Sunday, July 5, 2009
anthology short story films
in february, i read Judith Hermann's collection of short stories "Sommerhaus, später" (here the blog post). this week, i saw that there is an episode film that is based on the stories: 5 stories, interweaved. it made me think of Robert Altman's "Short Cuts", which is based on short stories by Raymond Carver. (here more about Short Cuts).
of course, i was curious for the Hermann-based film. how would it work, those stories together? unsure what was to come, i watched the startig scene: a car driving along a winding canyonland highway. in total silence. on and on.
well, i thought. then the couple started to talk. and there still was no sound. "that's not the film. that's the cables" - i finally realized. but it was interesting, to move into the film like that. and to start it again then, this time with sound. and move from US canyonlands to Iceland, then on to Jamaica, on to Germany, then to Venice, and then back to the canyonlands in rather short cuts, with the stories almost blending into each other, with the soundtrack overlapping scenes. (maybe i noticed the soundtrack more because of the unintended silence in the start).
and in a peculiar way, the hurricane theme that started in June moved on here - the Jamaica story unwound around a hurricane that was moving closer. "Ich will dass er kommt," the bikini woman above says in 2 scenes: "I want him to come." (hurricanes are male in german: der Hurrikan).
which made me think of the Hemingway quote again: "He always thought, though, that if there was ever one that bad he would like to be there for it and go with the house if she went."
and another suprise: 2 of the stories didn't really speak to me in the written version. but in the film, connected with the other stories, they were touching.
not sure if there is an english version of the film, but here is an english review of it: Nichts als Gespenster – Five Judith Hermann Tales / KinoGermanFilm.
(and here, more about anthology films)