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2 items from 2004


Nightsongs

9 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Berlin International Film Festival

BERLIN -- "Nightsongs" (Die Nacht Singt Ihre Lieder) is a spectacularly bad movie. Based on a Norwegian play by Jon Fosse that seldom leaves an apartment living room, Romuald Karmakar's film is essentially a 95-minute quarrel between a young couple in a disintegrating marriage. When the movie's first line is "I can't take it anymore", you have nowhere to go but into a downward spiral of repetitious dialogue, bitter recriminations and abject misery. Even festival directors will shy away from booking this house-emptier.

A young couple lives in Berlin's Mitte district, where old and new collide in a postmodern hodgepodge. The woman (newcomer Anne Ratte-Polle) has just had a baby but still wants to go nightclubbing, see friends and enjoy life. The man (Frank Giering, a dynamic actor handcuffed here by a role of complete inertia) lies on a sofa and reads all day. Depressed by continual rejections of his writing from publishers, he has retreated into an agoraphobic stupor.

She harangues him, and he answers in monosyllables. You get the feeling they have this fight daily. He only displays energy when he suspects her of infidelity. He turns out not to be wrong as a third-act entrance by one Baste (Sebastian Schipper) makes clear. ("You're still probably the father," Baste comforts the husband.)

Ultimately, the woman can't bring herself to leave. She says she will miss her kitchen pots. Yes, she actually says that.

Some in the film's festival debut audience took much of this to be an intentional comedy. But director Karmakar (who adapted by play with Martin Rosenfeldt) and his cast lay too much stress on the angst-ridden drama and bitter words for this notion to be fully persuasive. Celebrated cinematographer Fred Schuler's camera glares steadily at the forlorn characters, as even the walls appear to close in on them, driving them further into despair.

Marthe Keller, always a welcome presence onscreen, turns up briefly as the man's mother in a sequence designed to drive home the point that even his parents can barely stand him. Long before the end, one has grown convinced that these two deserve one another. »

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Nightsongs

12 February 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Berlin International Film Festival

BERLIN -- "Nightsongs" (Die Nacht Singt Ihre Lieder) is a spectacularly bad movie. Based on a Norwegian play by Jon Fosse that seldom leaves an apartment living room, Romuald Karmakar's film is essentially a 95-minute quarrel between a young couple in a disintegrating marriage. When the movie's first line is "I can't take it anymore", you have nowhere to go but into a downward spiral of repetitious dialogue, bitter recriminations and abject misery. Even festival directors will shy away from booking this house-emptier.

A young couple lives in Berlin's Mitte district, where old and new collide in a postmodern hodgepodge. The woman (newcomer Anne Ratte-Polle) has just had a baby but still wants to go nightclubbing, see friends and enjoy life. The man (Frank Giering, a dynamic actor handcuffed here by a role of complete inertia) lies on a sofa and reads all day. Depressed by continual rejections of his writing from publishers, he has retreated into an agoraphobic stupor.

She harangues him, and he answers in monosyllables. You get the feeling they have this fight daily. He only displays energy when he suspects her of infidelity. He turns out not to be wrong as a third-act entrance by one Baste (Sebastian Schipper) makes clear. ("You're still probably the father," Baste comforts the husband.)

Ultimately, the woman can't bring herself to leave. She says she will miss her kitchen pots. Yes, she actually says that.

Some in the film's festival debut audience took much of this to be an intentional comedy. But director Karmakar (who adapted by play with Martin Rosenfeldt) and his cast lay too much stress on the angst-ridden drama and bitter words for this notion to be fully persuasive. Celebrated cinematographer Fred Schuler's camera glares steadily at the forlorn characters, as even the walls appear to close in on them, driving them further into despair.

Marthe Keller, always a welcome presence onscreen, turns up briefly as the man's mother in a sequence designed to drive home the point that even his parents can barely stand him. Long before the end, one has grown convinced that these two deserve one another. »

Permalink | Report a problem


2 items from 2004


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