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The famous Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who was a German writer, artist and politician, had great influence on nineteenth century thinking.
He produced volumes of poetry, essays and criticism. This fascinating character who was considered a literary celebrity by the age of 25, attended law school in 1769, but always preferred to attend poetry classes instead of those related to law.
In the film “Young Goethe in love”, Charlotte Buff was a youthful acquaintance of the poet Goethe, who fell in love with her. She rejected him and instead married Johann Christian Kestner, a diplomat and art collector. In Goethe’s famous novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther, the character of Lotte is in part based on her. Goethe’s and Charlotte’s relationship was characterized by heartiness and lack of constraint.
Young Goethe is characterized by Alexander Fehling, who displays an endearing boyish attitude, and maybe recognizable to most audiences as the young German soldier in the basement barroom shootout scene in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglorious Bastards”.
In the film, after Goethe failed his exams in school, he is sent by his father to serve as a court clerk in Wetzlar, a provincial town. There, he makes lots of friends, drinks quite a bit, scribbles verses and falls in love with Lotte. Buff, whose character is played by Miriam Stein, lives with her widowed father and a gaggle of siblings on a rambling and picturesque farm.
The film deals with the early and formative years of the poet. Friendships, disagreements arising from his family’s plans for him [a career in the civil service] and his love and passion for poetry, as well as his experience of tragic love, that would lead him to pen one of his most successful novels, are all part of the drama.
Directed by Philipp Stölzl and written by Stölzl, Christoph Müller and Alexander Dydyna, the film has been nominated four times for the German Film Award and was bestowed with “movie of the month” award in October 2010.
The film has been compared to other feature films such as “Shakespeare in love”, because both focus on famous artists and their love lives.
“Young Goethe in love” will be screened at the Goethe Institute on January 16th, 2012, at 5:30 pm.