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Berlinale 2021: German psychodramas with Android and corner bar


The Berlinale currently has little glamor due to Corona. German cinema sparkles in the festival's competition for it, with films by Maria Schrader, Dominik Graf - and Daniel Brühl's directorial debut.

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Daniel Brühl in his own film: Likeness to a real person

Photo: Reiner Bajo / Berlinale

"I am your person" by Maria Schrader: when the "Blade Runner" lets you in a bubble bath

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Scene from "I am your person" with Maren Eggert and Dan Stevens

Photo: Christine Fenzl / Christine Fenzl / Berlinale

"93 percent of German women dream of it," Tom says to Alma as he presents her with a bubble bath surrounded by candles, around which he has sprinkled rose petals.

"Guess what percentage I belong to!" Alma replies.

The Android Tom should actually be quite well adjusted to the needs of the archaeologist, but the three-week trial phase in which the robot moves in with the single woman in her forties is just there for

glitches like this

iron out.

According to a story by Emma Braslavsky, Maria Schrader traces in her third film »Ich bin dein Mensch« whether love and algorithms really go together or whether we are just adding up a version of ourselves that secretly dreads.

With effortless precision, Schrader navigates his way through a field of motifs that is already delineated by both romantic comedies and science fiction films, and finds a way

to tell

of man and machine as a heartbreaking

odd couple


A “blade runner” for the Parship age does not make “I am your person”, but the film doesn't dare to take a step into the unknown.

But the fine dialogues (script: Schrader and Jan Schomburg) and the great ensemble, led by Dan Stevens and Maren Eggert, should fulfill the dreams of 74 percent of all moviegoers.

Hannah Pilarczyk

»Next door« by Daniel Brühl: self-talk

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Scene from "next door" with Daniel Brühl and Peter Kurth

Photo: Reiner Bajo / Reiner Bajo / Berlinale

A resemblance to a real person cannot be ruled out in »Next Door«, Daniel Brühl's directorial debut.

In his German homeland, the 42-year-old is still happily reduced to the boy from "Good Bye, Lenin!" Since "Rush" and his appearances as super villain Baron Zemo in the Marvel spectacle "Civil War" and soon in the series " Falcon and The Winter Soldier «, however, he has long been on the threshold of an international cinema star.

A superhero role is also in prospect for the actor Daniel (Brühl) in »Next Door«, who is preparing for an important casting in London in his bright Prenzlauer Berg attic.

The way Brühl plays this figure revolving around his own ego sensitivities as a German star, fluttering between narcissistic nervousness and self-assured vanity, is sympathetically fearless and amusing enough to forgive the film for a few shallows.

The script, which bestselling author Daniel Kehlmann wrote based on an idea from Brühl, then sends him straight to the psychological hell of a yellow corner bar in Berlin, where Daniel wants to gather for a moment before departure.

There sits the East German Kiez native Bruno (stage berserk Peter Kurth), who not only reveals himself to be a very attentive neighbor of Daniel, but also soon to be his nemesis.

In a chamber play in Hitchcock style, Bruno dissects the actor's lies in life, until his image, which has been painstakingly arranged in front of the toilet mirror, is spread in fragments in front of the cinema audience.

A strong self-talk.

Andreas Borcholte

"Fabian or The Walk to the Dogs" by Dominik Graf: Atmospheric feat

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Tom Schilling in "Fabian or The Walk to the Dogs"

Photo: Hanno Lentz / Lupa Film / Berlinale

In its most beautiful moments, this Berlin film by Dominik Graf has the lightness of François Truffaut's classic »Jules and Jim«.

For example, when the bourgeois son Labude (Albrecht Schuch) announces on a magical afternoon in the garden of a villa just outside the city that he would like the actress Cornelia (Saskia Rosendahl) to be his companion when one day she is no longer with his writer friend Fabian (Tom Schilling) was together.

Whereupon the woman hurries, frightened, to chase away the fantasy of a love triangle with a joke.

He wanted to tell »the time, the love, the loss«, said the director Graf about »Fabian or The Walk to the Dogs«.

His film adaptation of Erich Kästner's famous thirties novel, which is also a little notorious because of its lack of action, is an atmospheric feat.

Elegantly and almost naturally, the film brings together the images of today's metropolitan world and those of the economic crisis Berlin of 1931.

Documentary black-and-white recordings, glamorous nightclub scenes like from »Babylon Berlin«, office palaver in the cigarette factory, in which the eponymous hero does his unloved job as a copywriter: all of this is not a history lesson, but rather an artist, friendship and story told in an admirably concentrated manner over an entertaining three hours. and love drama.

This "Fabian", in which the rented apartment romance between Schilling's Fabian and Rosendahl's Cornelia, which failed due to the economic circumstances, should go to the hearts of many people, is lucky, not least because of the many great actors.

At the same time, the film, which was made on a rather tight budget, is a triumph of the obstinacy of television and film director Dominik Graf.

Here he shows how carefree and defiant he knows how to track down great cinema material - in, as Kästner calls it, the "heaps of stones" in the capital and in the heap of garbage in German history.

Wolfgang Höbel

Icon: The mirror

Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2021-03-02

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