Bübchen (1968) Poster

(1968)

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4/10
Mediocrity all along Warning: Spoilers
"Bübchen" is a West German movie from 1968, so this one will have its 50th anniversary soon. Its alternate title is according to IMDb "Der kleine Vampir" or "The Little Vampire" and I am not sure how accurate this is in terms of the plot and action in here, but I guess "Bübchen" is just more fitting. The writer and director is Roland Klick and he was not even 30 when he made this film, a contender for the most known work of his career now that he is approaching 80. But I really hope it is not his best as the watch was fairly forgettable and I personally did not care for any of the protagonists, especially not the very young one referenced in the title. Luckily for us, the film stays under 90 minutes. Still I must say it was not a complete failure, but not a success either. It is very much on par with the 1960s in terms of German cinema, a decade that is probably the weakest of the second half of the 20th century and some may even argue weakest decade of the entire century if they love silent films especially. I am not familiar with Klick and I cannot say that this film made me curious about other projects from his body of work. Same can be said about the cast. No big names here, but nobody stands out either. The character development is also sub-par. As a whole, this is a very mediocre outcome with regard to everything. I do not recommend the watch.
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8/10
A straight-forward yet fascinating case study of juvenile envy.
shanbhattacharya_8 March 2020
This little-known drama by director Roland Klick introduces a prototype working-class family in a drab German suburb during the post-Wirtschaftswunder dip. The relationships between neighbor families, between local schoolboys, between middle-aged father and teen daughter, between man and neighbor's wife - the relations that define social morals of a community - may seem exaggerated in some parts of the screenplay, but definitely a necessity in this particular story. The characters are well-written, especially the young protagonist's father, the neighbor's daughter and her drunk father. Klick's direction is minimal, utilitarian with a conscious avoidance of cinematic flair both in terms of visuals and soundtrack. And that enables the film's bleak, nihilistic, somewhat disturbing plotline flourish like a naturally-growing cactus in a desert. As the story unfolded, I was often reminded of Michael Haneke's 'Benny's Video' and indeed there are some similarities in the thematic content like juvenile jealousy and how far parents go to protect their children. Although this film happens in a more 'generic' setting, and lacks the social complexity of the Haneke title, a predictable yet very well-written ending definitely makes it memorable.
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