Rote Sonne aka Red Sun
Rudolf Thome, Germany 1970
Runtime: 85 min
“… one of the best German movies since the silent era … “
Dark and zany, Rote Sonne provides a fascinating snapshot of 60s culture, juxtaposing the B-film crime and science fiction genres with early feminist fervor. With the tag line “Frei, wild, cool und tödlich” (free, wild, cool and deadly), it depicts a group of young women who decide to kill their boyfriends if they insist on a relationship lasting more than five days.
Rote Sonne quickly grew into some early German cult movie with a constant growing importance. Only a few years later the critics called it one of the most important German movies from that time.
Between 1968 and 1971 Rudolf Thome shot four movies in a row (including Rote Sonne). Then he was broke and had to escape Munich. He started a new life in Berlin but it took years until he started to do movies again – unfortunately never achieving such a classic again.
Wim Wenders wrote a famous review about Rote Sonne (published in Filmkritik Januar 1970):
“… Baby, you can drive my car, and maybe I’ll love you
… Red Sun is one of the rarest kind among European cinema – one that doesn’t imitate American cinema. In the Red Sun the actors always talk like they wouldn’t need to bother about the story of the movie. They are just boldly present in the scene, talking and acting as if they do not yet know what’s next….
I like the way you walk I like the way you talk Oh, Suzie Q. …”
Reinhard Jud in Der Standart Wien (12.4.1990)
“… the Red Sun is boldly stepping out of the Uncoolness of the German Autorenfilm … and dares to build a synthesis of Howard Hawks and Jean-Luc Godard, merging posterized Hollywood cinema and Nouvelle Vague into a new sort of thing … ”
The rororo movie encyclopedia in it’s 1977 issue:
“The four movies, Thome has done since 1968 you can call cinema in a sense like nothing else which has been done in Germany after the war. Detektive (1968) and Fremde Stadt (Strange City – 1972) are Thrillers in black and white, Supergirl (1971) is a Science-fiction-movie in color. And in between there is Rote Sonne (1969), one of the best German movies since the silent era. ”
About Uschi Obermaier (the main star in Rote Sonne):
Each Revolution needs an iconic Pop-Star – for the 60’s in Germany the No. 1 Covergirl was – without doubt – Uschi Obermaier, Rockstar-Groupie, model and a member of the infamous political flat share “Kommune No. 1” in Berlin.
In 1968, Obermaier was on the road with the Munich Krautrock band Amon Düül and met Rainer Langhans who was one of the founders of “Kommune No. 1” in Berlin. Uschi Obermaier then moved in with Langhans and both became the prototypical couple of the sexual revolution in Germany.
In 1968 and 1969 she met Rudolf Thome and starred in his first two feature films, “Detektive” and “Rote Sonne”.
About Rudolf Thome:
For years he has been referred to as “the German Eric Rohmer”. Perhaps his tendency to produce cycles and variations on a theme is reminiscent of his French colleague. It is also possible that he is so often given the title because his productions radiate a similar lightness, he often works with unknown actors, finds his material in every-day life, and tells basically moral stories without even a trace of moralizing.