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Gorgeous film with brilliant debut performance by Thomas Schubert
The actor Karl Markovics has made a beautifully low-key directorial debut with this rumination on freedom, mortality and coming-of-age and the parallels between these things. He has a gift for imbuing a 'slice of life' story with a narrative engine that supplies tension and interest despite "not much happening" on screen, and his visual style is very well developed for a debut.
His greatest gift is directing actors - the ensemble here is magnificent. But he shouldn't take all the credit for the performing here - Thomas Schubert in the lead gives one of the best debut performances I've ever seen, completely lucid, emotionally immediate and "there", creating a tangible character that, over the course of the film, we get to know as closely as a good friend. He's a total natural, but that's not to say that he lends his characterisation a calculation and rigorous emotionality on par with the best professionals. Here's hoping for a long career ahead of him.
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