADDENDUM was greeted by amused shock and howls of laughter when it premiered at the 1998 Berlinale in the short film competition. The "report" refers to a bid to host the 2004 Olympic Games in Leipzig. The setting is the GDR Politburo where the voice of Erich Honecker is heard. "Our bid, of course, assumes that the German Democratic Republic will still be around in the year 2004." The LITTLE ADDENDUM to Honnecker's speech was made just days before the fall of the Berlin wall.

Solo for Clarinet

Berlin. In an desolate tenement block the police discovers the gruesomely severed body of a man. Apparently a piece of his genitals has been bitten off. Head Detective Bernie Kominka's investigations lead him to a young woman in a red coat, and from there straight into the turbulent labyrinth of his feelings. He falls in love with his main suspect and loses control of his senses, not knowing whether or not the woman he is attracted to is a brutal murderer...

Super single

Tough magazine journalist Alexa  writes her fingers to the bone for a Munich lifestyle glossy, churning out features about unfaithful men, relationship problems and unhappy couples.

Appointment with Dr. Frankenstein

When a young doctor - Charlotte - and her daughter Franzi move into Frankenstein’s villa, they discover the legendary monster imprisoned down in the cellar and make friends with him.

Champagne and Camomile tea

Rüdiger Dohmann, a specialist in internal medicine, reveals to his wife Iris that he wants to marry his pregnant mistress, psychologist Clarissa Mawaldt.


Harry Oswald, a 50-year-old Berlin based architect, has been seeing his mistress regularly and discreetly for a long time. Britta Burkhard is considerably younger than him, and they meet in a rented apartment.

German Film Awards 1997

The 1997 German Film Awards were held on June 6th at Tempelhof Airport under its motto: The Night of the Stars.



Murderous Legacy

Private detective Moritz Fink is only supposed to be in the USA to track down the heiress of an industrialist who has recently died.

Police call 110 - The wrong Sonja

This time the two inspectors Herbert Schmücke  and Schneider have to investigate the mysterious death of restaurant-owner and painter Jens Dallman , whose body is found one day by his girlfriend Katrin Kreuzer in the central courtyard of the

Red as Blood

One day diamond expert Ronnie discovers a real jewel: Ginnie. A victim of Cupid’s arrow, after having met this attractive young woman purely by chance he resolves to follow her all the way to Belgium.

Winnetou Returns

The new film version of “Winnetou” with Pierre Brice in the leading role concentrates in particular on the special relationship of American Indians with the natural environment, which in this case is about to be destroyed systematically by an

Angels´s Sin

After the gruesome murder of a young woman, Daniel Beerbaum is sentenced to many years of hospitalized therapy in a mental institution.

Beckmann & Markowski - Torn by feelings

Beckmann & Markowski – Torn by

Child Murder

The inhabitants of a Berlin suburb are horrified when the two young daughters of Heinz and Katrin Menzel are found dead in a nearby forest.

German Film Awards 1996

The German Film Awards 1996 with motto Night of the Comedians were held at Deutsche Oper in Berlin.

Otterkam - Undesirable Wittnesses

Andrea lives in a stuffy little town where she constantly rubs people up the wrong way. One day the richest man in town dies, which turns out to be bad luck for Andrea: she was there at the time. The young woman becomes the victim of a witch-hunt.


Background Last July, when Mika Kaurismäki was honored with a retrospective tribute at Karlovy Vary, Ziegler Film approached him about making an Erotic Tale. “Can I shoot it in Rio?” was the only question. It’s where Mika hangs out when not in Helsinki - and Marcel Camus’s ORFEU NEGRO (Golden Palm, Cannes 1959) just happens to be one of his favorite films. A few weeks later, while competing at the Moscow film festival with the thriller Condition Red (starring that talented rocksinger-actress Cynda Williams, the female lead in Bob Rafelson’s Wet), Mika presented an exposé of his own erotic version of the Orpheus legend: SAMBOLICO, set in Brazil’s wild, sexy, head-spinning Samba season. Kari Väänänen - you saw him as the penniless composer Schaunard in Aki Kaurismäki’s La Vie de Bohème (1991) - plays a famous Finnish conductor who ventures onto the Copacabana beach one afternoon after a successful concert premiere and meets a young woman on the run from a brutal pimp. The encounter leads to a sensual journey through Rio’s ludicrous nightbars and into the rhythmic embrace of samba groups preparing for the season’s big contest. The next morning, when the conductor awakens in his hotel room, he’s not quite sure if he’s dreamed it all. As it turns out, the girl really does exist! But is the she a he? One of Europe’s celebrated cult directors, with an affinity for Godardian nihilism and American B-movies, Mika Kaurismäki had previously shot Amazon (1991), with Kari Väänänen, and Tigrero (1994), with Sam Fuller and Jim Jarmusch, in Brazil. “Rio is my backyard.” Synopsis The day after his successful concert performance in Rio de Janeiro, Eric, a Finnish conductor, spends a relaxing afternoon on the Copacabana with a refreshing drink and surrounded by a bevy of girls in bikinis. The appearance of a beautiful young girl, whom he had met in the elevator, lightens the moment - until she runs away in fear of Rudi, a tough accompanied by a pair of threatening companions. Later, Eric meets the girl again at the samba festival, where she dances seductively for his approval. When Rudi appears on the scene, they run off into the night … down dark streets and alleys … into gay nightclubs … and out onto a moonlit beach - where their act of love is interrupted once again …

