This week's best films: The Axe of Wandsbeck, My Grandfather Was a Nazi Scientist, Lift Up, and A Christmas Carol. Plus: Gene Ween at the Black Cat.
Both films are based on the novel by Arnold Zweig, but one was filmed in East Germany in 1951, the other in West Germany thirty years later. Which is better? You decide! The 1981 version screens at 4:30 p.m., the 1951 version at 6:30 p.m. The reverse is true when the films screen again on Wednesday, Dec. 15.
In this 2010 documentary, Amy Gerber-Stroh researches the life of her grandfather, Dr. Eduard Gerber, a Nazi who was among the 700 German scientists brought to the U.S. in Operation Paperclip. The film will be introduced by Gerber-Stroh and discussed afterword with Sheryl Jasielum Shenberger of the National Archives’ National Declassification Center.
In this documentary, brothers Clifford Muse and Huguens Jean return to Haiti to pay respect to their grandfather, who died shortly after the quake, and carry a kite in his honor as they visit survivors.
With songs like "Flies on My Dick" and "Hey Fat Boy (Asshole)," Ween's Pure Guava has to be the unlikeliest album to fall in love to. But that's precisely what happened to me my freshman year of high school. Nevermind that my feelings weren't reciprocated: I will forever associate the phrase "pushing daises" with love rather than death. Since that album, Ween has become increasingly competent, musically speaking, but also less weird. Now, apparently, Dean and Gene Ween are taking some time apart. I don't know what this means. I'm just stating the facts here.
Before Jim Carrey, before Alastair Sim, and before Reginald Owen, there was Charles Rock as Ebenezer Scrooge in this one-reeler by the London Film Company in 1914. Why sit through interminable stage plays when you can get the gist in 23 minutes? Plus, the nimble Andrew Simpson will accompany on piano.