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June, 2004 - Nr. 6


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Bremen Captures Trophy

Mission indeed impossible

  TWIG - German lawmakers this week refused to allow Tom Cruise to film a scene from "Mission: Impossible 3" in the Reichstag parliament building’s famed cupola after some of the country’s most important politicians weighed in on the request.

Parliament president Wolfgang Thierse rejected Cruise’s initial request out of hand, saying that requests to film in the Reichstag building and its dome are always turned down to preserve the dignity of the parliament. Cruise had hoped to film a five-minute scene, comprised mostly of dialogue, in the spiraling glass dome atop the Reichstag that looks down upon the Bundestag chamber.

Not all the chamber’s lawmakers agreed with Thierse. "If a blockbuster film like this can make the Reichstag into an international star, then the Bundestag shouldn’t stand in its way," said Guido Westerwelle, leader of the liberal FDP party, just days after Thierse had rejected a request made by Cruise to film the short scene in the building, a popular tourist attraction and a prominent part the city’s skyline.

Volker Beck of the junior coalition partner Greens later argued that granting Cruise’s request would make for "an excellent advertisement for the capital city Berlin and all of its institutions."

The third installment of the "Mission: Impossible" series will begin filming in Berlin this summer. The franchise’s first installment prominently featured sites from the unspoiled beauty of Prague, including the Charles Bridge, the Hotel Europa, and the Old Town Square. The film was the first of a slew of other high-profile productions to go on location in the Czech capital, including as "Hellboy," "The Bourne Identity," "XXX," and the recent "Van Helsing."

Thierse’s decision was finally seconded by Vice President Antje Vollmer, who said that "all representatives are challenged to stick to the rules despite the enticing offer to make headlines with Cruise."

The 19th-century Reichstag was at the center of a major artistic controversy before when Christo and Jeanne-Claude wrapped it in 1995, years before the building opened for government use.
Republished with permission from "The Week in Germany"


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