Skip to main content

LENZ

Germany / Switzerland, 2006 (MIFF 2006, International Panorama)

Director: Thomas Imbach

LENZ

With a sweeping grandeur and the elemental passion and curiosity we've come to associate with Werner Herzog, director Thomas Imbach's Lenz creates an unconventional portrait of a tortured visionary caught between euphoria and desperation.
Lenz is also a playfully ironic version of the Georg Büchner novella, just as it originally was loosely based on the life of the eponymous mad German poet.
We meet Lenz, a filmmaker, as he arrives at a Swiss alpine resort, where he hopes to see his nine-year-old son again. With his son's help, he arranges a meeting with ex-wife Natalie whom he still loves. A little idyll blossoms in the rediscovered closeness to his son and rekindled love for Natalie but the illusion of happy family life is short-lived, soon overshadowed by Lenz's behaviour, which grows ever stranger.
Film and intimate video, staging and improvisation, actors and amateurs, tender love story, slapstick comedy and grand narrative - Imbach blends seeming opposites into an organic whole. An unconventional, stormy portrait of a man whose life motto echoes the Romantic poets: genius writes its own rules.

D/P/S Thomas Imbach P Karl Baumgartner, Madeleine Hirsiger
WS Swiss Films L German w/English subtitles TD 35mm/2006/95mins

Thomas Imbach was born in Lucerne, Switzerland, in 1962. His films include Well Done (1994) and Happiness is a Warm Gun (2001).

See also...

DAY IS DONE

For fifteen years filmmaker Thomas Imbach has filmed the world that lies outside his Zurich window. ... As the landscape changes, so does his life: his father dies, a baby is born and hundreds of ... More »

QUINCEAÑERA

Young Latinos in Los Angeles struggle with life as outsiders when they find themselves at loggerheads with traditional family and Catholic values in this sensitive portrayal of Latino life in the ... More »

BAMAKO

Successfully mixing intimate drama with proselytising political fiction, filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako has concocted an infinitely original and profoundly moving means for voicing Africa's ... More »

TOUGH ENOUGH

From its opening shot, Detlev Buck's Tough Enough is as uncompromising as its title suggests, another example of the emerging power of new German filmmaking. Fifteen-year-old Michael Polischka gets a ... More »

FLANDERS

Flanders took out the Grand Prix at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Sprung from the killing fields of World War 1 - quite literally, knee-deep in mud in the opening scene - Flanders is a primal ... More »

WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY, THE

FRIDAY 11 AUGUST, 9PM - SOLD OUT ... The Wind that Shakes the Barley was winner of the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Both an ardent observer of reality and a deeply committed ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director