Lone Star State of Mind: Hotel Dallas is in Romania

Livia Ungur from Hotel Dallas
Livia Ungur guides us through Hotel Dallas.

I saw some documentaries at this year’s Berlin film festival ‘Berlinale’. As this year’s winner of the Golden Bear is another documentary by Italian filmmaker Gianfranco Rosi I felt motivated to write a rating for Hotel Dallas. A Romanian- American production by Sherng-Lee Huang and Livia Ungur.

The semi-documental film circles around the fact that the famous series Dallas was the only western show allowed on Romanian television in the 1980s. The Ceaușescu regime wanted to demonstrate the corruption of Western lifestyle and made it paradoxically a role model for many Romanians.

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Agent Provocateur: Edward Snowden Explains the Digital World as Citizenfour

Edward Snowden (left) explains Glenn Greenwald (right) how it's done.
Edward Snowden (left) explains Glenn Greenwald (right) how it’s done.

Who is Edward Snowden? Why even bother posing the question, you may ask, as the answer seems to be blatantly obvious: a world-famous whistleblower. The person who first appeared under the alias of Citizenfour to reveal the truth about the NSA, PRISM, and TEMPORA in 2013. We all know his name and face now, but we don’t really know the man and his motivations at all, at least not from a firsthand account. Is he a hero, as part of the internet community portrays him to be, or a villain, as most of the Western (and particularly) American officials paint him?

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Love & Marriage: Going Behind the Scenes in Sacha Gervasi’s Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins, left) and his leading lady Janet Leigh (Scarlett Johansson, right).

Psycho is arguably Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece. Granted, there are numerous other classics that he created over his almost six-decade career as a filmmaker, such as The 39 Steps, Rebecca, Notorious, Rear Window, Vertigo, North By Northwest, or The Birds, just to name a few. Psycho and its famous shower scene, however, are probably the first things that come to mind when talking about the English ‘Master of Suspense.’ He has never wavered in popularity, and the making of the fabled thriller has always been somewhat shrouded in legend. So why not tackle it as the subject of a feature film?

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Hotter than the Hindenburg: The Way Led Zeppelin Sound on a Celebration Day

Singer Robert Plant (left), bass player John Paul Jones (center), and guitarist Jimmy Page (right) reunited on stage for the first time in about two decades.

The lights go out in the theater and footage from days long gone appears – memories from a time when rock giants still existed. In the opening seconds of their new concert film Celebration Day, we watch Led Zeppelin hop on and off a private jet during their 1973 American tour. Now the band has returned to the silver screen for the first time in over 35 years, and the first thing we see establishes a direct connection to The Song Remains The Same.

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Immigrant Song: Almanya as a Heartwarming Portrait of the Multicultural Germany of Today

The whole family reunited

In the 1960s, West Germany prospered so much that people were referring to the period as Wirtschaftswunder, an ’economic miracle,’ so to speak. Although the country had full employment, there was still a need for even more workers. So the capitalist Germans recruited a myriad of laborers from abroad: Italians, Spaniards, Greeks, Portuguese, Yugoslavians, Moroccans, Tunisians, and, of course, Turks. Their arrival would change the nation forever.

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