Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
Casting is an aspect of the filmmaking process that’s ripe for dramatic exploitation, and here is the movie to fulfill that potential. Director Nicolas Wackerbarth uses the process to dynamite effect, portraying the fictional remake of famed Fassbinder movie The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, the sadomasochistic melodrama about love, possession and bitterness that became an arthouse classic. Vera (Judith Engel) is directing the new version, and she just can’t settle on the casting. When a male actor drops out, crew member Gerwin (Andreas Lust) sees his chance to get into the acting game, and pursues it with gusto…
Audiences may remember actor Lust from his turns in The Robber (VIFF 10) and the Oscar-nominated Revanche (VIFF 08). Here he gives an even more dynamic performance, radiating zeal and desperation as he pursues his goal. This film about a Fassbinder movie quickly comes to seem like one itself, with queasy power dynamics that recall not only the late director’s work, but also his famously nasty shoots. But for novices and adepts alike, this is a wallop of a drama and a true actor’s classic.
"[Immerses] us in its depths with masterful skill under the magician-like direction of Nicolas Wackerbarth."—Bénédicte Prot, Cineuropa