Sundance Boat

'Deutschland 86' Review: German Thriller Is Locked and Re-loaded - Rolling Stone

Deutschland 83 debuted on Sundance in 2015, right in the middle of the run of The Americans , a couple of months after the end of that show’s third season. The story of an East German soldier recruited to go undercover in the West German military, it functioned as a tense and lively parallel narrative to what Philip and Elizabeth Jennings were doing back in the States.

The Americans concluded earlier this year, which makes the belated sequel to the other series, now called Deutschland 86 , particularly welcome. The two shows aren’t identical — Deutschland is pulpier and less character-focused — but the era and conflicts overlap enough for the German series to scratch that particular itch for the next 10 weeks.

(The first season is available on Hulu. I’ve seen four episodes of Deutschland 86 , which premieres Thursday on Sundance.)

We are more or less in real time since the events of the original series (which, like this one, was created by Anna Winger and Jörg Winger). Reluctant spy Martin Rauch (Jonas Nay) is in exile over his decision to blow his cover in order to prevent a nuclear crisis. (Never mind that he averted a war; he disobeyed orders, and that will not stand.) East Germany itself is in dire financial straits in the waning years of the Soviet empire, and most of the gang from East Berlin is focused on raising cash by any means necessary. Martin’s aunt Lenora (Maria Schrader) has been sent to South Africa to close a weapons deal, while Martin’s ex-girlfriend Annet (Sonja Gerhardt) and his former handler (who turned out to be the father he never knew) Walter (Sylvester Groth) are using their citizens as illicit guinea pigs for a West German company’s drug trial.

The scale of the action is much bigger this time out, bouncing all around Africa and Europe. So is the scope of the production, which shot on location in Cape Town(*) and Berlin. It’s visually stylish in a way The Americans never really tried to be, often using Schrader — whose kinky, asymmetrical hair and boxy wardrobe couldn’t be more Eighties if they were bedecked with Rubik’s Cubes — as a one-woman design scheme. (The nature of the plot puts Lenora more at the forefront this time, which takes great advantage of the heat and hunger radiating from Schrader’s performance.) The soundtrack is again killer, with the original German version of “Der Kommissar” feeling as inevitable and perfect this time as “99 Luftballoons” was when Martin was posing as a West German soldier.

There’s a sprawl of plot and characters, including some intriguing new faces in Florence Kasumba as an agent of Nelson Mandela’s who aligns with Lenora, and Lavinia Wilson as a diplomat’s wife who proves more than Martin bargained for. That makes it hard for the new season to have a core tension as simple as the 83 ‘s question of whether Martin’s identity would be exposed, but it allows for more variation in tone as well as locale. Sometimes, it’s a sexy spy thriller, at others a weighty historical novel, and still others just straight-ahead action. The third episode, a violent standoff at an Angolan oil refinery, is basically an episode of 24 (in a good way). And somehow, the West German version of The Love Boat becomes a major plot point in a way that makes total sense.

It can be distracting, though, that we revisit nearly all the surviving original players, regardless of how connected they are to what Martin and Lenora are up to. In another era, three years would be a long time to have to remember who all these people are and what we last saw them doing, but in the age of Peak TV it feels like the first season actually aired in 1983, rather than just being set there.

Still, the series’ narrative and sociological ambition is admirable, even if its ultimate goal is to be a fun and fast-paced yarn. At one point in the first episode, Kasumba’s...


Parkland County talks stopping work on Wabamun boat launch - Spruce Grove Examiner

Parkland County is looking at halting the development on a boat launch for the south side of Wabamun Lake due to the expected short in taxes from the closure of coal-fired generators.

The project has been in the works since 2013 and has been budgeted at $2 million which does not include a 25-year lease with TransAlta at $10,000 per year that will increase by two per cent a year. The County has already signed the lease and spent roughly $145,000 on designs and assessments.

The issue was presented at a regular council meeting on Oct. 9 and tabled to a future meeting so more research could be done on the impact and cost of stopping the project.

“Unlike the Entwistle Hub which serves largely our residents, I venture to say a very small portion of Parkland County residents — I’d estimate under five per cent — will be utilizing this,” said Mayor Rod Shaigec. “This is a four per cent tax increase for Parkland County to fund access for people outside of the region. Given the condition last year we had a $4 million budget cut, this year we’ve directed administration to cut $5 million, that’s on the shoulders of our residents and businesses.”

The project started due to concern by local residents and the unabated use by non-residents at undeveloped boat launches. This created a number of issues, including parking and unintended damage to the riparian areas surrounding the lake. The boat launch would be constructed at the Sundance boat launch off of Range Road 53 on land owned by TransAlta. Once completed, the other access points would be blocked off.

“I get where Mayor Shaigec is going, to say ‘hey, let’s start pulling back, let’s start pressuring the government into giving us some money to help with this project,’ because it’s not just a Parkland County project, it serves a lot of the residents outside of Parkland County,” said Coun. Tracey Melnyk, adding she has had many conversations with residents on the south side of the lake about the progress of the project. “You make a commitment, you believe in the project, and I think sometimes you just have to do it.”

Coun. John McNabb has reservations over the lease that was signed and the annual increase in cost to the County. However, he is in favour of finding a way to protect the area and the access that residents have to the lake.

“If you don’t provide the access, they’ll create it and it will just continue to be a problem,” he said.

According to Community Services general manager Dave Cross, the land that has been leased is one of the few spots available on the south side of the lake for construction of a launch. The land owned by the County in the area is tied into developed subdivisions.

Coun. Jackie McCuaig said the launch is something the County should still consider going ahead with, regardless of alternative funding and levels of local usership.

“We know that as municipalities, there’s always services within our municipalities that others use … things that enhance our community,” she said. “I believe this is one of those things that brings people to Parkland County. … This is one of those things you do knowing your neighbours are going to utilize it.”

Cross said administration has already completed several studies, extensive community engagement, concept designs. Environmental assessments were to be completed by the end of next week and the next step is to send off applications to the provincial and federal governments for approval. If everything is approved, construction could begin next spring with completion in 2020. The Sundance boat launch was in use previously but was closed down with the oil spill in 2005.

The County has already paid for the first year of the lease, and if they eventually decided to opt out would require 365 days notice.

There were alternatives given to the project, including limiting access to just local residents through the use of gates or a card system or...


GUIDE: Where to enjoy waterfront dining in the Bay Area - Community Impact Newspaper

Jake Magee has been a print journalist for a few years, covering topics such as city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be an editor with Community Impact. In his free time, Magee enjoys playing video games, jamming on the drums and bass, longboarding and petting his cat. Source:


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