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A traveling projection-equipment mechanic works in Western Germany along the East-German border, visiting worn-out theatres. He meets with a depressed young man whose marriage has just broken up, and the two decide to travel together.
As Wim Winders first feature, it certainly makes a unique impression, although not always a positive one. Entitled Summer in the City, virtually all the exterior shots have snow covered grounds,cars and streets. The main character even speaks of how the snow makes Berlin seem to be a ghost town. Even weirder are the relationships Hans seems to have with three different girls, all of whom are very attractive.In the first case, he calls to ask if he can stay over for a few days, which she agrees with. Later, after moving from Munich to Berlin, he simply appears in his friends' apartments, playing an unknown board game in the first and being offered port wine in the second. There is never any hint of intimacy between him and any of the girls, and when he finally leaves the third one, there is five minutes or more of silent closeups of her in her rather modestly furnished apartment. Then, there's the music: notably by The Kinks (To whom the film is dedicated), the Lovin'Spoonful, (whose song used for the title of the movie is played in its entirety), Bob Dylan (the first two cuts from his John Wesley Harding album) and many other rock and roll tunes from the late'60s. Very often, the song has little if any apparent connection to what is transpiring on the screen at the time. And what it is that is transpiring for the majority of the films is movement: we see Hans being driven in a car, flying in an airplane, walking the streets and taking a train, all the time with a flowing montage of the passing street scenery. If nothing else, Winders proves he's a master of steady cam operation. The 'plot' - Hans' apparent attempts to stay clear of the associates he had before some unknown bad deed landed him in prison, is merely tangential at the most to the visual panoply of street scenes. And he smokes like a chimney! Very different, quite unique, but not all that inspiring.
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