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Creator / Dennis Gansel

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Dennis Gansel (born 4 October 1973) is a German director, writer and actor most known for his films The Wave (2008) and We Are the Night.

He has been making films since the mid-1990s and studied film at Munich Film School HFF. He directed his first film, Das Phantom, while he was still studying. He tried to get to make a vampire film, The Dawn, but unable to finance it he took on directing an American Pie-style comedy: Girls on Top. The film was a success and he followed up by making the historical drama film Before the Fall, taking on Nazi Germany. After falling to get money to make The Dawn, he made Die Welle, which was a big hit. In 2010 he was finally able to make The Dawn but had to rewrite the script because it was too much like Twilight. The result was We Are the Night. Sadly the film bombed at the box office. The film was, however, met with praise and hailed as the antidote of Twilight and its imitators. It has received a cult following and fared better on DVD.


Films directed:

Tropes that apply to Dennis Gansel:
  • Ambiguous Ending/Downer Ending: These are the type of endings Gansel uses. Die Welle uses a combination.
  • Associated Composer: Heiko Mailer
  • The Cameo: Dennis Gansel has appeared in small roles in various projects.
  • Doing It for the Art: Gansel has had to struggle a lot to get most of his films made. The script for The Dawn/We Are the Night is the most frequently rejected script in German film history!
  • Driven to Suicide: A recurring theme in all of Gansel's movies.
  • Homoerotic Subtext/Ho Yay: These are all over his body of work. All his films feature naked or partly naked men. Only Girls on Top has female nudity.
    • We Are the Night is about lesbian vampires, told from a psychological/romantic point of view.
      • Dennis Gansel is actually heterosexual.
  • Nazi Germany: As he is German, the legacy of Nazism affects several of his films.
  • Playing Against Type: He cast Jennifer Ulrich in Die Welle as a nice (albeit pushy) and hardworking teenage student, then cast her as a depressed, ax-crazy vampire in We Are the Night.
    • The same goes for Karoline Herfurth. In Girls on Top she played a shy and timid virgin. In We Are the Night she plays a pickpocketing street rat.
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  • Production Posse: Torsten Breuer as cinematographer, Max Riemelt starring, Heiko Maile composing the score, Christian Becker producing, Matthias Müsse doing production design and Ueli Christen editing.
  • Signature Style: Max Riemelt has appeared in every one of Gansel's movies since Girls on Top.
    • Suicides too