Great movie: “Deutschstunde” – just out.

I didn’t read the original novel by Siegfried Lenz (1968), so the story was completely new to me. A wartime movie, with a village policeman (initially) forced to prohibit his friend from painting; common practice in Nazi Germany. But the story has many levels: it addresses the conflict of a father/son relationship (with the painter competing for that role); the battle between good and evil (how can any painting be bad for society?); the decline into fanaticism and sticking to the party rules; how do we deal with populism in our own age; how can it be that hardened war criminals simply return and continue as before…?
The backdrop of the German coast, with constant rain torturing the characters, complements a very intriguing story that forces the viewer to continue to watch.

You can find the movie here in IMDb.

You can find all my favorite movies here on IMDb.

 

 

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‘Merci!’: Montpellier, France sends misspelled football jerseys to Montpelier, Vermont

Mhmm, is it just me or could it actually be that Montpellier, Vermont is misspelled? Instead of wasting these beautiful t-shirts, could the city council of Montpelier, Vermond perhaps finally correct the city’s name? Where is this “Pelier mountain” anyway?

‘Merci!’: Montpellier, France sends misspelled football jerseys to Montpelier, Vermont
https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/sep/15/montpellier-france-sends-misspelled-football-jerseys-to-montpelier-vermont?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

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Bird (oil, paper, sand on canvas, 120 x 100 cm)

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This painting I created in 1992 – it currently hangs on the wall of our bathroom, so we look at it each day. It was on loan for a few years to a very special friend, I have never sold it though: this bird, as it glides over a wintry landscape, is very dear to me and hard to part from. IMG_1599

I visited a salt mine in southern Germany #roadtrip #greatexperience

This salt mine is still in use. It is a few hundred meters under the surface and the layer of salt extends over a hundred miles into Switzerland. The salt is mostly used by the chemical industry. Some of these halls are hundreds of meters long, twenty meters wide and high. They are also used to store chemical waste, e.g. from industrial filters (the big white bags that you see at the end of the movie). If you are interested in a tour: the entrance is in Bad Friedrichshall.

A painting of a Camel (oil, sand on canvas, 30 x 40 cm). And thoughts about Purgatory.

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Before turning to PURGATORY, below a painting of a camel, created in the nineties. The background is acrylic paint, enriched with natural pigments and desert sand, the camel itself is in oil. The motive suggest heat, and a pyramid is visible in the hump. I painted this shortly after our trip through the Lybian Desert.

Camel. Oil, acryl, sand, pigments on canvas

Camel. Oil, acryl, sand, pigments on canvas

Talking about heat: lately I have been thinking about the principal of purgatory. Although this concept has come out of fashion in both the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches, it is high on my radar. Purgatory: I remember books from my youth in which, in graphic detail, naked sinners sat in metal cauldrons, faces distorted with pain. No wonder: flames flickered around their bodies, and a red devil (carrying a three-pronged spear, see my novel Celeterra) tested their flesh.

Wouldn’t purgatory be a suitable, after-death punishment for some unsocial human beings? I am not religious, so the argument is moot, but sometimes I do assign a few days of purgatory to people who behave anti-socially:

  • Four days of purgatory for the unknown person that hit my brand new car with their car door, leaving a 15mm scratch, that I now have to repair.
  • One day of purgatory (each) for the Chinese couple that pushed past 25 passengers in an attempt to get out of the plane first.
  • One day for each person that took and didn’t return a smart phone cable (‘took and didn’t return’ – the proper word is probably ‘steal’).
  • One day in a cauldron with melted led for all drivers that blocked our driveway with their parked car, being too lazy to walk 100 meters, but expecting others to do so.
  • One day of purgatory for all hotel guests that have extended conversations in the hotel floor between 11 pm and 7 am. An additional three days of flickering flames for the timeframe 1 am to 6 am, or a conversation that exceeds fifteen minutes.
  • Half a day of purgatory for restaurant guests that have a dispute with the waiter, and try to pull other guests (me) into the argument. I don’t care about your problems, live with it. One day of hot cauldron, if this happens in a train or plane.
  • Two days for expressing an opinion about blogposts, without having read the entire text.

Bookmark this reference page, I will add more days of purgatory for other misdemeanors. Suggestions for punishable offenses welcome.