There is a long standing tradition of cinematography in Germany often interlinked with American film history. "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" is an expressionist nightmare produced in 1920 and one of the first German films to gain an international reputation. Murnau's "Nosferatu" explores similar topics and is an unforgettable silent horror movie. Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" tells of a future full of angst. The film is a classic and combines elements of science fiction with social criticism. Marlene Dietrich's rendition of 'Lola' in "The Blue Angel" ('Der blaue Engel') bewitched the public and was her first step to international stardom.
Nazi Germany forced progressive director Billy Wilder to emigrate. In Hollywood he became a highly successful scriptwriter and director working with Marlene Dietrich, Jack Lemmon, Marylin Monroe and many others.
Most of Wim Wender's films are about the Americanisation of Germany. "Wings of Desire" ('Der Himmel über Berlin') portrays a haunted city. Later works like "Buena Vista Social Club" or "The Million Dollar Hotel" are much less specifically German.
Werner Herzog's repeated collaborations with talented actor and madman Klaus Kinski were infamous. "Aguirre, the wrath of God" and "Fitzcarraldo" are just two of their combined highlights.
In the late 1990s another headstrong 'Lola' haunts the streets of Berlin: Tom Tykwer's film "Run Lola Run" ('Lola rennt') was a starting point for actress Franka Potente. Most recently she starred together with Matt Damon in "The Bourne Supremacy".
The Berlinale film festival ranks among the major European film festivals and is easily as important as its equivalents in Venice and Cannes.