The Elephant Never Forgets

Background Detlev Buck is a natural for an Erotic Tale. His “teaser” exercise at the Berlin Film Academy, One Reel In a Shower (1988), toyed with the fantasies of a shy young man in a public shower, whose reveries are suddenly interrupted by the unexpected visit of a plumb young lady. His comedy at the 1993 Berlinale, No More Mr. Nice Guy, described by a critic as “Vladimir and Estragon in a roadmovie,” had the audience in stitches and made a screen star out of natural-born-comedian Joachim Król. So when Regina Ziegler Filmproduktion approached Buck about making an Erotic Tale, the mischievous glint in the corner of his eye got the better of him. Detlev was just wrapping a new feature film when he sat down with Regina in an Italian restaurant to bat around a couple ideas that had been pestering his sleep. “There’s this dwarf…in a circus…with a countess…” Synopsis A travelling circus winds its way on a wintery day through the Brandenburg countryside. Ramon, the dwarf-trainer who looks after the elephant Edgar, watches apprehensively as a car overtakes the troupe - and then crashes on the slippery surface. Ramon, with the help of Edgar, rescues Countess Lilly von Teltow just in time from the burning car - for which he is invited to the family castle to collect a reward. But when Ramon brings get-well flowers to the countess, he is disturbed to find her lecherous husband chasing Irene, Lilly’s beautiful nurse, around the house - so for his reward he asks for a night with the countess …

The Hours before Dawn

Luise is a housewife and mother of three. Her two daughters are exhausting enough, but when baby Michael begins to scream every night he deprives his mother of her sleep - and almost drives her out of her mind.

The Kids from Berlin

The Kids from Berlin: the street-fighters and the joy-riders, the gangs from Grunewald and the yuppie kids, children who have come into conflict with the law because they want to explore the frontiers of their worlds, because they are desperate and

The Waiting Room

Background The First Riga International Film Forum “Arsenals” got off to a fast start in 1988 by honoring Dutch filmmaker Jos Stelling with a retrospective tribute. Most cineastes were familiar with his debut feature film, Mariken Van Nieueghen, an inventive modern version of the medieval morality play that was selected for the official competition at the 1975 Cannes festival. Stelling’s next films - experimental, autobiographical, historical tales of suppressed passions, themes of deception and illusion, fantasies spiced with wit and humor - won him a cult following at international festivals. Only Britain’s Derek Jarman has dared the same range of themes from epical self-portraits to a minimalist-cinema, microcosmic view of the modern world. Each of his films is an extension of the Jos Stelling oeuvre: Elckerlyc (1975), Rembrandt Fecit 1669 (1977), The Pretenders (1981), The Illusionist (1983), The Switchman (1986), and The Flying Dutchman (1995), a film that took seven years to bring to the screen and the offical Dutch entry in the competition at Venice this year. In THE WAITING ROOM, Jos Stelling’s Erotic Tale for Regina Ziegler Filmproduktion, a young man is enchanted by a woman in an advertising poster. One day, in a railway station, his dream-goddess suddenly stands before him in flesh-and-blood. And while his wife is away in search of coffee, his sex-fantasy becomes a reality - before an astonished assembly of waiting passengers. Numbed, befuddled, exhausted, Eugène Bervoets (you saw him in The Flying Dutchman) awaits his wife’s return… Synopsis A large train station, it might be anywhere in a big city. Waiting passengers, some rae curiosly observing each other, some are too much involved with their own petty problems to pay attention to anything else. Our man, self- assured, practically undresses some of the woman present with his eyes, at least as long as his wife is absent, trying to get them some coffee. A beauty in blue returns his challenging looks, he can hardly believe it's true. Obviously, it is his lucky day today. By the time his wife returns our man has experienced some astonishing things under the watchful eyes of the fellow passengers. And most probably he will be much more reserved next time he sees a beautiful blonde.

An Inn for Springtime

Dr. Kathrin Klein is an anaesthetist in the casualty department of a Dresden hospital. Her son is a student, at present in Africa as part of an internship programme. Kathrin’s relationship with her colleague Dr.

