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The Lives of Others

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The Lives of Others

Old 03-06-07, 11:25 PM
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The Lives of Others

I have a friend who's fluent in German and he really wanted to see The Lives of Others tonight (we don't get many German films 'round here), so I tagged along. I knew pretty much nothing about the movie going in (except that it won an Oscar) and REALLY liked it. It did a great job of depicting how terrible it must've been to live under a communist regime. This should be required viewing for all of those kids who wear Che Guevara t-shirts.

I especially liked the very end.

A question:
Spoiler:
Was the character who tells HGW that the wall has come down the same one who told the joke in the lunchroom?


I'm going to have to update my Best of 2006 list...

(Mods: I searched for a thread in Movie Talk dedicated solely to this film, but found nothing. If there already is one, merge away.)

Last edited by DJLinus; 03-06-07 at 11:50 PM.
Old 03-18-07, 10:27 AM
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My review... SPOILERS

DJLinus, this technically is a US 2007 film, as it did not get a theatrical release until February.

I just got back from seeing this and I really, really enjoyed it. I can see why it resonated so with the Oscar crowd: persecution and control of artists, etc.

As I'm a native German speaker, I usually look for errors in the translation, or anything that misses context. Nothing here was missed, except the title: the title should be The Life of Others.

Highly recommended film.
Old 03-19-07, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
DJLinus, this technically is a US 2007 film, as it did not get a theatrical release until February.

I just got back from seeing this and I really, really enjoyed it. I can see why it resonated so with the Oscar crowd: persecution and control of artists, etc.

As I'm a native German speaker, I usually look for errors in the translation, or anything that misses context. Nothing here was missed, except the title: the title should be The Life of Others.

Highly recommended film.
I thought the film had to have a brief 2006 release date window for qualification for the Academy Awards - I didn't remember seeing any NYC release date, but I would assume there was a Los Angeles 2006 playdates/

I saw the film in November (2006) at the AFI European Union Film Festival.

I did though make the film festival route in 2006:

Germany - 15 March 2006 (Berlin) (premiere)
Germany - 23 March 2006
Switzerland - 6 August 2006 (Locarno Film Festival)
Austria - 17 August 2006
Switzerland - 17 August 2006 (German speaking region)
USA - 3 September 2006 (Telluride Film Festival)
Canada - 7 September 2006 (Toronto Film Festival)
Argentina - 29 September 2006 (German Film Festival)
Czech Republic - 4 October 2006 (German Language Film Festival)
Denmark - 13 October 2006
Finland - 27 October 2006
Spain - 5 November 2006 (Seville Film Festival)
Sweden - 10 November 2006
USA - 12 November 2006 (Denver International Film Festival)
France - 19 November 2006 (Arras Film Festival)
Greece - 14 December 2006 (Thessaloniki)

2007 rollout of the film:

Czech Republic - 4 January 2007
Poland - 26 January 2007
Belgium - 31 January 2007
France - 31 January 2007
Hong Kong - 1 February 2007
Portugal - 8 February 2007 (Lisbon)
Taiwan - 9 February 2007
USA 9 - February 2007 (limited)
Japan - 10 February 2007
Germany - 13 February 2007 (Berlin International Film Festival)
Israel - 15 February 2007
Spain - 16 February 2007
UK - 18 February 2007 (Keswick Film Festival)
Hungary - 22 February 2007
Netherlands - 1 March 2007
Singapore - 1 March 2007
Thailand - 1 March 2007
Bulgaria - 5 March 2007 (Sofia International Film Festival)
Turkey - 9 March 2007
Argentina - 15 March 2007
Mexico - 16 March 2007
Slovakia - 22 March 2007
Australia - 29 March 2007
Italy - 6 April 2007
UK - 13 April 2007
Old 03-19-07, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Giles
I thought the film had to have a brief 2006 release date window for qualification for the Academy Awards
From Oscars.org:

Rule Fourteen
Special Rules for the Best Foreign Language Film Award

...

II. ELIGIBILITY

1. The film must be first released in the country submitting the film no earlier than October 1, 2005 and no later than September 30, 2006, and be first publicly exhibited by means of 35mm or 70mm film for a run of at least seven consecutive days in a commercial motion picture theater for the profit of the producer and exhibitor, advertised and exploited during the run in a manner considered normal and customary to the industry. The picture need not have been released in the United States.
<hr>

The only thing I didn't really like about this movie was the score. Most of it was good but it had moments that seemed to mesh the worst of John Williams and Hans Zimmer.
Old 03-19-07, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by DJLinus
A question:
Spoiler:
Was the character who tells HGW that the wall has come down the same one who told the joke in the lunchroom?
Yes.

