She began shooting amateur short films with a cheap video-camera in her teens, before studying Cinema and Television at the University of Munich. Today, Maren Ade – now in the third decade of her life – is deservingly considered the most promising new voice of German cinema. Her third feature film “Toni Erdmann” hit the recent Cannes Film Festival like a bolt out of the blue. Initially, no one expected that a three-hour long comedy from Germany would find a place among the official selections for the Cannes festival. However, no one could imagine the huge acclaim and triumphant reviews that greeted the film in the press. Her scandalous omission from the list of the festival’s official awards set off a lot of negative comments against the Jury, even if it probably had beneficial long-term results for a film which now rises to the top of most lists of the best movies of 2016.
In any case, film connoisseurs had already previously taken notice, when Ade received the Special Jury Award for her graduate film at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. In «Forest for the Trees» the German director follows an idealistic young teacher as she takes up her first job. Ade dissects her psyche with surgical precision, delivering a bitter comedy about the nightmare of the “modern” educational system. In 2009 “Everyone Else” reaffirmed the young director’s great talent in narrating beautiful stories of emotional frankness, incorporating disarming silences and captivating audiences with the simplicity of her shots. In a love story worthy of the cinematic legacy of such greats as John Cassavetes and Michelangelo Antonioni, Ade delves deep into the volatile relationship of a young couple. The film won the Jury Grand Prix at the Berlin Film Festival, with Birgit Minichmayr being awarded the Silver Berlin Bear for Best Actress.
Maren Ade is a director who observes her characters fastidiously, listening to their desires and letting their passions and fears inspire her in creating beautiful cinematic episodes. We, in turn, are only happy to turn the festival’s spotlight on her, in a mini tribute that aspires to introduce the new directorial phenomenon of European cinema to a wider public. Kostis Theodosopoulos
2016 Toni Erdmann
2009 Alle Anderen
2003 Der Wald vor lauter Baumen
2000 Ebene 9
An idealistic young teacher takes on her first job at a school, where she has to face rebellious students, cynical colleagues and her own social awkwardness. What is she willing to do to satisfy her desperate need for human connection? In her impressively mature debut, Maren Ade expertly dissects the agitated psyche of a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown, in a bitter comedy about the nightmare that is the “modern” educational system. Special Jury Prize of the Sundance Film Festival.
During their summer holidays in Sicily, the relationship of an ostensibly loving couple is put to the test when they meet another couple, also holidaying in the area. Maren Ade choreographs wonderful scenes of emotional honesty, incorporates disarming silences and wins you over with the simplicity of her imagery, in a love story that is a worthy successor to the cinematic legacy left behind by John Cassavetes and Michelangelo Antonioni. Silver Bear for Best Actress and Grand Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival.
How generous, hilarious and surprising can the story of a prank-loving father trying to rebuild his failing relationship with his estranged and workaholic daughter be? In Maren Ade's subversive hands, a seemingly simple relationship story becomes a rare cinematic gift that not only rightfully deserved this year's Palme d'Or, but will also be hard to beat as the best film of 2016.