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West Germany / Switzerland, 1986 (MIFF 1988)

Director: Helmut Berger

Directed and co-written (along with leading players Franke and Levy) by Helmut (not the actor) Berger, this fast, funny, furiously paced romantic thriller has been favourably compared to Beineix's Diva, but trading that film's slick Parisian sheen for a more naturalistic Berlin grittiness. What's presented here is a joyously ragged, rough'n'ready blend of the love story and action film genres with amorous interplay equably balanced by some genuinely oddball suspense

A young female sax player gets together with a male guitarist, playing on the same street corner, where, as their character names (Romeo and Juliet) imply, it's harmonious love at first sight. However, the sweet erotic music soon turns sour and the inevitable spats set in An argument leads to an encounter with a prostitute and a wedding anniversary gig deposits a carved up corpse at Romeo's feet. It's at this point that an unflagging chase movie is set into motion with our heroic pair on the run from both the police and the crims, culminating in a most unusual 'surprise' ending, shockingly and yet poetically apt for this tribute to living (and loving) for die moment

All in all, much more than could be expected from such an unexpected mix of moodiness and mayhem, and a welcome relief (for some) from the angst-ridden gloom of most “New German Cinema” of the last 15 years. Seen in tandem with Jan Schutte's delightful Dragon Food the face of a ‘new' ‘New German Cinema' rears its head. We await further developments with anticipation. - P.K

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Heinze Giese, an ageing German industrialist, has recently been in a car accident in which his eldest son was killed. Because Giese crossed through a red light, he has lost his driving licence and is ... More »

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