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|Index||18 reviews in total|
At its beginning, Gigantic (English title) seems a fun story of three
friends united by their shared interest in girls, cars, and avoiding the
responsibilities "the future"will invariably bring. By its end, Gigantic
has become one of the most moving and charming films about the ties that
bind that I've seen in recent years.
Hamburg, complete with its drab industrial foreshores and sometimes uninviting urban decay, is the setting for Gigantic and is as much as character as the three friends Lloyd, Walter and Rocco. It's no surprise, once we've trawled past the faceless apartment blocks and rusting waterfront sheds, that Lloyd wants out. What is a surprise is that he springs his news on his great friends with no time to prepare them for the shock. He leaves tomorrow, at sunrise.
In spite of their anger, and fear, Walter and Rocco go along with Lloyd's desire to have one great final night together. It begins fervently, excitingly, but as events go awry and daylight slowly inches over the horizon, the crushing reality of what is to follow sets in for the trio, who along the way also pick up their next door neighbour, the gorgeous but self destructive Tesla.
Debut director/writer Sebastian Schipper knows the value of understatement. Instead of stuffing his screenplay full of worthy but dull ruminations on the meaning and importance of friendships, he lets his characters do the talking for him. Boldly, Schipper uses a single, funereal piece of music over and over to signify moments of emotional crisis for his characters. The move is risky but pays dividends - Lloyd, Walter and Rocco don't have to say much to get across what they are really feeling. It's also a testament to the abilities of the actors playing these parts that you feel greatly for their pasts, presents, and especially futures.
The finale of Gigantic is heartbreaking, and deliberately ambiguous. Not only is it the perfect conclusion to the chaotic night before it, which is in itself a metaphor for the inherent turmoil of close friendships, it is enough to make you want to go out and phone every friend you haven't spoken to in years to find out how they are doing. Few films have the ability to move and entertain as well as say something about the pain and joy of simply being alive and knowing other people. Gigantic is one of them. It's a masterpiece.
Normally I am not a big fan of German cinema, but every now and then a gem like Lola Rennt or this comes out of nowhere. Unlike anything Hollywood would have done, this does not clutter the story with subplots and just focuses on the three friends' last night together. The music is perfect, as it helps the audience realize the sadness these people must feel, knowing that they will never be together again. The script is very funny, and the direction is perfect, as Schlipper is able to let the story pause and simply film Floyd, Ricco and Walter as they sit in silence. However, somehow the film does not turn into a long-winded cheesefest. Along with Tom Tykwer(I think that's how you spell it) who produced the film, I think Schlipper is a talent to watch, cos, if there's any justice in the world, he will have a bright future. This film rocks.
I love this movie madly. . I saw it four days ago and it still hasn't let
Floyd, Walter and Ricco have only one last night together to come to terms
with the fact that Floyd will ship out on a freighter the next morning.
drift into that bleak Hamburg night like they would on any other, and the
mundane becomes suddenly extraordinary as the reality of the impending
farewell percolates through their celebration .
What they leave behind in the night, is that total abandon you can only
afford those few years between being a kid and suddenly being
This is one from the heart. It's got everything, the riotous humor and fun of outrunning the crew of an Elvis stuntshow, the tempo and jumpcuts of a strobelight punkclub, a heart as big as the V 8 Walter puts in his Ford Granada and the thrill of a deathmatch...in foosball !!
The film reminds us how intoxicating friendship can be and how good it can feel to be that drunk from a toast to a leaving friend. Like the perfect song: happy in its rhythm, sad in its melody. Floyd says early into the film something like" I wish everyone could have his own soundtrack, that there would always be music. So that if you're really down, there would still be the music...and when you're the happiest in your life the record would skip and the moment would never end..." After their last night, when Floyd looks up into the Hamburg sky one last time, the soundtrack to the film DOES skip and captures that perfect moment, the essence of parting, that loss that really isn't and that unbearable inevitability that tomorrow your best friends will be far away.
I can only hope that this total charmer finds a distributor in the U.S.. I'm sure it would find an audience somewhere in the same aisles that loved that "Big Wednesday" coming of age urgency, the tempo and irreverence of "Go", the unpretentious humor of "It's a jungle out there" or " No more Mr. nice guy" and the unspoken loyalty in any of the "Winnetou" movies. As for Sebastian Schipper the Director, whose eloquence in talking about his film ( and cars ) at the German Filmfestival in Los Angeles rivals the ease with which this film speaks to you - In a way I'm already sorry to see him becoming famous. He'll soon join Tom Tykwer as the posterboy for the new german film and I'm afraid he'll lose his genius eye and savant heart much like he lost his enthusiasm for foosball........
