Natja Brunckhorst in "Christiane F."

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Natja Brunckhorst in "Christiane F."

Postby kant1781 » Sat May 04, 2013 12:08 am

To whose who worship L'Acquart divine and Rebecka the Great, I would like to offer the suggestion that they might consider to open a little chapel for a side goddess they might have failed to notice, even if only because she made her more or less only major appearance more than three decades ago. She starred in a film that shaped my generation (those who grew up in Germany in the eighties). I have no idea how well known it is in the rest of the world, but in Germany it could not have been more influential. I am talking of Christiane F. - The Children of Bahnhof Zoo from 1981. It is the true story of a 14-year-old girl who starts to use heroin out of curiosity, becomes a part of the drug scene at Berlin's Bahnhof Zoo (Zoo Station), then the only vein that connected the enclave that was West-Berlin with the Western territory, and ends up walking the streets to finance her and her boy-friend's addiction.

The film was based on a book that came out in 1978. The book, in turn, was based on interviews that reporters of the German magazine "Stern" conducted with the real Christiane F., whom they had met in a drug trafficking trial in which she appeared as a witness. The book was a massive best-seller and put the issue of juvenile drug addiction on the political agenda in this country. The film, directed by first-timer Uli Edel, who would later do Last Exit Brooklyn but has worked mainly for TV since then, was a massive success as well. It was filmed on location in what was then West-Berlin, using the real drug scene at Bahnhof Zoo as a background. The cast is more or less all amateur, and the extras were, for the most part, real junkies and/or homeless that used to live in the station. (Those days are, of course, long gone...).

When I watched it a week ago, for the first time since my adolescence, the whole thing screemed "MOODYSSON!" at me. The similarities in cinematographic style are truly amazing. It is hard to believe that Lukas has not been inspired by this movie in making Lilya 4-ever. Like the former, Christiane F. shows nothing but misery, filth, and decay, and is pretty tough to watch. But there is, within every kind of ugliness imaginable, the shining beauty of Natja Brunckhorst, the amazing lead actress, 14 at the time, about the only member of the cast who would later go on to have a career in the film industry (first as an actress, but now mainly as a script writer), and who resembles a lot... I mean, is quite astonishingly similar to... you know... well, some pictures probably say it all:

Image
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Here's a link to a small portion of the film, featuring Natja, who is an amazing actress, her angelic beauty very effectively counterbalanced and underlined by the raw, coarse voice of a Berlin backyard gal.

The entire movie in one file is here. But it is anyway well worth renting it to see it in decent quality. Give it a try!
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Re: Natja Brunckhorst in "Christiane F."

Postby DMt. » Sat May 04, 2013 3:37 am

I'm scared to watch this...and so is Fishy! Maybe when I'm a little less vulnerable. :roll:

L'Acquart divine, I like it... :Y
"To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize" - Voltaire
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Re: Natja Brunckhorst in "Christiane F."

Postby sydney » Sat May 04, 2013 4:20 pm

This movie is very intense. Just like Lilya 4-Ever as already mentioned...
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Re: Natja Brunckhorst in "Christiane F."

Postby fish » Sun May 05, 2013 6:18 am

kant1781 wrote:... I have no idea how well known it is in the rest of the world...

I bought the DVD a few years ago, mainly because Natja looked so much like Bex on the cover.
It really is an extraordinarily good film.
Many scenes are horrific in the true sense of the word and it is very hard to watch, but ultimately well worth the effort.

I keep wanting to watch it again as I've only done so a couple of times.
Must do it soon.

And I cried for Babsi. :cry:
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Re: Natja Brunckhorst in "Christiane F."

Postby Agnes&Elin Forever! » Sun May 05, 2013 7:06 pm

This film was shown in cinemas in Sweden in the 80s, but I don't know how big the audience was. There is also a dvd available today.

The film is about the drug scene of the 70s which was probably pretty much the same in most western european countries, not only in Berlin of course. Young people doing drugs with heroin injections. This way of doing drugs and the many tragic consequences it lead to is not at all as widespread today as it was then.

The film is also well known for using the music by David Bowie.

Here is the swedish film poster.

Image
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Re: Natja Brunckhorst in "Christiane F."

Postby Dahls » Mon May 06, 2013 1:22 am

It is so heartbreaking to see such a cute young girl go that awful road to heroin addiction.


We have a really lame translation of the title in Norway. Here it's calles 'Å være ung er for jævlig', which means something like 'Being young sucks'. :? :?
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Re: Natja Brunckhorst in "Christiane F."

Postby kant1781 » Tue May 07, 2013 12:05 am

fish wrote:I bought the DVD a few years ago, mainly because Natja looked so much like Bex on the cover.
(...)
And I cried for Babsi. :cry:


Oh man, we all did, back then. :(

Dahls wrote:We have a really lame translation of the title in Norway. Here it's calles 'Å være ung er for jævlig', which means something like 'Being young sucks'. :? :?


