Roman Polanski’s “European Oscar”

Posted by John Rosenthal

Earlier this month, Roman Polanski’s would-be “political thriller” The Ghost Writer won “best picture” at the European Film Academy awards. The film is a kind of amalgam of “good European” pieties and delirious anti-American phantasms: chief among the latter being the notion that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was controlled by the CIA. Polanski’s [...]

Hamburg: See No Terror

Posted by John Rosenthal

“Hamburg is always being mentioned in connection with September 11, 2001, and for this reason we feel we have a special responsibility to support the U.S.A. in this case.” This is what Kristin Breuer, a spokesperson for the Hamburg municipal government, told Germany’s ARD public television after it was announced that two Guantánamo detainees who [...]

The Trouble with Wikipedia: A Cautionary Tale

Posted by John Rosenthal

Back in February, I published an article titled “Berlinollywood?”, which documents the substantial subsidies provided by the German federal government and other German public agencies to the production of Roman Polanski’s film The Ghost Writer. The information struck me as being of evident public interest. It seems to have struck others, who have cited the article, as [...]

Berlinollywood?

Posted by John Rosenthal

The Berlin International Film Festival — or “Berlinale” — came to a close last Sunday with the “Golden Bear” for best film going to the Turkish film Bal [Honey] and the “Silver Bear” for best director going to none other than Roman Polanski for his new political thriller The Ghost Writer. Writing in the German [...]

Waltz with Bashir: an “Israeli” Film?

Posted by John Rosenthal

So they say. But a look at the film’s financing suggests otherwise. See Part 2 of my two-part series on the Oscar-nominated “documation” on Pajamas Media here.

“Valkyrie” and the Historical Stauffenberg

Posted by John Rosenthal

“Many Saw Evil,” the posters for the new Tom Cruise film Valkyrie proclaim, “But They Dared to Stop It.” But did would-be Hitler assassin, Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, and his co-conspirators “see evil” in the Nazi regime? The historical record suggests otherwise. See my new article on Pajamas Media here.

“Teaser”: More on Germany and “Paradise Now”

Posted by John Rosenthal

(With Update) The “companion guide” to “Paradise Now” by Germany’s Federal Bureau for Political Education (BPB) about which Matthias Küntzel writes in “Suicide Bombing ‘for a Higher Ideal’” is prominently featured on the BPB website. If you click on the thumbnail on the BPB page (not here, sorry), a pop-up opens displaying in large format the [...]