After ordering enough typewriting paper for 40 years, just to get discount, Heinrich Lohse is forced to retire. The former manager has plenty of time now to spend with his wife and their 16... See full summary »
Vicco von Bülow,
Vicco von Bülow,
Callboy Vincent spends Christmas alone. In the evening he sits in a pub and treats a beer, then goes home and goes into the hot tub. But then burglar bursts into the apartment, which at Christmas suspects no one at home.
Sequel to Lammbock. Stefan and Kai meet again after years. Stefan became a successful lawyer in Dubai while Kai is stuck in their home town. Kai has relationship issues and is trying hard ... See full summary »
In a suburb of Vienna during some hot summer days: A teacher who is in bondage to a sleazy pimp, a very importunate hitchhiker, a private detective on the run for some car vandals, a couple... See full summary »
Otto, a young man from East-Frisia comes to the big city (Hamburg) to make his fortune. Most of all he is engaged with two problems: How can he impress Silvia, a rich young girl, and where ... See full summary »
Sky du Mont
Life could be just great for bank robber Keek: His buddy Kalle is doing time for their last coup, while Keek has to retain the loot. Kalle will spend two more years in jail, so Keek is not ... See full summary »
QUIET AS A MOUSE (Marcus Mittermeier - Germany 2004)
This low-budget film from director Marcus Mittermeier and writer Henrik-Jan Stahlberg was one of the biggest surprises in German cinema of 2004. Recently I saw it again (after seeing it in the cinema for the first time) and it still holds up beautifully.
The main character Mux, played by Henrik Jan Stahlberg, is on a personal vendetta against small crime, like vandalism, shoplifting and pornography. He tries to educate people in behaving like good citizens again, but at the same time forcefully imposing his own view of the world on them in order to educate them. Shot as a pseudo-documentary, the usage of the hand-held camera is perfectly integrated in the story as the main character is patrolling the streets of Berlin with his assistant Gerd, who is operating the camera in order to film their actions. Mux is cultured, intelligent and well mannered, but his major flaw is his incapability imagining other people may not share his world-view. His lack of trust in other people also affects his love life, or the fact that he hasn't got one. He soon estranges the one girl he likes, because he thinks he's got to protect her from... what? He doesn't really seem to know himself. Off course his actions on the streets of Berlin are wrong and most of the time he is annoying, but somehow it's hard to dislike him.
Henrik Jan Stahlberg carries the movie almost single handedly with a fascinating performance. One of the few examples of a writer who can make a good performance out of his own material and in this case Stahlberg fits the role of Mux perfectly. Although the makers clearly are trying to incorporate a message in the film, it never becomes heavy handed. Together with a very dark sense of humor, that seems to come completely natural in most of the scenes, the film is never forced or straining for effect. Many of the confrontations between Mux and his "victims" come out as quite touching as well, especially the scene with the elderly man being caught whilst buying ch*ld p*rnography and the one where Mux starts singing in a poor folks café. A beautiful and very touching scene.
The soundtrack is another asset. According to the mood of the scene, the same composition is used in different ways, from up-tempo house to classical music. The love of Berlin is also apparent, throughout the film there are shots of the city. A beautifully sharply written commentary of contemporary Germany. Cynical, but with a refreshing sense of humor. Considering the modest means the makers had at their disposal during the making of this film, it's one of the best German films in years.
Camera Obsura --- 10/10
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