Tag Archives: Herbert Knaup

Jeanine Meerapfel – Annas Sommer AKA Anna’s Summer (2001)

Anna is the Jewish daughter of a Spanish mother and a Greek father. She has returned to her family’s house in Greece after many of her friends and family members have died over the years. Although she came back to the house in order to sell it, things begin to take a different direction: The house itself, the furniture and other equipment in it seem to become alive for Anna, recalling images of her past, her beloved parents and her friend Max, who once gave her shelter from the raging policemen when she took part as a photo journalist in a political demonstration in Berlin. Anna changes her mind: When some rich, ignorant American couple wondering about if they should buy the house asks for the swimming pool (while the Mediterranean is half a mile away), she simply doubles the charge, and finally puts the “For sale” plate into the garbage can. In the meantime, she has had a little love affair with a young man from the village, found a girlfriend from her childhood days, swum in the sea, and found a way to live in peace with her melancholic memories. Read More »

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. Read More »