A group of German infantrymen of the First World War live out their lives in the trenches of France. They find brief entertainment and relief in a village behind the lines, but primarily ... See full summary »
Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Edwin, a taxi driver, lives with Annie, a neurasthenic model. They plan to spend Sunday at the Nikolassee beach with Wolfgang, an officer, gentleman, antiquarian, gigolo, at the moment a wine salesman. After an argument, Annie stays at home while Edwin joins Wolf. Wolf has brought along a new girlfriend, Christl. Brigitte, Christl's best friend, joins the group. Brigitte is the manager of a record shop. At the beach Wolf tries to kiss Christl but she rejects him and he turns his attentions toward Brigitte, who is more receptive. Wolf and Brigitte go off together and he seduces her. Back on the beach, Wolf and Erwin, now tired of their dates, flirt with two other women as Brigitte and Christl look on, appalled. They have small satisfaction when the men have to borrow money from them to pay for the paddle-boat they were renting. As they part at the end of the day, Brigitte hopes Wolf will see her next Sunday, but he and Erwin have other plans. The bond between the two men is the one ...Written by
beautifully shot, surprisingly modern performances
One of the surprising things about this film is the very acute, naturalistic and fundamentally humorous performances from an amateur cast, lacking all the usual strange, exaggerated mannerisms of silent cinema. The other impressive aspect of the film is the beauty of the photography, always playful and probing: the scene where an old man responds to the pompous nationalistic statues in the park is brilliant and affecting, if rather ambiguous. The modern score that was provided in the version I saw was effective and fitting: to be recommended. I agree that it all seems rather unreal, given that it takes place in 1929- yet it strikes me as not so much realistic, as naturalistic: perhaps striving to depict normality in difficult times. A very good and fundamentally humane film, lacking any real plot or suspense, but full of really interesting moments.
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