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Review: Four minutes (2006)

Director: Chris Kraus | 112 minutes | drama | Actors: Monica Bleibtreu, , Sven Pippig, , , , Vadim Glowna, , Davor, Edita Malovcic, Kathrin Kestler, Christian Koerner, , Dietrich Hollinderbäumer, Dieter Moor, Maria Hartmann, Isolde Fischer, , Gabriele Schäfer, , , , Toni Scholz, , André Rauscher, Roberto Galvez, , Juliana Albrecht, Daniela Grosch, Tom Jester, Gerd Weigmann, Thomas Ulbricht, Michael Sunjo

They had to select her from 1,200 people. When she got the part, she had to learn to play the piano and took boxing lessons. You have to do something for it. But the result is there. Hannah Herzprung (1981) is very credible as the explosive Jenny, who, if you look closely, is quite a beautiful girl, but is completely rotten inside. The role of Traude is also beautifully played by actress Monica Bleibtreu (1944). Also a beautiful woman, who hides behind a mask of politeness, discipline and imperturbability, but who is stimulated by her rude, talented pupil. For her, Jenny becomes the face of her own repressed feelings, the personification of her deepest desires.

Talent. That’s what this movie is all about. Talent and how to use it, or not. And about second chances. Everyone makes mistakes, but the day will come when we will have a chance to make things right. And we must seize that opportunity, or our lives depend on it. Talent also characterizes German cinema in recent years. Of course we only see the tip of the iceberg in the Netherlands, but that tip includes high-quality films such as “Gegen die Wand”, “Goodbye Lenin”, “Der Untergang”, “Das Leben der Anderen”, to name just a few top titles. And then we have not even mentioned the films of the super talent Tom Tykwer, such as ‘Winterschläfer’ and ‘Lola Rennt’, masterpieces that led him to direct the major international production ‘Perfume’, The Story of a Murderer in . ‘, another impressive piece of film craftsmanship. “Four Minutes” is a worthy addition to the list.

With this film, director Chris Kraus proves that the power of German cinema is not temporary. It seems as if people are inspiring each other there: what you can do, I can too. This also applies to the actors. Did the actors in the aforementioned films fill in their roles flawlessly, also in “Four Minutes”, with the two main characters Traude and Jenny as shining centers, although this term is not always appropriate in the nature of their roles. The film opens calmly, the first shot seems surreal, but when the camera shows the entire image, we are immediately confronted with the raw reality. The camera zooms out and we see that we were in a prison, in a gray, East German-looking city. And then fierce rock music hits like a sledgehammer, hard and coarse, zooming in on a car radio, a woman (Traude) turns the knobs and puts on a classic channel. Fortunately, a little rest. The essence of the film is captured in the first four minutes, without a word. Poetry. A promise that the film keeps.

The fact is not new: a “student” who is unwillingly taken under the wing of a teacher with a hidden agenda, who sees what is in him / her, but is thwarted by the environment. In the elaboration of this fact, “Four Minutes” happily avoids the obvious clichés. Whether it ends well or badly, we will leave it in the middle, but the road to the end is in any case full of surprises. Just before the end, the film has a slump, but that is more than made up for towards the end. There must be people who still don’t go to German movies for whatever reason. This may have to do with prejudices or the or perhaps people would like English to be spoken (that is why many “foreign” films have English titles anyway). As far as language is concerned: let go of that prejudice, subtitles are there for a reason and with regard to the past: German cinema is actively dealing with the past and current social issues, in which that past often still plays a major role, become effective. converted into high-quality art expressions. Similarly now. Top cinema that can be seen.

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