As Floyd' s probation has expired he's going to leave Hamburg the next day
to see the world. So there's only one night left for him to say farewell
his best friends Ricco and Walter. The movie depicts the funny and sad
adventures of the trio during that last night involving an argument with
some die-hard Elvis
fans, the most nerve-racking table-football match in film history and way
The whole thing is so beautiful in a bittersweet way that you wish the film would go on forever. You want to see more about Ricco's family, about the barflies at Horst's and especially about Telsa, the girl next door (who is played incredibly cute and vulnerable by Julia Hummer in her film debut). But if a film is too short it's always a compliment, not a fault.
Sebastian Schipper in *his* debut as a director really knew what he was doing, although (or because?) he sometimes doesn't play by the established rules. For example he uses refreshingly little dialogue for a german film and he even lets it go on for a few more minutes after the last words have
been said, telling the end just with images. And those images are brilliant since the director of photography was Frank Griebe ("Lola rennt"). IMO the movie gets 9 out of 10.
schipper has shown incredible diversity as a budding actor in many of tom tykwer's eclectic and nuanced german films. also had a minor, yet unforgettable, role in anthony minghella's 'the english patient', in the interrogation scene with willem dafoe. 'absolute giganten' marks his brave and confident debut, with superior directional and editing skills. definitely a new german director to keep a watch out for.
When I first saw "Absolute Giganten" it instantly became my favourite. I just love this movie. It is wonderfully sad but at the same time it seems to keep a certain happiness that just moves you and makes you feel glad to be alive. Sebastian Schipper has made a beautiful but also very real film with wonderful actors and great music by The Notwist. Directors of the world do me a favour and give me more films like this one!
I already watched this movie some years ago today I watched it again
and I really like this movie. The story tells about 3 friends living in
hamburg the night before one of them will go to a ship to Africa and
later singapore. It's their last evening they spend together and they
have much trouble but fun too. A really nice scene is the kicker-scene
where they play against the "snake", a really strange guy who plays
kicker very well. This movie got so much emotion and is very funny too,
so this proves that there are coming up some good talented directors,
producers and actors. I hope to see more movies like this in the
future, telling realistic stories from peoples lifes without spending
so much money on movies to plaster bad stories. We have that movies
from Hollywood all the time so I'm really glad to have movies like this
I cannot quite explain it, but this movie is the best I have ever seen
in my life. I hate people who say sentences like this. So maybe I have
to hate myself. But I have seen many, many movies and very good ones
too, but this one got me from the first minute. And after thinking more
than one year about it, I still cannot remember a better one.
But please note: 1) This is a German movie, more precisely from northern Germany. Maybe you have to live in this place or you have to know people from this area to understand the movie and its fantastic story and marvelous actors.
2) The movie itself isn't very dramatic, it's easeful and unagitaded. You maybe dislike it, when you love action movies or ribald humor.
3) It's primarily a movie for men. Women may dislike it, because the topics are mainly men-bound (foosball, soccer, cars, music) and the pictured feelings are men-feelings and men trying to cope with them.
4) Real hard men may dislike this movie too, because it's a soft movie (no blood, no boobs, no weapons) showing men trying to cope with their feelings.
When all this doesn't bother you, you may spot one of your all-time favorite.
The last night together for three friends in Hamburg, before one of
them will board a ship to Africa. Crazy, wild, touching. A tribute to
their friendship and friendship in general. And a tribute to that
unique Northern German city as well. Plus a fantastic soundtrack which
adds a lot to the movie: lots of electronic music, some rock, fast,
pumping, but also minimal in the lonely moments of the story. Not to
forget the great cast of these three unlike friends - and the girl, of
course. And, last but not least: A tribute to passion, to what is
called "Fernweh" in German, the need to get out of where you are right
now and see the whole big world, without - in my impression -
forgetting the loneliness that accompanies the traveler who doesn't
quite know where he belongs (yet?).
What should I say? It's a wonderful small big movie.
This film truly is exceptional in many ways. Exceptionally funny, exceptionally touching, melancholy and energetic, set in exceptionally cold ghetto and harbour districts of Hamburg. Three friends, Ricco, Floyd and Walter, live their easy lives there. All three of them are quite different, still tight together by a deep friendship. Although the quarter they live in, the harbour that pulsates continuously, the places they go to, although these all seem very surreal and unpleasant, as if illuminated by cold neon light, one never feels uncomfortable with that - due to the deep sympathy the three friends have for each other. They manage to have fun and analyzing thoughts about their situation at the same time. A film full of contrasts, both in pictures and in moods. A must-see!
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