And I agree, this was one of the best films of the year! I would have been happy to see it in the "Best Picture" category, not just Best Foreign film.
Old 03-19-07, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
DJLinus, this technically is a US 2007 film, as it did not get a theatrical release until February.

I just got back from seeing this and I really, really enjoyed it. I can see why it resonated so with the Oscar crowd: persecution and control of artists, etc.
Thanks. I just assumed it was an '06 release since A) it won the Oscar and B) Richmond seems to get art house movies later than the major markets. (I just pray that we get Hot Fuzz in a timely fashion, but I'm willing to drive to DC to see it.)

As for it winning the Oscar, I know that a lot were upset that Pan's Labrynth didn't win in this category. I haven't seen that movie, so I can't comment as to whether it got robbed or not. But The Lives of Others was a damn fine movie, deserving the award, IMO.

At the very least, it's fun to say the director's name: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Originally Posted by Peep
Yes.
Thanks. I was pretty sure about that, but wanted confirmation. It was a nice touch.
Old 03-19-07, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by DJLinus
As for it winning the Oscar, I know that a lot were upset that Pan's Labrynth didn't win in this category. I haven't seen that movie, so I can't comment as to whether it got robbed or not. But The Lives of Others was a damn fine movie, deserving the award, IMO.
I liked Pan's Labyrinth, but the Academy definitely made a good choice here. I loved this movie -- after seeing it, I immediately wanted to see it again. Highly recommended.
Old 03-20-07, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by DJLinus
As for it winning the Oscar, I know that a lot were upset that Pan's Labrynth didn't win in this category. I haven't seen that movie, so I can't comment as to whether it got robbed or not. But The Lives of Others was a damn fine movie, deserving the award, IMO.
I was one of those people that was pissed when I found out Pan's had lost. The thing that I realized was that my deep prejudice for del Torro, though, was clouding my mind. Despite my emotional reaction I understood that I was not objective and the more I heard about this one the more I wanted to see it. I mean, I even had trouble reconciling the fact that I liked Children of Men (talk about a movie that got robbed) as much as Pan's. In the end those two tie for me as Best of the Year (obviously of the ones I have actually seen).
I was just so happy when it seemed like del Torro was going to get industry recognition as he has frequent creative differences with the studio money and this would have given him more clout.

End rant. I am really looking forward to Lives when it hits DVD.
Old 03-24-07, 11:26 AM
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I just saw it the other day and I loved it. A great film. I think I'd still give Pan's Labyrinth the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film but only by a hair. To be absolutely sure I have to see both again. They were both worthy of an actual Best Picture nomination and I think both were better than any of the Best Picture nominees.
Old 03-31-07, 04:28 AM
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Just came back from seeing it. I was worried that it had been overhyped and didn't think it could live up to my expectations. I was wrong. Simply put, it was stunning. This was the most tightly written script I have ever seen produced in a movie. I don't think there was a single wasted scene or line in the entire movie. The pacing was perfect. I never felt like any of the plot was predictable, or cliched. I was gripped, intrigued, and totally lost track of time. And besides, the writing, the acting was phenomenal. Loved it, loved it, loved it. I agree, it was better than any of the Best Picture nominees.
Old 04-02-07, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by hahn
Just came back from seeing it. I was worried that it had been overhyped and didn't think it could live up to my expectations. I was wrong. Simply put, it was stunning. This was the most tightly written script I have ever seen produced in a movie. I don't think there was a single wasted scene or line in the entire movie. The pacing was perfect. I never felt like any of the plot was predictable, or cliched. I was gripped, intrigued, and totally lost track of time. And besides, the writing, the acting was phenomenal. Loved it, loved it, loved it. I agree, it was better than any of the Best Picture nominees.
the film also got a standing ovation at the AFI EU screening I saw it at, I think the fact that the director was in attendence (for a post film Q&A) was an extra bonus.
Old 04-17-07, 04:22 AM
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DJLinus - I'm assuming you saw this film at the Westhampton on Grove Ave., correct? What a fun place to watch a movie. I got to see "The Lives of Others" a couple days ago. It was excellent.
Old 07-25-07, 12:32 AM
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eh, movie is playing near me for 2 more days, should i spend the 8 bucks and go see it (the charles theatre in baltimore) or wait for the dvd. Only other movie i've seen there is Le Vive en Rose, and that was amazing (and i was the youngest one there by at least 15 or 20 years, and i'm only 22.)
Old 07-25-07, 11:44 AM
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Sadly, Ulrich Muehe, who portrayed Gerd Wiesler in the film, has died: http://www.eux.tv/article.aspx?articleId=11832
Old 07-25-07, 11:51 AM
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Wow, thats awful, RIP
Old 07-27-07, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Drexl
Sadly, Ulrich Muehe, who portrayed Gerd Wiesler in the film, has died: http://www.eux.tv/article.aspx?articleId=11832
That's sad. I was looking forward to seeing him in more roles.