Conny Knipper - Winners and Loosers

In Winners and Losers Conny Knipper has agreed to act as a replacement for an older colleague who has fallen sick - and soon begins to hope that he may have a secure future as a doctor with a permanent practice.

Conny Knipper-Autumn Fruit

As a sports doctor, Conny Knipper places far more significance on feet and reflex zones than on boring X-ray machines: in the end his healing hands have proven themselves against more traditional methods.

Devilish Education

Background Denver festival director Ron Henderson had been following the Erotic Tales closely ever since he heard about the planned series at the 1993 Telluride festival. So by the time his own festival had rolled around the following October, his Moviemakers Tribute honored Regina Ziegler and Wolf Gremm, with the Erotic Tales as a festival highlight. And upon viewing a cassette of Janusz Majewski’s Devilish Education at RZF during the Berlinale last February, he booked the “Polish Tale” on the spot: “American audiences will really like it!” Once upon a time, back at the turn of the century, the milkmaid Gosia is caring for her cows on an idyllic rural countryside. The afternoon is hot, so she bathes naked in the river. The next day, a stranger-in-black appears on the scene and shows her a painting he had done of her in the nude. Embarrassed, but hardly offended, she makes his acquaintance and is soon introduced to the secret pleasures of life: love-making, the beauty of art, the music of Mozart, the delights of the dining table. The meadow becomes a natural backdrop for her lessons in life's mysteries, in contrast to the moral concerns of her mother, the puritanical ethics of the church, and the puzzling medical diagnosis of the country doctor. "Maybe it's something the devil told her," they conclude. Renata Dancewicz is now a rising star on the Polish screen after her discovery as Gosia in Devilish Education. “Gorgeous,’’ enthused an American critic at Montreal. “Is the devil real? A demonic vision?” asked a Vancouver critic. “And who cares - with actress Dancewicz?” Synopsis Once upon a time, at the turn of the century, the milkmaid Gosia is caring for her cows on an idyllic countryside. The afternoon is hot, and she takes a bath in the river. The next day a stranger-in-black appears on the scene and shows her a painting he has done of her in the nude. Embarrassed, but hardly offended, she makes his aquaintance and is introduced to the secret pleasures of life: The moral concerns of her mother, the puritanical ethics of the church and a puzzling medical diagnosis of the country doctor seems to lead to only one conclusion: It must have been something the devil told her...

German Film Awards

Back in 1995, when the Film Awards were attracting as much attention as a pebble dropped into a pond, the Berlin based production company of Regina Ziegler was asked by the Federal Ministry of the Interior to reorganize and regenerate the

Hotel Paradise

Background The Erotic Tales returned to Filmfest München a second year in a row last June when Nicholas Roeg’s Hotel Paradise was invited as the icing on the cake for the festival’s retrospective-workshop honoring one of cinema’s preeminent cameramen-directors and his actress-wife Theresa Russell (in Insignificance she’s a fetchingly intellectual Marilyn Monroe). Nic signed on for an erotic tale after Regina Ziegler had paid a personal visit to his hideaway home in Laurel Canyon during a junket to Los Angeles. “I’ll let you know when I can fit it in…and Theresa just might be interested.” Cut to the bridal suite of a luxury hotel in London, the set for Hotel Paradise. An attractive woman in her best years emerges from a dreadful hangover. To her surprise, she finds herself handcuffed to a naked man in bed next to her. Worse - this is her wedding day, and the morning is slipping away fast. Worst of all - the man is a complete stranger! The wedding guests are about to arrive within the next half-hour. The rub? This is a mafia wedding… The bride, clothed only in a peekaboo veil, scrambles for what she can find of her trousseau as her handsome bed-partner stirs to life to advise her to leave town as fast as she can. But who is this guy, and why is he packing a gun in his boots? The only clues are a Rousseau painting on the wall and the stranger's penchant for quoting Thomas Hardy's poem on the sinking of the Titanic. Theresa Russell plays a winsome gun-moll en déshabillé, and Vincent d'Onofrio a macho poet, in this witty satire of the gangster genre penned by Michael Allin. An “erotic thriller” - London Film Festival. Synopsis A beautiful woman wakes up with a hangover in the bridal suite of a luxury hotel. And finds herself handcuffed to a naked man. Remembering this is her wedding day, it is a shock to discover the man next to her is a complete stranger! And the wedding guests are on their way...Who is this guy, with a gun in his boots? What does he want from her and how can she make sure to be ready for her future husband in time? The bride - no wonder - is panicking. But at the same time feels strangely attracted to this unknown, very naked man.

Natasha- Race With Death

This is the story of little Natasha - based loosely on the authentic case of a young girl called Olivia - who is suffering from Wilm’s Tumor, a form of cancer which only strikes children.

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