A young German school teacher begins a new job, a fresh start to hopeful future. She has a vision of her life as a trusted teacher and beloved member of her new neighborhood. Things begin to slip, plans don't quite match her expectations and she falls behind in her life. She is unable to manage the casual cruelty of every day life and it becomes a burden of loneliness and source of chaos she can't escape.
He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's The Pilot
Performed by Grandaddy
Courtesy of V2
Written by Jason Lytle
Published by BMG Songs, Inc. o/b/o Genghis Music, Deadlineless & Jason Lytle See more »
I've seen all of Maren Ade's film as of this writing in 2016 and I don't think she's made a bad, or even middling one yet. The Forest for the Trees is her absolutely astonishing debut and immediately showcases her style and strengths.
First of all this isn't a "beautiful" film. Made as a student thesis you can see it was filmed on the cheap on video so the images will never really bowl you over (with a few exceptions). Where Ade's strength lies is in uncovering the hellish situations in reality. She first introduces us to Melanie Pröschle, a sweet, but goofy school teacher who is moving to a new (small) city to teach grade school students. Feeling alone in her apartment building she quickly spies her neighbour Tina Schaffner, and sets about trying to befriend her, which goes in awkward fits and starts as Melanie is socially awkward and doesn't seem to understand boundaries and is constantly confused as to whether her new friend really likes her or not. At first, the tensions between Melanie and Tina seem like the normal awkward pains that happen when adults struggle to make new friendships, but as the movie wears on, and Melanie's professional life flies further out of control, she places greater and greater importance on Tina and her friendship leading to increasingly disturbing encounters between them.
It is an incredibly painful movie to watch because I'm sure everyone has experienced each side of the coin of being a Melanie or a Tina and this movie presents the worst of both worlds. It also features one of the best endings I've ever seen in a movie, and the final shot will stick in my mind for a long time.
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