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Films of the week: "Bloodsuckers", "Vogeler - From the Life of a Dreamer", "The Autobahn


Our films of the week: vampire alarm in a seaside resort, a painter who calls for gun violence, environmental fighters who are not afraid of heights and two cheerful cops.

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Actors Stangenberg, Herbst in »Bloodsuckers«: Rooms too big for small jokes

Photo: Grandfilm

In cinemas from May 12th

»blood sucker«

In 2019, Julian Radlmaier won the German Film Prize for the best unfilmed screenplay for »Bloodsuckers«.

If it had stayed that way and if the film, now subtitled "Marxist vampire comedy", had only been around as an idea in Germany, that would certainly not have been the worst thing that could have happened to Radlmaier's next film after the respectable success of "Self-criticism of a bourgeois dog".

Because what sounds delightfully silly and thievingly witty when written (a flamboyant factory owner named Flambow-Jansen who is in fact a vampire; a Soviet actor who shoots with Eisenstein but falls out of favor playing Trotsky when his actual role model is Stalin down; a twisted love story between the two of them as well as a Marx-critical Marx reading group,

The airy venue (a seaside resort around 1928) and the tasteful setting (spiked with a few anachronisms such as Coke cans) open up too much space for Radlmaier's little jokes, which could have done with some compression in terms of timing.

The main actor alone, Alexandre Koberidze, Radlmaier's buddy at the Berlin DFFB and director of the wonderful film smorgasbord »What do we see when we look up to the sky?«, helps »Bloodsucker« to come to life: as a ousted Trotsky actor and factory worker who endures being mistaken for a Russian baron, Koberidze achieves an almost tender deadpanning.

His Lyowushka is on its way to Hollywood, and hopefully Koberidze will be able to hold out in front of German cameras a little longer.

Hannah Pilarczyk

»Blutsauger«, Germany 2021. Written and directed by Julian Radlmaier.

With: Lilith Stangenberg, Alexandre Koberidze, Alexander Fest, Corinna Harfouch.

125 minutes.

»Vogeler – From the life of a dreamer«

He was too left-handed for West Germans, too silly for East Germans, says the now famous painter Norbert Bisky about the title hero of the film »Heinrich Vogeler – From the Life of a Dreamer«.

Vogeler has "always sat between all stools" all his life.

You can see Bisky smiling happily thinking about the pictures of his great painter colleague.

The director Marie Noëlle has made a documentary film with scenes about the amazingly changing styles and life ideas of the painter Vogeler, who is famous for many great pictures.

Vogeler was born in 1872 as the son of a Bremen ironmonger and was one of the founders of the painter community in Worpswede around 1900.

As a soldier in World War I he wrote a peace pamphlet and sent it to Kaiser Wilhelm II;

for this they called him a traitor and put him in a psychiatric ward.

He became a communist, gave away his belongings to the working class and emigrated to the Soviet Union.

There the Stalinists banished him to a Kazakh kolkhoz and let him die miserably.

"I was a fanatical pacifist," you can see Florian Lukas, who plays Vogeler in Noëlle's film, announce once in the beautiful Worpswede countryside.

»Today I know that you have to take up arms to change something!« This is probably the most recent scene in the brilliantly cast film in which Anna Maria Mühe, Alice Dwyer and Naomi Achternbusch (in the role of Paula Modersohn-Becker) play the most important women in the artist's life.

The director describes a wild life in a somewhat conventional way.

She has experts and descendants explain Vogeler's always radically enthusiastic dreamer - and celebrates Vogeler's pictures, the late ones of which are likely to have inspired the works of the painter Norbert Bisky.

Wolfgang Höbel

»Vogeler«, Germany 2022. Director: Marie Noëlle.

With: Florian Lukas, Anna-Maria Mühe, Alice Dwyer, Naomi Achternbusch.

90 minutes.

»The Autobahn – Battle for the A49«

Resistance fighters usually try to make themselves invisible.

They hide in ditches or burrows and then strike from below.

On the other hand, the predominantly young people who, in the documentary film »Battle for the A 49«, try to prevent the further construction of a motorway against a supreme state power, are drawn high up, up to the tops of the trees that are to be felled for the project.

If you want to take action against the environmental activists in the Dannenröder Forest, you have to climb up to them.

Klaus Stern's and Frank Pfeiffer's documentary draws the viewer into the conflict situation and describes the decades-long dispute over the motorway project from the point of view of activists, local residents, politicians and even police officers.

The film spends most of its time with the opponents of the expansion.

He shows how they learn to abseil from tree houses, how they try to get the public on their side and how they always want to be one step ahead of the emergency services.

Commitment mixes with a thirst for adventure, campfire romance with the utopia of a completely different, better society.

The film accompanies the activists until the clearing in winter 2020.

Even if they sometimes run out of arguments and don't give a clear answer to the question of whether violence is also a legitimate means in the film, one is somehow with them.

Nobody with just the catchphrase “infrastructure” can compete with the image of a centuries-old tree falling into a clearing.

One gets the impression that this extension is somewhat out of date.

A project that dates back to the 1960s and 1970s is being extended into a present that has other priorities than making more asphalt for more cars.

Lars Olav Beier

»The Autobahn – Battle for the A 49«, Germany 2022. Director: Klaus Stern, Frank Pfeiffer.

86 minutes.

In streaming

»A murder team is investigating again« (on Netflix)

France is rightly admired for its great film heritage;

there is no other nation besides the USA that has fallen in love with the art of film and has given it as many great moments as the French.

Nevertheless, it is true that hardly anyone makes such fabulously ugly films as the internationally successful French action director Louis Leterrier (»The Transporter«, »Clash of the Titans«).

Anyone who cares about the art of film as an aesthetic pleasure can only find Leterrier's headlessly moving camera, the cobbled-together editing sequences and the non-stop droning soundtracks an impertinence that is difficult to bear.

The fact that this pandering to supposed viewing habits can still result in an at least partially enjoyable action comedy is probably the biggest surprise of this sequel.

But in fact there are a surprising number of gags, which is due to the great chemistry between Omar Sy and Laurent Lafitte, who certainly don't reinvent the dynamics of the buddy comedy here, but exploit them with relish.

You play two unequal police officers who this time have to solve a murder in the provinces.

A fascistic mayor rules there, and a suspiciously large number of bald men with nasty faces and loose fists make the area unsafe.

It's interesting how divided France manifests itself in apparently harmless entertainment, even if the film tries to keep the real problems at bay,

Oliver Kaever

»Loin du périph«, France 2022. Director: Louis Leterrier.

Book: Stephane Kazandjian.

With Omar Sy, Laurent Lafitte.

119 minutes.

Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2022-05-12

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