7.3/10
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10 user 9 critic

Das Leben ist eine Baustelle. (1997)

After he loses his job, his father, and his girlfriend, Jan's life is a shambles. Then suddenly he meets freakish street musician Vera, and a bittersweet romance unfolds...

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jan Nebel
...
Vera
...
Buddy
Christina Papamichou ...
Kristina
...
Lilo
...
Harri
Rebecca Hessing ...
Jenni
...
Sylvia
Frank-Michael Köbe ...
Zivi 1
Rainer Werner ...
Zivi 2
Uwe Richter ...
Polizist 1 / Möbelträger 2
Frank Kessler ...
Polizist 2
Oliver Meschke ...
Polizist 3
Hans Seck ...
Mann mit Hund
Klaus Dieter Stenzel ...
Mieter (as Klaus Stenzel)
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Storyline

Jan Nebel is young man who is fired from his job at the slaughterhouse after he beats up two civil-dressed cops at a street riot. Soon thereafter his father dies, and Jan moves to his apartment, sharing it with former co-worker Buddy and girlfriend Vera. Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

20 March 1997 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida É Tudo Que Temos  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Jenni: This is the answering machine of Mrs. Nebel and her stupid boyfriend. If you want to leave a message...
Jan: Jenni, don't bullshit me. Give me your mother. It's urgent.
Jenni: I just said this to keep the man away who calls little girls and tells them to put a metal stick into a power outlet or to throw a hairdryer into the bathtub. She's not there.
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Connections

Spoofs Dances with Wolves (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Hound Dog
Written by Jerry Leiber (as Leiber) and Mike Stoller (as Stoller)
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User Reviews

 
Something of a dud
21 March 2006 | by See all my reviews

As I'm a fan of contemporary German cinema (Becker, Tykwer, Wenders), I was thrilled to find a copy of this unknown work. The first 10 minutes sets up a fantastic premise (not your usual boy-meets-girl in a coffee shop), and the next 30 minutes draws us into the odd lives of 4 mysterious, unemployed dreamers who meet each other in equally strange ways. Sounds great, right? Add to this the creative style of Wolfgang Becker and Tom Tykwer, and how can it go wrong?

Well, I'm not sure how it went wrong, but it definitely did.

In a classic example of "good idea, no substance", this film begins to deflate around the halfway mark with no backbone to hold it up. The interesting lives we had been led to anticipate turn out to be rather commonplace. Dialogue is so sparse it's negligible. And the plot falls back to a series of boring clichés--the kinds which you can overhear in any bar at closing time if you're patient enough to listen. It reminds me very much of Wim Wenders' early unscripted work (Paris Texas) which begins famously but thins out into oblivion. Or maybe it's like a Lenny Kravitz song that starts with a cool guitar riff but goes nowhere but boredom.

I would recommend this film to fans of "mood" rather than "substance". If you are a fan of Godard, Bela Tarr, or movies where Ethan Hawke plays the lead (Reality Bites, Before Sunset), then you may enjoy this. However if you're a fan of Kieslowsky, Kubrick, Herzog or typically the filmmakers who pack a hidden message, I would suggest you pass on this one.


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