Well, I guess the Germans got even by translating Fucking Åmål as "Raus aus Amal". :wink:

(Yes, I know the difference between Sweden and Norway. Just kidding. :)P )
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Re: Natja Brunckhorst in "Christiane F."

Postby katka » Tue May 07, 2013 1:34 am

Today I had go on trip to Berlin, but I couldn't (school - don't finish bachelor's thesis :? )
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Re: Natja Brunckhorst in "Christiane F."

Postby Hermes3G » Tue May 07, 2013 12:31 pm

Oh man, the memories. Something made me rent this incredible film when I was only a few years older than Natja. It played an important role in my life. My mother had died three years earlier and my dad some time before that. I was being raised by my older brothers who were in their twenties and sowing their wild oats. Effectively I was without adult guidance. That's why I was able to rent films like this which my mum would never have allowed...Anyway, I was falling in with some bad characters and doing some bad things. Something made me gradually leave them behind and walk a straighter, though winding and bumpy, path. I can't say I made a concious decision to avoid them based on Christiane F. but it's powerful influence was definitely there. I would see people on the streets and images from the film would come to mind. I doubt if I'm the only one who was effected this way. The film has changed many lives, I'm sure.

And, of course, I fell in love with Natja. It's one of the greatest teen perforamnces ever, and she's just so beautiful.

Unfortunately, the real girl couldn't stay off the stuff. All the more reason to heed the warnings.

http://www.teenagewildlife.com/Othermed ... /manchete/
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Re: Natja Brunckhorst in "Christiane F."

Postby ArcticMonkeys » Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:14 pm

Any film with live footage of David Bowie in his prime during The Berlin era is worth the price alone, I think he left Berlin by then but he was coming of some of his greatest work. But the film is as bleak as hell, German Cinema at this time in the 70's was downbeat. it does feel like a Moodysson film and I wonder if he was influenced by it's style. It's a pretty well known film (thanks to Bowies involvement) as it's director Uli Edel made an equally disturbing film called Last Exit to Brooklyn. Like Moodysson's younger star Alexandra Dahlstorm, she was too young to really strike the iron when it was hot. At 14, which is amazing considering her performance in such a tough film. She went to school in England, so must have picked up English pretty well. Looking at her pictures when she got a little older, she was still as beautiful as ever. She studied drama in Bremen after spending a little time Paris. Maybe like Alexandra, she probably was happy to work rather then go for the big time.

She was in Fassbinder's last film Querelle in 1982 and had a appearance in a very good German film called The Princess and the warrior for Director Tom Tykwer who made Run Lola Run, Cloud Atlas and one of the most bizarre but brilliant films ever made Perfume: A Story of a Murderer. Apart from that she hasn't done much else of any quality mostly TV movies and bit parts in German films and as Kant said she's become a Screenwriter, it's a pity as she should have become a big star thanks to Christine F.
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Re: Natja Brunckhorst in "Christiane F."

Postby Dahls » Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:02 am

Yes, she gave an extreme preformance.
One of the hardest films I've watch to date, along with Dancer in the Dark and Jagten.
I think it's good to see some feel bad films once in awhile, films that put you out of your comfort zone.


ArcticMonkeys wrote:Any film with live footage of David Bowie in his prime during The Berlin era is worth the price alone

Amen to that. 8)
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Re: Natja Brunckhorst in "Christiane F."

Postby kant1781 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:30 pm

kant1781 wrote:When I watched it a week ago, for the first time since my adolescence, the whole thing screemed "MOODYSSON!" at me. The similarities in cinematographic style are truly amazing. It is hard to believe that Lukas has not been inspired by this movie in making Lilya 4-ever.


I don't want to overrate it, but I feel nicely confirmed by this statement by Lukas:

Not many films really capture what it's actually like to be a teenager. Which ones have you admired over the years? Did you have any in mind for this – films or filmmakers?

No. I don't watch movies at all.

Really? Why not?

Because they're all my enemies.
I remember when I grew up, the one film that made me... what's it called in English? "Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo", the German movie.

Christiane F.?

Yes.

It reminds me of your Lilya 4-Ever, actually.

Yeah. Well, I liked it when I was 5. I rewatched it some years ago. You shouldn't do that maybe because you copy but I really liked it when I was 12 or 13 years old and I wanted to take drugs [laughs]... I could still sort of relate to the kind of desperation or something without heroin, though.


Source: http://grolschfilmworks.com/ca/features ... -interview

(You know the interview, of course. Alas, no release date yet for "Vi ar bäst" in Germany.)
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Re: Natja Brunckhorst in "Christiane F."

Postby fish » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:24 am

Excellent validation for you Dave. *:)*
That was a good interview too.


kant1781 wrote:... no release date yet for "Vi ar bäst" in Germany.)

I fear our best hope of seeing it at all in Australia is by waiting for a DVD release.
Though I'd love to have the chance of seeing some of these films in the cinema with a bunch of other kindred souls. :(
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