© Kinostar

Germany 2004

Opening 20 Jul 2006

Directed by: Ayassi
Writing credits:
Principal actors: Karin Baal, Thomas Bestvater, Detlef Bothe, Til Lindemann, Cornelia Lippert

Director Ayassi’s film is about what happens when you wander into other people’s lives by accident, e.g., by a look at their fabulous entry hall or following the woman of your dreams. Vinzent, the main protagonist, is a shy do-gooder with a limp who’s collecting signatures against animal experiments. He follows a smiling child in a pink pinafore dress into the building because he thinks he saw his girlfriend Rose walk inside the same building. As he searches for Rose she appears showering in a rear window but no one knows the tenant and no one answers the bell. We share Vinzent’s intimate knowledge of the building with his increasingly disconcerting experiences with the neighbors until the inevitable but obvious conclusion. The film has a good premise: is this real or am I imagining this supernatural experience? Am I real or are the neighbors? It’s clear Ayassi has watched a lot of films. His fluency with the conventions of expressionist cinema and film noir is apparent but the film suffers from overkill: strident colors, exaggerated makeup, rain. Too many glistening or steamy surfaces, too many dames with time on their hands, too many vertiginous staircase shots and too many eccentrics for one address. Contrary to noir- not enough flawed heroes with a plan or a chance because we know nothing about Vinzent really. Very good use of manga elements, Berlin dance scene music, great body painting. Better luck next time. (Rita Pearson Schwandt)

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