From the Feuilletons


The Oscars

In Die Welt, Hanns-Georg Rodek is in complete agreement with the Oscar decisions, especially with "L.A. Crash" as best film. "He has the courage to call things which have been silenced for two decades by political correctness by their proper names and that is unique." Holger Kreitling is equally impressed by Paul Haggis, screenwriter and director of "L.A. Crash". At the prize ceremonies he is said to have called into the room, "Art is not a mirror, but a hammer." And in an interview with Peter Zander, Ang Lee doesn't seem too disappointed about having won "only" three of the eight Oscars for which "Brokeback Mountain" was nominated.

Susan Vahabzadeh, on the other hand, is not satisfied with the Oscars. She writes in the Süddeutsche Zeitung: "The academy is supposed to have modernised, at least that's what they claimed when they announced the nominations for the 78th prize giving at the end of January – more controversial and more political than ever before. And last night, the decisions were made in favour of the most lame and least political films on the list." And Michael Bitala describes the excitement in South Africa at the Oscar for the film "Tsotsi".

In the
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Verena Lueken is absolutely smitten with Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain." "It's rare that knowing so much about a film has had so little impact on seeing it oneself," she writes. This film simply has to be seen, even if only for the cowboy in the light hat. "Heath Ledger in the role of the silent and serious Ennis rules the film. The way he contains his love for Jack and tries, for a long time, to protect his family from himself; the existential lust with which he pulls Jack into a side alley where his wife can't seen them, after years of not hearing from him; how he cries snot and tears, because they have no future; how he says the saddest line of the film, 'If you can't fix it, Jack, you gotta stand it'; and how he, at the end, stands in the mobile home holding two bloody shirts and a post card, looking out to the mountains. Ledger expresses endless desire with such honesty that he deserves all the prizes he's won for the role, even if the Oscar isn't one of them."

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 07.03.2006

George Waser was at the London High Court, following the trial of best-selling author Dan Brown, who has been charged by the authors Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh of having borrowed too heavily from their 1982 book "The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail." Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" is based on the same premise: that Jesus Christ did not die on the cross, that he married Maria Magdalena and had a child with her whose descendants were protected by the Knights of Temple and continue to live in France. Waser muses on the possible consequences of the court's findings. "The Copyright Act of 1988 protects the idea of an author, which means: the content of an original text built on and around this idea. But what happens when the idea was inspired by another? Or can be understood as an echo of another idea? (...) Of course, centuries ago, John Milton also borrowed, and apart from "A Midsummer Nights Dream," Shakespeare did as well, in the conception of his plays. And then Shakespeare served as a source: see "West Side Story." These works are all of unquestionable literary value, but if best-seller author Dan Brown is found guilty of violating intellectual property rights in London, Shakespeare and Milton will be next in line."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 07.03.2006

Samuel Herzog has visited the "Ars 06" international art show in the Kiasma Museum in Helsinki. "In every nook and cranny here, you encounter paradises with more or less well-greased slides leading down into Hell. You see them in the glass balls containing snowy landscapes by Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz, in the Ku-Klux-Klan idylls by Kent Henricksen from the USA, in the interactive Zen pond by Shu-Min Lin from Taiwan, in the number witchcraft by Charles Sandison from Finnland, in the paintings by the Austrians Muntean/Rosenblum and in the bizarre video painting 'In Orgia' by Lars Nilsson of Sweden." - let's talk european