My birthday present from T came a little late. Understandably so since it required being in Munich and we were in Spain at the time. When we finally had a day free from our craaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy busy schedule, we went to Munich.
My gift was a trip to the Bavarian Film Studios. I know what you’re thinking: Bavarian Film Studios? Never heard of it. The name of the studios may not ring a bell but some of the movies they have produced definitely will.
“The Vikings” (1959) – with a young and hunky Kirk Douglas
“Cabaret” (1973) – with the iconic Liza Minelli. Also, what better way to film a movie about a cabaret in Germany (specifically Berlin) by actually having it filmed in Germany?
“Das Boot” (1981) – one of Wolfgang Peterson’s earlier works
“Big Game” (2014) – there was a story that Samuel L. Jackson broke his shoulder on set, went to the hospital, and returned the next day with said broken shoulder in order to continue working. Bad. Ass.
“The Neverending Story” (1984) – this was the whole reason why we were here. Little known fact to my non-German speaking readers: The Neverending Story was originally written in German. I actually prepared for this trip….
But I have yet to finish this tome of a book…….We’ll see how long that project takes….Anyway, the Bavarian Film Studios is also the home of their cash cow: Michael “Bully” Herbig. I can literally write an entire blog post about him and I probably will in the near future but for now – think of him as a younger German Mel Brooks.
Like most studio lots – there was a tour. We got to enjoy learning about the history of the studio as well as the types of movies and TV shows they are currently working on.
They have a 24-hour QVC like channel, their own soap opera, as well as an entire building dedicated to Bully Herbig.
We got to visit the sets of Die Vampir Schwester 2 (The Vampire Sisters 2), Die wilden Kerle 5 (The Wild Soccer Bunch 5), Wicki und die Starken Männer (Vicky and the Strong Men), and of course the submarine from “Das Boot.”
But let’s get to the most important part of the tour….
Besides seeing miniatures of some of our favorite characters:
There was also a full size version of Falkor, the Luck Dragon (also known as Fuchur, der Glücksdrache in the original German)
And what’s more – you can ride him….
Let’s face it, the 80s made some freaking awesome fantasy films (Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Return to Oz, Legend, Krull, The Dragonslayer, Ladyhawke, Excalibur, The Princess Bride, and Willow – you know, just to name a few). All of these films have had a big impact on what is now my overactive imagination. So having the opportunity to fulfill a childhood fantasy and ride a fucking Luck Dragon is just too awesome to ignore.
So I did it:
People who know me also know my love of movies. It was such a thoughtful gift because not only did it pertain to some amazing American movies that were produced through this studio but also creating a new Must-See list of German films that have left their own mark on German culture and I want to learn from it. 😀
Bis nächste Woche!
8 thoughts on “What It’s Like to Ride a Luck Dragon”
I’m a little behind in my reading, so I didn’t get to this post until today. I took a group of my American students of German to the Bavarian Film Studios a few years ago. It’s great (though admittedly more fun if you know some of the movies)! The 80s movies you mentioned really made me smile. Willow! Ladyhawke! Legend! Excalibur! And hardly a day goes by that I don’t find an opportunity to quote the Princess Bride at some moment. Until we went to the studio I had not realized that the Neverending Story was a German film. And I am also a big fan of Bully Herbig. We should tag-team some posts about him and his films during a quiet month. 🙂
Totally! I was planning on writing just a post about him in general. But I think it would be fun to delve into his movies with another American 🙂
I’m guessing you’ve seen “Schuh des Manitu”. Have you also seen “Winnetou” (1963), upon which Herbig’s spoof was based? It’s a gem…
I haven’t seen “Schuh des Manitu” yet. But I have seen “Winnetou.”
We actually saw (T)Raunschiff Surprise the other day. It was quite hilarious! 😛
If you enjoyed “Traumschiff” and have seen Winnetou, I’m sure you’ll like “Schuh des Manitu”. The DVD even has an English track, but it’s not nearly as funny. There are certain lines from that movie my husband and I quote frequently. I didn’t like “Lissi” (spoof of “Sisi”) quite as much, but it still had its moments. Maybe after you write your post about Bully, I can take off from there and write about one of his movies, and we can go from there! Could be interesting (though perhaps not so much for our American readers who don’t and won’t ever know him).
I am definitely looking forward to seeing “Schuh des Manitu.” But I will still probably watch it in German. I find that I like movies in their original languages, even if I don’t understand all that they are saying, the nuances seem to fit more. I watched “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” with Til Schweiger a few weeks ago and we watched it in English – it was sooooooo weird.
I am all for tag teaming on Bully. I think it could be a fun opportunity to not only show our German readers how an American views their movies but also show the Americans a little taste of German cinema and how there are similarities between Bully and Mel Brooks (who I have noticed usually has a silly German character in a lot of his movies).
Also, we are like practically neighbors (if you count living in BW as neighbors) maybe we should plan a meet up trip?
I like Til Schweiger, too. I highly recommend “Honig im Kopf”. I watched it on the plane returning to the U.S. and it left me too emotionally exhausted to watch anything else during the flight. I have not seen “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” – I’ll look into it.
A meet-up sounds good! Would you bring Abner? 🙂 I’ll send you an email.