San Francisco is preparing for the premiere of a new staging of the Puccini opera, Turandot. The passionate story of the Chinese princess Turandot, and the mysterious three riddles which ... See full summary »
DIE WOLKE (The Cloud) is about a breakdown of a nuclear power station in Germany and the story of two teenager-lovers Hannah and Elmar who take refuge. 38.000 people die and Hannah unfortunately becomes contaminated.
On the eve of the elections in Russia, there's an outbreak of a mysterious disease. The British are curious to find out what's going on, so they need to send someone. An official knows ... See full summary »
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San Francisco is preparing for the premiere of a new staging of the Puccini opera, Turandot. The passionate story of the Chinese princess Turandot, and the mysterious three riddles which are the key to her heart, are on the lips of opera buffs throughout the city. At the same time, a serial killer is haunting the gay bars of the city and is killing HIV positive long-term survivors. Stefan, a young gay East German medical student, arrives in the city for a medical congress and is following the trail of his dead father, a once high ranking AIDS researcher in the East. Stefan is investigating whether the HIV virus was an incremental result of secret human experiments that were conducted in US prisons in the seventies - a thesis of the Berlin professor Jakob Segal, which was spread by state agents of former East Germany. Secret lists involving these biological experiments are rumored to have surfaced in San Francisco. Stefans main contact person is being killed in an illegal club, right ... Written by
It's like a bad accident - You don't want to look, but ...!
Let me start by saying something nice: Tom Wlaschiha, the film's lead, valiantly held his own in this muddled bit of tripe. Wlaschiha was not just up against the fact that he was having to perform in English, which is not his native language, but some of the worst writing, directing, editing and acting from the supporting cast (actually, calling them supporting is a contradiction of terms!) that the film industry has ever put in the can.
The list of what's wrong with the film is actually much too long to analyze completely here, but it's starts with the lame attempt to force a modern-day, urban story into an opera plot - how many times will film makers try this, before they realize that it's silly at best? Trying to link Puccini's Turandot with a murderous cover-up conspiracy of the theory that the US government was doing testing with the HIV virus that had been found in sheep on prison inmates is akin to linking Queen's song "We are the Champions" to the Watergate cover-up...in other words: hammering a square peg into a round hole. The only conspiracy that seemed to be going on was the fact that everyone in San Francisco, where the film is set, seemed to know this opera by heart, breaking into its catchy tunes at a drop of a hat. When the Italian tenor breaks into "Nessun Dorma" at the end of an opening night party, simply because some guy tells him that his performance was good, I rolled off my couch laughing! This only topped by the fact that the serial killers hums the ditty while killing his HIV+ victims.
The idea of using this theory as a cover-up conspiracy plot is not the problem here. In the hands of a good writer and director, this could actually make a thrilling plot along the lines of "JFK". Jochen Hick, who wrote, directed and produced the film (probably sewed the costumes, too), didn't seem to know if he wanted to make this a crime/thriller, or a character study of his lead character. Ultimately, he tried both and failed at both, ending up making just about every mistake a writer, as well as a director, could make - this all in just 104 minutes!
One thing I have to give Hick credit for: as much as I wanted to turn the damn DVD player off, I watched this baby to the bitter end, but please don't take that as a recommendation to do the same!
A film that every film school should use as a glowing example of: "don't let this happen to you!"
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