Tom Tykwer – Die tödliche Maria AKA Deadly Maria [+Extras] (1993)

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Synopsis by Sandra Brennan
This German psychodrama looks into the events that lead an introverted woman into taking extreme action against her oppressors. Poor Maria has spent her life being ignored and pushed around by men. First there was her invalid father whom she waited on hand and foot. Then there was her cold and emotionally distant husband. Maria has been internalizing her rage for years. Her anger finally erupts when her husband takes the little bit of money she’d been secretly saving over the last few years. She kills both her husband and her father. The film ends with her new boyfriend’s distressed facial expression as he learns of her murders. Continue reading

Tom Tykwer – Lola rennt AKA Run Lola Run (1999)

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Pieces of the Action

A low-budget no-brainer, Run Lola Run is a lot more fun than Speed, a big-budget no-brainer from five years ago. It’s just as fast moving, the music is better, and though the characters are almost as hackneyed and predictable, the conceptual side has a lot more punch. If Run Lola Run had opened as widely as Speed and it too had been allowed to function as everyday mall fodder, its release could have been read as an indication that Americans were finally catching up with people in other countries when it comes to the pursuit of mindless pleasures. Instead it’s opening at the Music Box as an art movie.

Why try to sell an edgy youth thriller with nothing but kicks on its mind as an art movie? After all, it’s only a movie–a rationale that was trotted out for Speed more times than I care to remember. The dialogue of Run Lola Run is certainly simple and cursory, but it happens to be in subtitled German–which in business terms means that it has to be marketed as a film, not a movie. And of course nobody ever says “It’s only a film,” just as no one ever thinks of saying “It’s only a concert,” “It’s only a novel,” “It’s only a play,” or “It’s only a painting.” Because they’re omnipresent, movies almost oblige us to cut them down a peg or two just so we can breathe around them. Continue reading