Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Robert Stadlober, Kostja Ullmann, Jürgen Tonkel, Miriam Morgenstern, Alicja Bachleda-Curus
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Gay & Lesbian
For tobi whos secretly in love with achim this trip will be quite complicated. For one thing achims girlfriend is along for the ride. And 2nd their competitors are an all-gay rowing team called the queerstrokes. Tobi is to... more »
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Member Movie Reviews
Jeremy Y. (Jeremy) from GREENVILLE, SC
Reviewed on 12/28/2007...
I have to say this is the German version of Beautiful Thing. This was an amazing movie that I just happened to run across. It really makes you think of all the struggles you went through growing up. I never write reviews, but wanted to let everyone know how great this movie was. Check it out!
Storm Clouds of the Mind
Bob Drake | Bronx, NY United States | 09/03/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film was significant in Germany because Robert Stadlober is a popular young actor and band member there whose coming out in the character of Tobi was unsettling. Certainly Kostja Ullmann as Achim, his buddy and secret love, is cute enough to win many hearts. And his pretend love interest, Alicja Bachleda-Curus as Anke, is sweet and beautiful enough to convince nearly anyone that being gay is NOT a lifestyle choice. When another rowing team bold enough to call themselves the QueerStrokes (which actually exists) shows up, Tobi gets to see the spectrum of gay characters, from manly Malte to effeminate Nils; and Marlon Kittel as Leo sure takes in an eyeful of Tobi as he bides his time. Seeking refuge from a raging storm (and from an increasingly stormy relationship with Achim) in a closed hostel building brings some closer together, and drives others apart. There isn't much new for American audiences in that there have been a number of equally well done coming out films here, but Summer Storm rings true because it is at least partly autobiographical for director and writer Marco Kreuzpaintner, and Stadtlober and Ullmann certainly have chemistry together to spare as mates. In fact the whole crew seemed to be having a really good time. The film ends with Tobi arriving home from the summer rowing camp a changed boy. Stepping off the bus and facing his front door his stern look changes to a faint smile. A small touch, but a reason Robert Stadtlober has won awards, and why the film will win aclaim."
The Best GLBT Themed Film Since "Beautiful Thing"! Absolute
C. Clay | St Paul Minnesota | 09/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is by far one of these best gay-themed films I have seen since "Beautiful Thing" (released in 1996) - and one of the best films (of any kind) that I have watched since "Crash".
You will laugh out loud, and cry as you feel the agony Tobi endures while coming to terms with his sexuality. Tobi (played flawlessly by Robert Stadlober) is the leader of his rowing team, and looked up to by his teammates for leadership. When his team is up against another rowing team comprised of an all-gay team, his inner feelings are realized. Tobi deals with his feelings and love for his best friend Achim, and eventually deals with the complications of coming out to him. All the while dealing with confused emotions for his girlfriend and a new boy he meets on the opposing team.
The film is genuine, well-directed, well-acted and goes head-on with the painful emotions most younger people must face when trying to understand their sexuality. THIS STORY IS REAL! And proves once again that we truly cannot help who we fall in love with. Love is about following your heart - it's about people, not the sex of the individual's involved.
The movie hails from Germany, and is in German with English subtitles. Even with having to read the film to understand it, the talent of the young actors shines through.
Not only was I impressed by the story, even the movies scenes and settings were delightful. Kudos to here! Films, Genius Products and Liberation Entertainment for producing this movie. It's a shame Hollywood USA can't (or doesn't have the courage) to produce this quality and style of film."
The storms of summer
Jonathan Appleseed | 04/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Coming of age movies are a dime a dozen; but well told, well scripted, well directed, and well acted coming of age movies are rare. This falls into the latter group. The rare one. This was excellent.
Truly, I expected stereotypes galore. The cover of the DVD itself screams, "I'm A Gay Movie". In the opening credits, Tobi (Robert Stadlober) and Achim (Kostja Ullmann) were jumping and twisting in the air for no apparent reason, and the camera centered mostly on their crotches, showing their t-shirts as they rose above the elastic of their shorts to reveal well toned stomach muscles and hints of underwear. I thought, perhaps that's why they're jumping - to titillate. But I judged too hastily.
The film reveals its true purpose immediately: to tell a story. And we get the impression that all the skin we've seen, are seeing, and are about to see is not gratuitous, but rather that it represents the hormonal surges that the young men themselves were feeling.
We witness is Tobi and Achim in the locker rooms (boat house?) wrestling and goofing around - boys will be boys. It's noted that Tobi is aroused, and they masturbate together. Achim speaks lustily of girls, but Tobi's eyes speak only of Achim. This might be confusing to some American audiences, who would immediately assume that Achim is gay because he's doing this with another guy. Well, one of the worst kept secrets between teenage guys is that this sort of thing is not uncommon, even when both - or, indeed, all - members are straight. I say worst kept secret because straight guys never grow up and tell their wives, but gay guys grow up and tell *everybody*.
Achim has a girlfriend, who he obviously adores. Tobi, as well, has some interest in Anke, and the filmmakers leave no question about his attraction when we first meet her. Tobi is struck nearly dumb at the sight of her in a shirt that displays her, um, "figure" off quite well. Tobi has difficulty keeping his eyes above her chest. Confused he might be, but let's give Tobi this: he has great taste. Achim and Anke are both beautiful.
They are all on the same rowing team, and they are preparing to go to summer camp, where they will compete for the Cup. Tobi is excited about spending time with Achim, and your heart breaks because you can see that Achim is excited about spending time with Sandra (I think that was her name...). Stadlober plays Tobi with so much understated emotion; I never once saw him act. He was the emotional center of the film - he had to be - and he succeeded brilliantly. Achim as well was strikingly believable. Ullmann needed to show more than just affection, he needed to show love for Tobi, and yet it needed to be friendly love. He did it. Without his spot-on portrayal, the film would have been weaker.
When they arrive at camp, another team, Queerstroke, a gay rowing team, is there and Tobi's emotions, once reserved only for Achim, which, perhaps, made it OK for him to rationalize, are brought to the surface. Queerstroke has its stereotypes: a macho "straight wrangler", and a feminine guy that dices up veggies well, but they laugh at and question these, which gives us a rare look at gay men (boys, really) intelligently discussing the stereotypes in front of them, some of which are of their own making. At first there is tension when the guys from Tobi's team realize that Queer means Gay, but they all fall into a comfortable familiarity, with a few exceptions that are fun to watch play out.
But that comfort can't last long. Not when Queerstroke's "straight wrangler" is making the moves on one of Tobi's teammates, Schorsi, who abhors the thought, and Tobi's feelings, bolstered perhaps by the confident acceptance that Queerstroke displays for their sexuality, are bubbling to the surface.
The discord between the two, perhaps, serves as a metaphor for the struggle that is going on within Tobi himself. It comes to head during a storm - a summer storm. On that night, the two teams come to blows, and Tobi makes powerful realizations. While he sits under a tree, sobbing as the rain pounds his back, Achim is at the same time making love to Sandra. The camera takes us back and forth between the two scenes, and their juxtaposition is poetic.
Everything has to go right in a coming of age movie to make it work, if only because there are so many coming of age movies out there. Here we're lucky to see everything running on all cylinders. It's a gorgeous film, and even those who rented it only to see good-looking young men running about without their shirts will be surprised when they find themselves deeply moved.