January 21, 1959
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Director and writer Oskar Roehler grew up admiring radical German filmmakers like Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and has built a successful and controversial career out of exploring characters with troubled views of society, sexuality, and themselves. Roehler, the son of noted German authors Gisela Elsner and Klaus Roehler, began his career as a producer and writer on the 1992 horror comedy "Terror 2000: Intensivstation Deutschland," a chaotic and chilling parody of German nationalism, and released his first film, the low-budget crime drama "Gentleman," a few years later. After directing several well-received films, he scored a critical hit with the post-communist film "No Place to Go," about a middle-aged writer whose life comes undone after the fall of the Berlin Wall; Roehler later acknowledged that the main character, Hannah Flanders, was based partly on his late mother. His next film, "Angst," won several awards for its shocking and intimate look at one couple's fragile relationship, and featured his trademark juxtaposition of beauty and brutality. Roehler next wrote and directed the bizarre sex comedy "Agnes and His Brothers," and earned critical acclaim for his adaptation of French author Michel Houellebecq's novel "The Elementary Particles" (also known as "Atomised"), about two brothers with very different, and disturbing, sexual identities.