387 words on German Films
Judging from what I heard from the media the new German film Sommer vorm Balkon – summer in front of the balcony is this winter’s hot shit. So I was curious to see it – particularly as it has been directed by Andreas Dresen, who also made the very down-to-earth film Halbe Treppe (aka Grill Point) that was unspectacularly good. I was even more curious to see it when I heard on a TV show that the the main actress just has the most spectacular ass and that all the guys would leave the cinema salivating after seeing it while the girls would feel slightly inadequate…
Anyway, Sommer vorm Balkon (the title of which I fail to understand to begin with) continues this style of unspectacularness. It’s about two women in Berlin. They’re living in the same house, they’re friends. One of them, Katrin, is divorced, without work and living with her little son. While the other, Nike, has work taking care of old people and is enjoying her life – mostly by dressing sparsely. Both of them are looking for some guy. And so Nike starts a ‘relationship’ with a truck drive who almost ran over Katrin with his truck. And who’s pretty much an ass.
And that’s about it. Apart from Katrin visiting a horrible job application training session, applying for jobs, flirting with the pharmacist across the street and drinking so much that she ends up in hospital, not much happens. Just a summer passing by. Slowly. It doesn’t seem like anybody develops significantly, it seems like the next summer will come and everything will happen again in just the same way. A sense of futility there. Perhaps that’s the film’s point. And if I’m sufficiently cynical I might say that this could be an appropriate way to present Berlin as it is these days.
But at then end of the day it’s just boring. Perhaps the cool moments in the film would’ve lasted for 60 or 70 minutes, but they weren’t enough for its full 102 minute length.
The only thing I found impressive were the scenes with the old people. How Nike goes to work at their homes and look after them. How she keeps being nice to them without falling out of her role of a tacky but hot twentysomething.
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