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West Germany, 1973 (MIFF 1974)

Director: Karin Thome

This is the first feature film from Karin Thome, who has directed several controversial television documentaries in West Germany. The title ├╝bernacht introduces a series of sexual encounters cast in the frame of 'Once upon a Night'.

The promiscuous protagonist, Laura, played by Karin Thome, engages in a whirl-wind tour— swapping partners on a commune, having an affair with a capitalist, and finally giving it all away to ride a jeep through Africa. This trip is imaged through constant references to the films of Godard.

├╝bernacht shows us the lives of the fringe-dwellers: hippies, artists and adventurers; and how they, too, live the petit-bourgeois ideal of liberty. This sexual odyssey is presented in large fragments. The chronological sequence of events is vague, and it is left to the viewer to arrange them in his own way.

These breaks in continuity are not signs of incompleteness, but attempts to emphasize the relative autonomy of the sequences in which details are repeated to create an ambivalent and even dream-like effect.

'Her odyssey of promiscuous drop-out is most obviously a tour of Godard's career.'

Jan Dawson, Sight and Sound

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