Reunification of Germany Humor

Goodbye, Lenin!  had a naked shot of a man, full-frontal, fixing window blinds. Not a mere shot though, he was just part of a scene. Others were fully clothed. Nothing sexy about it, though my American mind, trained to never see naked men in the movies, did giggle at seeing a penis wiggling around onscreen. This is the main difference between nudity in European and American films, I think–in European films the body is treated as a whole body, not always carved up and displayed for your pleasure as it nearly always is in an American film. In America we get a lingering shot of Scarlett Johansson’s ass in closeup, in Germany we get full shot of a skinny naked guy fixing his window blinds while his roommates are arguing. (Very reductive, I realize, but I’m making a point.)


The movie wasn’t bad. A little comedy, a little drama, a lot of history, a little preciousness. A few inside jokes that were beyond me, but having a German in tow helped clear much of that up.

5 Responses to “Reunification of Germany Humor”

  1. Beth
    March 29th, 2004 | 12:36 am

    Two of the films I got to see at SXSW had full frontal male nudity – Young Adam and Alexandra’s Project. One film is Scottish and the other Australian. You’re right, it was weird to me to see this is a film, but also rather interesting!

  2. cynthia rockwell
    March 29th, 2004 | 9:16 am

    ah so you’ve seen the film hugh’s been pimping for so long? what did you think?

  3. Beth
    March 30th, 2004 | 12:07 am

    I didn’t enjoy watching it, but it was beautifully made, well written, well acted. It’s just that there is nothing redeeming about the main character, and that makes it hard to enjoy. I haven’t read the book, but Hugh says it’s really good. I’d recommend it if you’re not looking for anything feel good.

  4. Matt Ruby
    July 12th, 2008 | 4:38 pm

    Goodbye Lenin was a VERY good movie. I trying to find more entertaining (and funny) german films. All i can find are videos about this “klaus pierre’ french-german guy who wants to become an action hero in the US. its hilarious, but the guy is a total joke and ridiculous – -is this how german people really act? here is a link to one of his videos: http://www.boingboing.net/2008/06/27/bbtv-klaus-pierre-at.html

    All the kubrick references were a nice touch too. You can’t make a scary or dramatic movie without humor – so this film was a good touch of everything!

  5. October 14th, 2008 | 10:48 pm

    I am a filmmaker and I met KLAUS PIERRE in CHINA.
    He is an action film and might be the next big action star of Germany after Matthis Hues. He is a funny too.

    Goodbye Lenin is the best film I have seen from Germany that has an international appeal.