WiseMan felt that I have a cultural deficit since I never managed to finish reading the German classic "Buddenbrooks" by Thomas Mann. So since the movie was being shown in the little second-run cinema around the corner, we went this evening.

I had had a rough day - the semester is starting, I had meetings all day. I arrived just in time at the cinema, and settled in for a looooooong movie - 2 1/2 hours.

Armin Müller-Stahl ist just soooo perfect for the part of the patriarch of this borgeouis family. The story is about their downfall (Note: no happy end).

Apparently, last summer the film company rather closed down downtown Lübeck for the filming, carefully calculating each angle so as not to catch a glimpse of a modern building in the lens. And one shot is apparently cut together vertically from two positions, because it wasn't doable otherwise.

The costumes are wonderful, the rooms are nice, the shots of Brügge-as-Amsterdam are quaint. The sfx making the dark clouds and hail are kind of corny - they were filmed on a blue-sky day, apparently, and then the clouds were filled in, but the buildings shine in the sun which isn't there.

The movie is well worth it, but I still don't think I'll read the book through.

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