German students show off vocabulary in biennial Filmfest

Last Thursday, November 3 marked the Macalester German department’s fourth biennial Filmfest. The event began with a black-tie reception in the Smail Gallery, during which students and faculty mingled on the red carpet. After photographs and hors d’oeuvres, guests proceeded to watch the short films.

The theme of this year’s Filmfest was “German words we should have in English.” Possible words included verschlimmbessern (to make a situation worse during an earnest attempt to improve it), Weltschmerz (the inherent pain of simply being in the world) and der innere Schweinehund (the inner pigdog, an imaginary creature representing the urge to procrastinate). The students of each German lab filmed and submitted a brief German language film illustrating their chosen term. Films were judged by a panel of three judges: Assistant Director of Assessment Nancy Bostrom, DRC Director Alison Sommer and Professor Mark Mazullo, who was also the MC.

After the screening, which took roughly 45 minutes, the judges briefly deliberated before coming to a consensus. The winners of the Best Picture Award were Sarah Taft, Aedan Helweg, Cody Suesser and Francesca Rankin. Their film was on the Schnapsidee (a ridiculous idea one has while drunk). They were from German 305, the highest level class to submit a film, and as such the dialogue was clearer and more advanced than that of other entries, a fact which surely did not escape the judges’ attention. Another very successful film, Backpfeifengesicht (a face that begs to be slapped), took home both the Best Screenplay and Viewer’s Choice awards. Submitted by German 203’s Amy Pascoe, Luyuan Zhao, Evan Meerscheidt and Geneva Gaukel, the film moved very quickly, strung together with a strong leitmotif—the titular Backpfeifengesicht being slapped again and again. Each slap set grew more and more intricate as the film progressed, culminating in a scene in which the Grim Reaper himself visited the unfortunate victim, only to slap him and then leave.