Category Archives: germany

The Final Entries of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest

Sweden – “You” by Robin Stjernberg


It’s a nice pop tune, but I guess Sweden doesn’t really want to win two years in a row.

Spain – “Contigo Hasta El Final (With You All The Way)” by ESDM


At first it seems like Spain has gone traditional. I just wonder if the audience will still be with them by the time the song really kicks in.

Italy – “L’Essenziale” by Marco Mengoni


Wow, that’s some hair.

Germany – “Glorious” by Cascada


Germany is usually a strong competitor, despite most of Europe still hating them for that World War II business, and this year is no exception. It’s a great dance tune that would have won if it were from the Ukraine, but not Germany.

France – “L’enfer Et Moi (Hell and Me)” by Amandine Bourgeois


This is a great song, and per usual, it’s in French, but it’s much better than most years’ entries. It seems the French are in it to win it this year. I can’t wait to see what this looks like on stage. That will make or break it.

Along with the UK entry, “Believe in Me” by 1980s songstress Bonnie Tyler, the above finalists join Semi-Final winners Lithuania, Moldova, Finland, Belgium, Estonia, Belarus, Malta, Russia, Armenia, The Netherlands, Romania, Hungary, Denmark, Iceland, Azerbaijan, Greece, Ukraine, Norway, Georgia, and Ireland in the Grand Final tomorrow afternoon. Those of you in the States can watch it live here.

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Titanic, The Evil Version

Titanic ~ This is not the Titanic you think it is, in fact, this is not any of the Titanics you might think it is. It’s not from 1997, 1953, or even 1915. I had never heard of this 1943 version until very recently, and it is a sad and very intriguing monument to the power of propaganda. This is the Nazi version.

This Titanic was made by the German film industry, controlled by the Nazis, in the midst of World War II. At a time when Germany was at war with Great Britain, this dramatic propaganda film showed the story of the Titanic sinking, not strictly because of an iceberg, but because of the greed and folly of the British ship’s owners.

In this Titanic, the upper class British passengers are all rich, careless, and decadent, with the Germans poor and heroic, in fact, the only German crew member is our hero. The skewed almost-Bizarro World version of history has to be seen to be believed.

This subtitled anti-British piece of work was never actually released as Nazi officials thought the scenes of chaos inboard the ship might panic German citizens who were under attack during wartime. For years it was thought lost, but occasionally shows up on TCM. Worth watching as a curiosity.

The Final Six Entries in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest

These are the five nations who are always in the Finals, plus last year’s winner and this year’s host, Azerbaijan.

United Kingdom: “Love Will Set You Free” by Engelbert Humperdinck

The UK always tries to make an effort, like trying to get Morrissey, or getting Andrew Lloyd Webber to write the song. This year they got decades past pop idol Humperdinck. It’s just not enough, UK…

France: “Echo (You and I)” by Anggun

Speaking of trying to win, every once in a while France decides they’d like to win and actually enters something catchy and modern. This is one of those years. Another one that’s growing on me.

Italy: “L’Amore È Femmina (Out Of Love)” by Nina Zilli

I think this one has a real chance of winning. Dancey, jazzy and fun.

Azerbaijan: “When the Music Dies” by Sabina Babayeva

Another power ballad, but a strong one and a real contender for the win.

Spain: “Quédate Conmigo (Stay With Me)” by Pastora Soler

You’ll have to click the link above to see the Spain video, embedding forbidden by YouTube. It has no chance to win though in my opinion, but then again, just my opinion…

Germany: “Standing Still” by Roman Lob

Europe aside, I think this could be a hit here. I like it a lot, one of my favorites, and another strong contender for the win.

The Grand Final for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest takes place on May 26th in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Metropolis at Biff Bam Pop!

My review of the silent scifi film classic Metropolis is now live at Biff Bam Pop!.

Metropolis is one of my all-time favorite movies, and revolutionary in inspiring an entire film genre. You can check my review out here.

