Everybody knows the story of “Faust,” written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Even those who have (inexplicably) never heard of “Faust” will recognize the basis of the story, in which a man sells his soul to the devil for personal gain. Thirty-eight years before publication of “Faust,” however, he wrote the book which catapulted him into fame practically overnight: “Die Leiden des Jungen Werthers,” more commonly known in the English-speaking world as “The Sorrows of Young Werther,” which is an autobiographical novel about a romance.
Village 8 Louisville Exclusives presents a short run of the film “Young Goethe in Love” (original German title: “Goethe!”) which tells the true story behind the fiction of the novel. Alexander Fehling (who played Staff Sgt. Wilhelm in “Inglourious Basterds”) stars as Johann Goethe, who longs to be a poet despite the wishes of his disapproving father that he become a lawyer. In the midst of the struggle, he meets Lotte (played by Miriam Stein) and they fall in love… neither of them realizing that Lotte’s hand has already been promised to another man by her father.
“Young Goethe in Love” is by German director Philipp Stölzl (“North Face”) and is fully subtitled (as it should be; a huge pet peeve is when characters in a movie set in a different country speak English – I’m looking at you, “Valkyrie” and David Fincher’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”). The film also stars Henry Hübchen, Moritz Bleibtreu (“Speed Racer,” “Munich,” Mani from the incredible “Run Lola Run”), and Burghart Klaußner (“The Reader,” “The White Ribbon”).
“Young Goethe in Love” plays at Village 8 until this Thursday, February 2. Theater information and showtimes can be found at the Village 8 Theater website.
Image courtesy of the Internet Movie Database.