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Herr Lehmann (2003)

7.3
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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: Herr Lehmann (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

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Release Date:

2 October 2003 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Berlin Blues  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

€6,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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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 amount of wine in the glasses during the dinner with the parents. 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

Spoofs Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Collapsing New People (WestBam remix)
Performed by Fad Gadget
Remix by Westbam (as WestBam)
See more »

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User Reviews

Laidback portrait of life in Kreuzberg-36
15 December 2006 | by (The Dutch Mountains) – See all my reviews

BERLIN BLUES (Leander Haussmann - Germany 2003).

The film is set during the fall of 1989 in the run-down West-Berlin neighbourhood of Kreuzberg 36, an isolated corner of the city right next to the Berlin wall, mainly populated by a collection of misfits, artists, philosophers and drop-outs of all kinds. This is the world of Frank, alias Herr Lehmann (Christian Ulmen), who works as a bartender, takes live as it comes and generally lives in a pleasant bubble, unaware of the major events occurring in the outside world. His friend Karl (Detlev Buck), an artist who builds huge metal constructions, works in another bar, as does Katrin (Katja Danowski), the new chef, with whom he soon starts a turbulent relationship.

There are quite a few well-observed hilarious observations about Herr Lehmann's life in Kreuzberg, like an encounter with a whiskey-drinking dog, a confrontation with his visiting parents, a chaotic visit to East-Berlin and trouble in a gay-bar with "leather-Lily." The film's backdrop, with the fall of the Berlin wall in November 1989, Herr Lehmann's adventures seem to assume a certain importance, somewhat impaired with the occasionally flimsy and ridiculous occurrences in his life. In any other setting, the film would probably be less memorable than it is now. But that's probably the essential element what makes it work on many levels. The setting, Kreuzberg, and time in history, 1989, are the most potent ingredients for the film's relevance.

The late eighties' atmosphere is well served, with a good soundtrack by Eels, Violent Femmes, Calexico, Ween, Cake and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. Above all, I watched this with great pleasure, because I lived in this particular part of Berlin and it still is my absolute favorite part of the city. It seems very little has changed since 1989. Many of the bar scenes were shot in Café "Zum Elefanten" on Heinrichplatz, typically the kind of place where the interior and personnel hasn't changed since 1970. The kind of place where you only come to get served, get a drink and talking is restricted to a minimum.

Frank Griebe, who also lensed Tom Tykwer's LOLA RENNT (1998), did the cinematography, but here it's not nearly as flashy as in as in LOLA RENNT. Whether that's a good or thing or not, i'll leave that decision to you. And, as one other commenter from that proud Hanseatic city in Northern-Germany already noted, the film displays one of the most conspicuous product placements in recent German film.

Camera Obscura --- 7/10


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