"Staggeringly rich...The Second Heimat, which runs 25 hours, forms, with its predecessor, a magnificent, nearly unprecedented 'film novel': a portrait of Germany in the 20th century with few equals in either film or literature...outlandishly ambitious...an often dazzling success. That [Edgar] Reitz is able to sustain growth and tension, inexorable flow and translucent clarity through the entire vast length, and hold audiences rapt...seems something of a miracle. The story is of Maria's son, Herrmann Simon, and his life in Munich from 1960 to 1970. There, a brilliant young modernist musician and composer, he falls in with an incandescent circle of young students, artists, rebels and lovers--all brought shatteringly to life by Reitz and a splendid cast of actors and musicians...The Second Heimat may be the screen's finest portrayal of youth in the '60s" (Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune). In German with English subtitles.Edgar Reitz---Germany---1994---1416 mins.
Alexander Kluge never ceased to provoke viewers by playing with film form and content. In Danger and Deep Distress combines documentary and fiction to paint a "nightmarish picture of life in the contemporary Federal Republic" (John Sandford, The New German Cinema). In 1974, Kluge and fellow filmmaker Edgar Reitz (Heimat) roamed Frankfurt for 10 days with a small crew, capturing everything from political demonstrations to carnival fun and even debate within the congress for the SPD Party. Kluge interweaves this footage with narrative threads about two seemingly different women: One seduces men, sleeps with them, then robs them blind; the other is a spy from the Eastern Bloc. Winner of German Film Awards for editing and musical dramaturgy. Also known as In Gefahr und grosster Not bringt der Mittelweg den Tod and In Danger and Dire Distress the Middle of the Road Leads to Death. In German with English subtitles.Alexander Kluge---West Germany---1974---90 mins.