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Vicco von Bülow,
Vicco von Bülow,
My, how the world has changed in the last 50 years. This romantic comedy (with more emphasis on comedy, though it's not cry-out-loud funny) is difficult to understand. Let me try.
The plot is about an elderly office clerk, Mr Sänger, working in a magazine publishing house in Hamburg, who uses his vacations for a train trip to Baden-Baden, and hiking from there across the Black Forest to Konstanz (the city where I happen to live :).
On the train he sits next to Kiki, an adventurous teenage girl, whose grandmother entrusts her to him. In Baden-Baden, she gets off the train with him, instead of changing for the train to Geneva and her boarding school. Instead, they visit the casino and lose about all their money at the roulette table. So she joins him on the hiking trip to Freudenstadt, then Hausach. They travel part of the way with two students in an old Dixi car (I think it was), and Kiki even gets to ride with an Indian maharajah. Sänger is an avid photographer and documents much of the journey, and sends the pictures to his office.
The Zeit-Blick magazine has low sales in the vacation season, so Sänger's pictures and report are pushed to title story status, and many readers get aware of the story, including Kiki's grandmother. Is there a great scandal in the making? Of course not. All ends well and in merriness, as saccharine comedies go. The perennial generation conflict of the young vs. the old gets some exposure, but there is no plausible confrontation, nowhere. This is partly a travelogue, partly a music film, and nothing spectacular. Still, I wasn't bored. Just sometimes bewildered, trying to understand the motives.
The most shocking moment for me was when Sänger walks down the Treppenstraße in Kassel (like I did for years), arrives at his office, looks out of his window and sees busy streetcar traffic - evidently in Hamburg. Talk about filmographical licence...
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