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Schultze Gets the Blues
Schultze Gets the Blues
Actors: Horst Krause, Harald Warmbrunn, Karl-Fred Müller, Ursula Schucht, Hannelore Schubert
Director: Michael Schorr
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
PG     2005     1hr 54min

Anyone who enjoys cinematic fare that's off the beaten path will happily follow a zydeco-loving salt miner on a rejuvenating musical odyssey from Germany to Louisiana. Film festival award-winner Horst Krause stars as the t...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Horst Krause, Harald Warmbrunn, Karl-Fred Müller, Ursula Schucht, Hannelore Schubert
Director: Michael Schorr
Creators: Axel Schneppat, Michael Schorr, Tina Hillmann, Jens Körner, Oliver Niemeier, Thomas Riedel
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Studio: Paramount
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/30/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 54min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, French, German
Subtitles: English

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Member Movie Reviews

S A A. (Learned2Heal)
Reviewed on 9/27/2009...
Loved this movie! The main character is a retired, sweet, lovable German accordion player. He is a quiet, socially inept person. He never says much, but he is very touching and he has very good friends. He is also a surprisingly adventurous fella. He starts cooking Louisiana style dishes from a cooking program on TV and feeds them to his shocked friends who are about to be even more surprised when they find that his new love in music is Zydeko, which he learns by ear from the radio. This revelation is met with mixed reviews from the local patrons who are used to listening to German and Polish Oompah music. This does not deter him, however, as he launches into an overseas trip to Texas and Louisiana, where he shows the local experts how it's done German-style on an accordion.

This is a very slow-moving, mellow movie. The music is wonderful and so is seeing how Germans live in a small mining town. This movie is for people who like to delve a bit deeper into personalities and foreign flavors. People who like quick moving, action movies and spelled-out viewpoints may not take to this one.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Poignant and filled with gentle humor
E. Karasik | Washington, DC United States | 04/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This story of a retired German miner who becomes inspired to play zydeco music (instead of the traditional polka) on his accordion unfolds as delicately as a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis. If you're the type of viewer who becomes impatient with subtle, real-time narrative, you might find it tedious. But this film is beautifully done, and even the very slow scenes are enhanced by droll sight gags and persuasive glimpses of emotion. Schultze's dreary northern German town, with its cast of mostly benign denizens, becomes utterly endearing, as are the characters Schultze encounters on his odyssey in search of zydeco. The film's great success is that we come to totally identify with the seeming "lumpenproletariat" of a protagonist as his gentle and poetic soul is revealed. While it is brilliantly grounded in minute details, the film works beautifully as an exploration of the individual's quest for self-realization and artistic expression. And indeed, though it keeps its focus modest and does not overtly address the "big questions," the film offers a more sophisticated meditation on spirituality than many others that try a lot harder."
A droll, poignant voyage of discovery.
Miles D. Moore | Alexandria, VA USA | 04/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Michael Schorr's "Schultze Gets the Blues" is a quiet, droll and unexpectedly poignant film that--like its protagonist--takes its own sweet time getting to its destination, but both the journey and the destination are hard to forget. Schultze (Horst Krause) is a bored, phlegmatic retiree and polka accordionist in an ugly, dull German mining town. One day, however, he hears a snatch of zydeco music over the radio, and from then on zydeco and the land of its birth--the Louisiana bayou country--become his twin obsessions. An invitation to a polka festival in Texas gives him the excuse he dreams of, and soon he's playing hooky from the festival, puttering into the bayous in a rented shrimp boat. "Schultze Gets the Blues" is reminiscent of "Stroszek," Werner Herzog's story of Germans lost in the vast strangeness of America, only much more benign. It is odd and asymmetrical (except for the matching shots at the beginning and end), never taking us precisely where we expect to go--kind of like life. Schorr makes Schultze a courtly, portly, lovable Everyman, and what begins as comedy ends as a moving tribute to the philosophy of Carpe Diem. "Schultze Gets the Blues," with its Teutonically deliberate pacing and schnapps-dry wit, is not for every taste. But those who are willing to follow Schultze and Schorr wherever they lead will be rewarded in the end."
This movie is never boring, superficial or pretentious.
Charles A. Cooper | Jacksonville, Florida USA | 12/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This movie is never boring, superficial or pretentious. If you want boring, supeficial and pretentious just go see any of the Matrix sequels.

This film has also been described as a character study, but I think it is very much more than that. It the story of the quest, common to most people, to find something authentic within the all to often pointless conditions of modern life. The key images are the huge mountain of coal slag behind Shultze's garden and house and the repeated image of the silent, relentless windmill. The mountain of slag is the coal waste which Shultze has spend most of his existence mining and which will eventually cause his death from lung disease; the windmill represents the ceaseless passage of time, which is indifferent to how well or how poorly we spend our days between the beginning and the end which it provides for us. Together they point to the absurdity of his (and our) existence. The character Laurent shows the true way to live within this rather ruthless reality. She is a contrast to his catatonic mother, her roommate in the nursing home.

For whatever reason Cajun music quite suddenly touches something within Shultze and sparks his quest for something better; the rest of the film is about his rather uncertain journey to realize this odd hint of something authentic. What he finds along the way are good relationships, and many other people who are seeking, each in their own way, the same thing (e.g. the flamenco-dancing barmaid, the motorcross passions of his retired friend, the ill-tempered poet/switchman). Although Shultze is misunderstood sometimes, on the whole people are more helpful to him than hurtful. Eventually he finds a brief taste of the authentic life he is seeking, albeit just in time.

We see so few movies that actually try to quietly remind us of something important that we should try to appreciate them when they do come along. This is a great film, which is very cinematic, well directed and very consistent. The acting is so good it is hard to understand it as acting at all. It is sad that some who view this film will not understand it or how good it really is because their expectations of film are so conditioned by the hollywood blockbuster machine. Even more saddly, the very people who miss the point of movies like this one are those who most need to understand them. It finally comes down to a question of whether you think film should just distract us from our own absurdity, or actually help us find our way out of it."