Four Minutes (Vier Minuten) (2006) (Germany)

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Four Minutes (Vier Minuten) (2006) (Germany)

Postby hengcs » Sun May 06, 2007 11:24 pm

Four Minutes (Vier Minuten) (2006) (Germany)

Director: Chris Kraus
Cast: Monica Bleibtreu, Hannah Herzsprung

Just wondering ...
-- If I am correct, there are "few" reviews on the internet about it. Even the various sources in local newspapers and magazines did not list it as a highlight for SIFF. But frankly, it is really one of the better ones I have seen this festival! And for those who are not attuned to "artsy" films yet, this is definitely a nice addition to the festival ...
-- Somehow, the film does not come across as a typical film festival kind of material, but I thought it was very well executed, with great acting and a great sountrack. HURRY ... distributors, non art film goers are not gonna be bored by it ...

The film begins with a lady inmate hanging herself. Unperturbed, the other inmate Jenny (Herzsprung) simply searched for any remaining cigarette from the corpse's pocket and started smoking. Only after that did she sound the alarm for the wardens ... The next morning, there was the arrival of a piano at the female prison. Miss Krueger (Monica Bleibtreu) was an old lady who taught the inmates piano lessons. Principled and old fashioned, she had an untold history. Upon realizing the potential in Jenny, she decided to teach this violent and rebellious girl ...

Are you sighing at the "predictability" of the plot? ... Are you thinking it is just a film about underdogs who ultimately succeed? ... While you are not exactly wrong, the film is very well executed! In particular, the two female protagonists were great in their roles ... yet, they were not the "magical" teacher you expect (cf Dead Poets Society) nor the "totally transformed" to perfect student (in most such stories) ... they are full of problems ... they have their history ... they have their own agenda ... and they have unresolved differences ... Credited to the script, it well portrays complex human relationship and their thoughts ...

Also to be credited is the soundtrack and music ... yes, some are classical pieces ... some are "negro music" (i.e., using the movie terms) ... they always sound at the right moments and they are well integrated into different parts of the film ...

Highly recommended. Initially, the audience may assume that the material is "trite" as it looks like familiar stuff, possibly about an underdog which ultimately succeeds ... but hey, you may be surprised by how well it is executed ... and most importantly, how well it depicts the complexity of human relationship ... complemented with great music ...

PS: Has "A" watched this film?!

Re: Four Minutes (Vier Minuten) (2006) (Germany)

Postby hengcs » Sun May 06, 2007 11:27 pm

Four Minutes named best picture at German awards!

Re: Four Minutes (Vier Minuten) (2006) (Germany)

Postby arsaib4 » Mon May 07, 2007 4:00 am

I wonder if Monica Bleibtreu is related to good German actor Moritz (Run Lola Run, Das Experiment).

In any case, I'm also interested in A's reaction to the film, and possibly his thoughts on the German academy's credibility (though I think I already know the answer to that).

Re: Four Minutes (Vier Minuten) (2006) (Germany)

Postby A » Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:00 am

No I haven't seen the film. It seems that I miss too many German movies recently, and you guys have to remind me
The reception in the German press was pretty close to the assumptions hengcs describes in his review. But overall it was very popular with critics and the audience alike. A fellow student was the first person who told me about the film last year when we were talking about good German films from this decade. She had seen it at the film festival in Hof (an important national film festival for the display of German films) and it was her favorite picture of 2006.
I'll try to watch it and tell you what I think in the future (I know I'm saying this about a lot of stuff).

Monica Bleibtreu is a well respected and very busy actress who has won some deserved recognition (e.g. in the form of awards) in recent years. And yes, arsaib is right, she is related to Moritz Bleibtreu. She's his mother.

My opinion on the credibility of the German academy hasn't changed though.

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