I always thought he was robbed of an Oscar nomination for this film. He probably would've gotten the nomination had he died before the nominations were made (with the way the Academy does things).

Last edited by Coral; 07-27-07 at 08:07 PM.
Old 07-27-07, 07:33 PM
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I had missed the announcement here. I just read it in the paper. Very sad. Great performance.
Old 09-07-08, 08:05 PM
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So I'm a bit late to this game, but I very much enjoyed the movie. The direction was a bit heavy handed in spots, but the content was excellent and overall the movie was very well done. Pretty tense in spots and enjoyable, once it got going I had a general idea of how it would play out, but going in I didn't have a clue it would go the way it did.

I'm sad Ulrich Mühe passed away as he was one of the few German actors I actually knew of, and on top of that liked. He was fantastic in this movie with what was ultimately very little dialog. 2006 was a great year for Sebastian Koch.
Old 09-08-08, 01:02 AM
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A tremendously moving film, with a wonderfully reserved central performance by Mühe. He was as meticulous in his snooping as Harry Caul, and as emotionally repressed. What a perfect closing line too!
Old 01-09-09, 11:43 PM
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Re: The Lives of Others

Originally Posted by hahn View Post
Just came back from seeing it. I was worried that it had been overhyped and didn't think it could live up to my expectations. I was wrong. Simply put, it was stunning. This was the most tightly written script I have ever seen produced in a movie. I don't think there was a single wasted scene or line in the entire movie. The pacing was perfect. I never felt like any of the plot was predictable, or cliched. I was gripped, intrigued, and totally lost track of time. And besides, the writing, the acting was phenomenal. Loved it, loved it, loved it. I agree, it was better than any of the Best Picture nominees.
I finally got around to seeing this. I concur w/ hahn's sentiments. Loved this film.
Old 01-10-09, 12:20 AM
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Re: The Lives of Others

Originally Posted by B.A. View Post
I finally got around to seeing this. I concur w/ hahn's sentiments. Loved this film.
Nice thread bump. This film gets better with each viewing. And I was so torn over this and "Pan's Labyrinth" for Best Foreign Picture at the Oscars. I still think "Pan's" was a tad better. But "Lives" is riveting on a whole different level. And sad to watch knowing the lead actor is no longer with us.
Old 01-10-09, 09:44 AM
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Re: The Lives of Others

Originally Posted by Daytripper View Post
Nice thread bump. This film gets better with each viewing. And I was so torn over this and "Pan's Labyrinth" for Best Foreign Picture at the Oscars. I still think "Pan's" was a tad better. But "Lives" is riveting on a whole different level. And sad to watch knowing the lead actor is no longer with us.
I still can't decide which is better. The two best films (not just foreign language films) of 2006.
Old 01-10-09, 06:16 PM
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Re: The Lives of Others

This was a time where I think the Oscars got it right. Fantastic film.

I honestly felt Pan's Labyrinth was an emperor with no clothes. Pretty to look at, but I found it boring and pretentious.
Old 01-14-09, 11:57 AM
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Re: The Lives of Others

Originally Posted by vcuram View Post
DJLinus - I'm assuming you saw this film at the Westhampton on Grove Ave., correct? What a fun place to watch a movie. I got to see "The Lives of Others" a couple days ago. It was excellent.
I haven't revisited this thread since the latest bump, so I missed your post earlier. Yeah, I caught it at the Weshampton. It's pretty much the only place in town to get certain movies (arthouse, foreign). Not a bad llittle two screen theater at all, though.

The close proximity to Philip’s Continental Lounge is an added bonus.
Old 01-14-09, 12:59 PM
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Re: The Lives of Others

Originally Posted by lamphorn View Post
This was a time where I think the Oscars got it right. Fantastic film.

I honestly felt Pan's Labyrinth was an emperor with no clothes. Pretty to look at, but I found it boring and pretentious.
Pan's Labyrinth is pleasing and entertaining and it outperforms the average film by a longshot.

But The Lives of Others is one of the best movies I've ever seen and it never, ever gets old. (I see it roughly twice a year).

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