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Marilee J. Layman

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04:53 pm: Schultz Gets The Blues
I don't know much German and this is sub-titled, not dubbed, but I felt like I missed big bits of the movie. Schultz and two of his buddies get "early retirement" from the mine with a light made from a piece of rock as a reward. They hang out, live on the dole, so forth. Schultz plays polka on the accordian and is known as their small city's best accordian player.

But one night he's skimming the channels on the radio and finds zydeco accordian. He turns it off and moves away. Goes back and turns it on. Turns it off and plays the 8-bar melody over and over, gradually gaining speed. He becomes sufficiently interested in Louisianan things that he makes jambalaya for his friends, which they think is good, but very spicy.

Schultz wants to play the zydeco piece for the music club and when he does, only his friends applaud. One of the other people there shouts "No nigger music" and Schultz' friends say "yaaay nigger music." I sure wasn't expecting that.

The sister city in Texas has invited a member of the music club and they decide to send Schultz, I think to make the fiasco up to him. When he gets there, there's nobody to meet him or translate for him, or help him out.

One night he goes to an open mic for accordians and when a Hispanic piece is played, he puts his accordian down and walks away, leaving it. I'm not sure how he gets to the little boat, but the rest of the movie has him on a little boat going through swamps and other places. He stops wherever he hears music. One place clearly has non-actors dancing because one man has that fixed "I'm on camera" grin and another couple have their arms up to hide their faces.

Eventually he gets to a houseboat where the only black people in the movie live and the adult woman is named Aretha. She invites him in to dinner with her and her daughter and then they go out to dance. He has heart pain while dancing and they go back to the houseboat where she covers him up in a blanket.

The next scene is back in Germany where his ashes are interred and the German band plays the zydeco piece.

One of the most interesting things about this movie was finding out from the credits that all the bands that play are real bands. I can't really recommend it unless you know German, and even then, I don't know how good it is.



[User Picture]
Date:July 11th, 2009 12:08 am (UTC)
Wow, I'd forgotten about that movie. Supposedly in one of the scenes is a relative of mine. My father is from Germany and he still has loads of family there.
[User Picture]
Date:July 11th, 2009 02:28 am (UTC)
Yup. I remember that film. It's a truly extraordinary story; and a wonderfully gripping tale. The city in Texas is New Braunfels, which is somewhere between San Antonio and Dallas (that's all I can remember from my one road trip through Texas back in the mid-90s).

(The one line that I remember apart from the the "Yaay negermusiek" is Schultz saying "Dat is krebs?")
[User Picture]
Date:July 11th, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that was on the houseboat. Do you speak German? So it made more sense to you?
[User Picture]
Date:July 11th, 2009 08:21 pm (UTC)
I don't make a claim to speak German. I have a tiny smattering of German, barely enough to order a beer in a bar. My Dutch is better (though that's just above marginal).
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