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The Movie I Can’t Watch

My mother-in-law and I talk about film a lot. An ongoing discussion seems to be that she doesn’t like horror movies – or creepy, scary, or anything like that of the kind. She’s often puzzled that I do like them. The argument that comes up most frequently is why would someone want to be scared. The point is I don’t want to be scared. I wouldn’t watch these things if they truly scared me. In fact, there is one movie I will not watch because it does absolutely terrify me.

Nosferatu – A Symphony of Horror ~ This 1922 classic of German silent horror is perhaps one of the greatest and most enigmatic and most legendary of all horror films – and I have made a conscious effort not to view it for years, as when I have, it’s given me nightmares, when I was able to finally get to sleep that is.

I’m not sure if it’s the imagery of the horrifying Max Schreck who played the vampire Graf Orlok or not. I am able to watch movies that emulate the visuals like the remake from 1979, or “‘Salem’s Lot,” or even Shadow of the Vampire, which is about the making of this film. So it just must be the wonderful shadowy direction of F.W. Murnau, and Max Schreck himself. Oddly enough, Graf Orlok only appears on screen for nine minutes, but it’s enough. No matter how you cut it, Schreck is scary here. The Renfield character played by Alexander Granach is also pretty fearsome as well.

Nosferatu is an unauthorized filming of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” thus why so many names are changed while the story remains much the same. Because of an ugly lawsuit, Stoker’s widow had every print and negative of the movie destroyed. Luckily (depending on your outlook), copies reappeared in other countries around the world. It has since fallen into the public domain, and has been accompanied by several wonderful soundtracks, including one by Type O Negative.

I had mentioned the shadow work previously. It is some of the best ever in film history in my opinion, and the German silents were masters of the artform. And still, I won’t watch it. I love watching old movies on the big screen, which is why I’m such a big fan of the Silver Screen Classics on the local Rave, but notably I once turned down a chance to see Nosferatu in a theater, it scares me that much. I probably won’t even look at the pics supporting this blog entry.

Happy Halloween.

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The Magician

The Magician ~ This 1926 silent film is based on the 1908 novel by W. Somerset Maugham, which was in turn, based on the infamous Aleister Crowley. It was directed and adapted by Rex Ingram and starring his then-wife Alice Terry (The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and The Prisoner of Zenda). As presented on TCM’s Silent Sundays, this was a crisp clean print, something always important when dealing with the silents. It might be noted that while Ingram and Terry mentioned above had many films to their name, few survive.

A sculptress is nearly killed when her sculpture, a big scary thing, falls on her. A young surgeon miraculously saves her life and a romance blooms. Meanwhile Oliver Haddo, a magician/mad scientist played by German Paul Wegener, is seeking the means to create life. All Haddo needs is the blood of a virgin – and he sets his sights on the sculptress. The film rolls from there.

If the plot sounds a bit Frankenstein-ish, it is, and some of the imagery is reminiscent of that film, but remember, Universal’s Frankenstein is still six years away when The Magician was made. There are some quite horrific visuals here, right from the start, and especially one scene in Hell that rivals any in Haxan, complete with “Night on Bald Mountain” soundtrack. This proves that Hollywood was just as good at this kind of horror as Germany was, and they didn’t even need Lon Chaney for this one.

This rarely seen silent film is a classic and a must see. There are some gorgeous French locations (real or not, still stunning), great color tinting, an explosive ending and a wonderful score by Robert Israel. Recommended.

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Eurovision 2010 – Germany

, one of the stronger competitors in my opinion, dancey and campy enough to win in this year of ballad overflow.

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Dita Does Germany

Burlesque star Dita Von Teese will be appearing on stage with Alex Swings Oscar Sings in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

She’ll be dancing to the German swingin’ entry, “Miss Kiss Kiss Bang,” one of my favorites from this year’s competition. If this doesn’t get the continent-wide audience’s attention, I’m not sure what will.

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Eurovision 2009 Germany

Another frontrunner for Eurovision this year in my opinion is the German entry – “Miss Kiss Kiss Bang” by Alex Swings, Oscar Sings! Old school sound, new school look, check it out.