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Berlin Blues (2003)
"Herr Lehmann" (original title)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,851 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 21 critic

In October 1989, the part of the West Berlin borough of Kreuzberg called SO 36, had been largely shut off by the Wall from the rest of the city for 28 years. A lethargic sub-culture of ... See full summary »

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Title: Berlin Blues (2003)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian Ulmen ...
Detlev Buck ...
Karl
Katja Danowski ...
Katrin
Janek Rieke ...
Kristall-Rainer
Annika Kuhl ...
Heidi
Hartmut Lange ...
Erwin
Martin Olbertz ...
Marco
Uwe Dag Berlin ...
Jürgen (as Uwe-Dag Berlin)
Michael Beck ...
Klaus
Michael Gwisdek ...
Der Trinker
Stephan Baumecker ...
Kiffer
Tim Fischer ...
Karsten Speck ...
Die Lederuschi
Margit Bendokat ...
Johann Adam Oest ...
Vater Lehmann (as Adam Oest)
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Storyline

In October 1989, the part of the West Berlin borough of Kreuzberg called SO 36, had been largely shut off by the Wall from the rest of the city for 28 years. A lethargic sub-culture of students, artists, bohemians and barflys had flourished among crumbling buildings. Part of that microcosm is barkeeper Frank, semi-formally called 'Herr Lehmann' by friends and patrons. He hangs out drinking, sports utter disregard for anything beyond SO 36 and lazily pursues an affair with cook Katrin. His lifestyle is gradually disturbed, when his parents show up for a visit, things go awry with Katrin and his best friend Karl starts to act strange. Meanwhile, political turmoil mounts on the other side of the Wall. Written by Armin Ortmann {armin@sfb288.math.tu-berlin.de}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Bis denn, dann...

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

2 October 2003 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Berlin Blues  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

€6,000,000 (estimated)
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Production Co:

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Christian Ulmen had to go to nine casting sessions before landing the role of Lehmann. See more »

Goofs

The position of the dog in the whisky scene changes without visible moving of the dog. See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the soundtrack, the following can be found: "Alle Tiere im Film arbeiteten ohne Alkohol oder sonstige Drogen und freiwillig mit." [All animals in this film have been working without alcohol or other drugs and on voluntary basis.] See more »

Connections

References Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Frontera
Written by Joey Burns
Performed by Calexico
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User Reviews

See it, even if just for the mullet!
17 January 2009 | by See all my reviews

Frank is a barman in 1989 West Berlin. Everyone calls him Herr Lehmann, much to his annoyance at times- but then, he's not really all that bothered, as he lives his life day to day, beer to beer, without much of a plan or direction, happy just to hang out with his mates and do the same bar hopping routine over and over. His comfortable state of leisure is disrupted when he meets attractive but tough chef Katrin, his parents visit him unexpectedly, and his best friend Karl starts going insane. And of course, a couple doors down, on the other side of the wall, a whole new level of turmoil is starting to brew...

Well, where to start? The acting is great, with former MTV cutie Christian Ulmen giving a brilliantly lazy, laconic "am I bovveeeered?!" kind of performance. Detlev Buck steals many of Ulmen's scenes as artist stroke party animal Karl. I know Buck's a director, producer, and whatnot, but I love him as an actor. He's just able to create these hilarious, memorable characters, does deadpan like no other- and as Karl he sports the most incedible mullet (or Vokuhila, as we call it).

I'd expected more eighties nostalgia in set and costume design, and music, but the film pretty much stayed clear of that. Even the dialogue sounded like it could have come from any period. (The mullet does make up for that, though. Big time.) I did think the atmosphere of late 80s West Berlin was captured well enough though, with the countless Eckkneipen and these types that just live for the next night out and are simply to cool to be bothered about what's happening around them. I've met enough of those myself, albeit not in Berlin, and love how the film manages to thoroughly take the mickey out of them while still presenting them as likable characters.

Dialogue is witty, with some great, pointless beer conversations about basically nothing.

There are points when the film seems to drag a little, just like Herr Lehmann's life- nothing much happens.

The soundtrack is well-picked, though like with all modern German movies seems to have been put together by someone who hasn't quite realised that there have been songs written in languages other than English. That said, there is some seriously funky music in there.

All in all, I absolutely loved this and would strongly recommend it. Even just for the mullet.

9/10


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