GOETHE FILMS: The Art of the Con

Blomberg & Salim in Curveball (2020) © Sten Mende

GOETHE FILMS is presented by the Goethe-Institut at the TIFF Bell Lightbox

12+17+19 May 2022, 6:30pm EST

Your ticket includes access to in-person receptions at the new Goethe Community Space following each screening! Join us to continue the conversation and share your thoughts over refreshments.

To purchase tickets and for more information, please visit our website.

Revealing flawed, narcissistic and charismatic characters who disguise, dazzle and dig for gold while taking advantage of others, good con artists are to a degree that—ambitious actors, accomplished artists, versatile performers, and fluid role-players. The intoxicating mix of cheating and beguiling makes for thrilling drama as well as witty comedy, often all in one. Con movies are as old as film (Dr. Mabuse), mostly male-driven (cf. the new Netflix series Inventing Anna about the fake German heiress who recently fleeced the actual New York haute-volée), and have become a scintillating genre onto itself, from The Producers to Parasite. The crooks are after survival, attention, power, fame/notoriety, and nearly always after the money—an eternally enthralling on-screen cocktail. Get in on the hustle with a century of con films full of charm, mischief, and political cunning, including premieres of a 1930 and a 2021 film.

12 MAY 2022, 6:30 PM EST
The Chase After Millions (Germany 1930) by Max Obal, with Luciano Albertini, Raimondo van Riel, Gretl Bernd
North American premiere!

Co-presented with the Toronto Silent Film Festival

A nameless hero chases after a crook posing as a nobleman to get his hands on an inheritance worth millions. The recently restored silent became an early sensation of German sound cinema, mixing drama, action and humour, featuring breathtaking landscape shots of the Dalmatian coast as well as exciting stunts that give the film’s hero Albertini the opportunity to shine in his last starring role.

Screening with live music accompaniment by turntablist SlowPitchSound.

Join us and SlowPitchSound after the screening for an exclusive live set & Q&A at our reception in our Goethe Community Space!

17 MAY 2022, 6:30 PM EST
Operation Curveball (Germany 2020) by Johannes Naber, with Sebastian Blomberg, Dar Salim, Thorsten Merten

The surreal true story of how the Iraq war was started based on nothing but fake intelligence and the involvement of the German government and secret service.

German Film Awards 2021 Outstanding Feature Film & Best Supporting Actor
Nominated for a German Film Critics Award for Best Script

“Curveball is unpretentious, amusing, witty and pointed in a highly exciting way—and also unusually original.” —German Film Rating Board

19 MAY 2022, 6:30 PM EST
Confessions of Felix Krull (Germany 2021) by Detlev Buck, written with Daniel Kehlmann, based on the novel by Nobel Prize winner Thomas Mann, with Jannis Niewöhner (Munich), Liv Lisa Fries (Babylon Berlin), David Kross (The Reader)
Canadian premiere!

Adaptation of a classic of world literature: A handsome youth of humble origins rises to the top, helped by his dazzling appearance as well as his ability to manipulate others.

“Never has a Thomas Mann adaptation been more sensual or looked better. It is great fun to watch Fries and Kross, and especially Jannis Niewöhner, youthful, always a bit doe-eyed, prancing through this story of inner development.” —Die Welt

“Buck’s Krull is the gin and tonic among Thomas Mann adaptations.” —Süddeutsche Zeitung


Cheldon Paterson aka SlowPitchSound is known for experimenting with music, visuals and live performance. He is the 2018 TD SoundMakers Composer in Residence and the Co winner of the 2018 CMC Toronto Emerging Composer Award. Paterson has been developing his own style of music composition over 20 years and has released 7 studio albums. His work has been featured at Classical and New music events, popular indie music festivals, world renowned electronic festivals, theatres, museums and many creative spaces. Paterson’s passion for presenting fresh ideas has allowed him to perform works around the world with established artists from a number of genres. He is currently based in Toronto, Canada.

More TBA

Details & raffles at goethe.de/Canada/GermanFilm

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Program & Media Contact:
Jutta Brendemühl
Program Curator
Goethe-Institut Toronto