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Edgar G. Ulmer
Edwin, a taxi driver, lives with Annie, a neurasthenic model. They plan to spend Sunday at the Nikolassee beach with Wolfgang, an officer, gentleman, antiquarian, gigolo, at the moment a wine salesman. After an argument, Annie stays at home while Edwin joins Wolf. Wolf has brought along a new girlfriend, Christl. Brigitte, Christl's best friend, joins the group. Brigitte is the manager of a record shop. At the beach Wolf tries to kiss Christl but she rejects him and he turns his attentions toward Brigitte, who is more receptive. Wolf and Brigitte go off together and he seduces her. Back on the beach, Wolf and Erwin, now tired of their dates, flirt with two other women as Brigitte and Christl look on, appalled. They have small satisfaction when the men have to borrow money from them to pay for the paddle-boat they were renting. As they part at the end of the day, Brigitte hopes Wolf will see her next Sunday, but he and Erwin have other plans. The bond between the two men is the one ... Written by
Marvellous late German silent that anticipates the Italian neo-realists, although I note some claim that this is not realistic at all and may even be showing struggling Berlin through rose tinted glasses. I'm not sure; those fantastic city sequences seem real enough and perhaps the regularly intoned opinion that Hitler was lurking in the shadows of a dispirited people, is itself a little fanciful. In any event this is a great little film filled with fantastic shots, moving street shots of and from moving trams, poetic close-ups of the young folk and a great sense of landscape at the lakeside. As usual with me and silent movies, I seem to get captions I don't need because the action is so obvious and whole sequences of back and forth dialogue left untitled. But just to watch the imagery is good enough and the little trysts, arguments, upsets and loving looks need no titles at all.
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