Two major auteurs of German cinema—and brilliant portraitists of modernity—brought sublime and surprising new works to this year’s NYFF. In Christian Petzold’s Main Slate selection Undine, a mythical tale of star-crossed lovers plays out against the architecture and industrial history of present-day Berlin. Heinz Emigholz’s The Last City and The Lobby—both featured in the festival’s Currents section—extend the director’s architectural and spatial preoccupations into playful, fictive realms of the uncanny.

We were thrilled to bring together the two filmmakers (both delightful conversationalists) for a lively chat moderated by NYFF Director of Programming Dennis Lim. They reflected candidly on their formative experiences of cinema, how the themes of architecture, history, and capitalism figure in their work, and what they love and hate in film culture right now.

Watch the conversation below, presented by HBO. Visit our NYFF58 playlist for more talks and Q&As.