Jerichow

Not rated yet!
Director
Christian Petzold
Runtime
1 h 33 min
Release Date
1 January 2008
Genres
Drama
Overview
The Turkish diaspora in Germany proves the catalyst for this noir-flavored drama concerning the unlikely friendship between a veteran of the Afghan-Soviet war and a middle-aged Turk in need of a helping hand.
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Quintus Curtius1
Fortress of the Mind



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Sunday Film Roundup (5/29/2016)
    film1

    Opinions are opinions, and here are a few of mine.

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    (Review Source)

VJ Morton4
Right Wing Film Geek



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)
  • Skandie runners-up — male leads
    (”Jerichow” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Skandie runners-up — male leads

    Well, it’s now Skandie time, and Mike is unveiling the Top 20 at his site Listen, Eggroll. So in the next couple of weeks, before posting my entire ballot proper, I’ll be posting a few words about the films, performances, etc., I voted for. And to start with, about those I DIDN’T vote for.

    My procedure every year is to devote a day to making a short list of contenders, based on the Eligible Films list, and what has managed to stay with me, as of late January of the next year (all eligible films started to screen commercially in New York during 2009, and did so for at least a week). Then I shuck away, until I’m left with 10 in each of the categories. I’ll start with the acting categories — these are the Lead Male Performances that I short-listed but DIDN’T vote for. In this and other categories, the bold-face and the lead art are from the last one I eliminated — the #11, as it were.

    This most-circulated HUMPDAY still (Duplass, left) is precisely what the film is NOT about. Instead, Lynn Shelton's film is about the ridiculousness of giving in to sex in Bohemia's name.

    LEAD MALE
    Joseph Gordon Leavitt, 500 DAYS OF SUMMER — So what if he can do the sensitive emo dork role in his sleep? In *this* sensitive emo dork, there’s not a trace of self-righteousness or whininess.

    Willem Defoe, ANTICHRIST — When asked at Toronto “how does one prepare as an actor for a scene where you’re genitally mutilated,” he replied “you don’t.” Really — that’s all that need be said.

    Lluis Homar, BROKEN EMBRACES — Shows off a late middle-age “this is my last chance” hunger that prevented his character from being either a dirty old man or a petty tyrant. Pedro should work with him more.

    Mark Ruffalo, BROTHERS BLOOM — His occasional cocksure self-regard really works well in this role but he keeps it in rein and appropriately artificial, as the however-illogical ending requires (think — or don’t — what Mark Wahlberg would have done here).

    Sasha Baron Cohen, BRUNO — Yes, the film as a whole was a misfire, but when Cohen gets a provocation really cooking, with the right audience he can milk it better than the best professional wrestling heel.

    Clive Owen, DUPLICITY — Blows away George Clooney’s performance in UP IN THE AIR in the category of Sheer Old-School Glamour Dripping Off His Fingers role of 2009 — playing a rogue.

    George Clooney, FANTASTIC MR. FOX — Blows away George Clooney’s performance in UP IN THE AIR in the category of Sheer Old-School Glamour Dripping Off His Fingers role of 2009 — playing a rogue.

    Souleymane Sy Savane, GOODBYE SOLO — Here is the very opposite of Sheer Old School … etc. — a performance that feels like (even if it isn’t) a real person playing a slightly-fictionalized version of himself, a la 40s De Sica and Rossellini.

    Mark Duplass, HUMPDAY — Here is the very opposite of Sheer Old School … etc. — a performance that feels like (even if it isn’t) a real person playing a slightly-fictionalized version of himself, a la 40s Visconti.

    Morgan Freeman, INVICTUS — Went back and forth on this one. Even if it is just an imitation, it’s a damn good one, and good casting too — the man who played God portraying our era’s secular saint.

    Benno Furmann, JERICHOW — Probably the least-known performance in this bunch, but it’s a triumph of masculine physicality and mannerism creating a not-black-souled viciousness (Waz isn’t wrong in saying it’s a bit wooden, but also not wrong in saying …)

    Kim Yung-ho, NIGHT AND DAY — Probably the least-known performance in this bunch, but it’s a triumph of utter self-absorption and complete cluelessness that somehow doesn’t create a Mister Magoo or (mere) Innocent Abroad

    Micah Sloat, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY — Along with Katie Featherstone (not among Actress Runners-Up … hint, hint), he creates something new and exciting — effectively natural performance in a completely self-referential genre (the YouTube home movie)

    Dragos Bucur, POLICE, ADJECTIVE — Eve was correct … he is awesome at eating soup, though look for someone even more awesome at chopping wood in the main list.

    Viggo Mortensen, THE ROAD — The testimony to this performance is that the film, which pretty much rests entirely on his shoulders and has only the most elemental of plots, is even watchable (in fact, pretty good in my opinion)

    Colin Firth, A SINGLE MAN — Seeing D’Arcy as a Christopher Isherwood character was disconcerting, but like Mortensen, he fills out a simple-content movie, though only as far as watchability in his case (the ending is unforgivable, sorry)

    Charles Berling, SUMMER HOURS — Among the kids in the family, he’s the audience-identification figure, and Berling has the right mix of idealism and pragmatism (Binoche and Regnier are different shades of pragmatic) to pull off the needed surrender.

    Teruyuki Kagawa, TOKYO SONATA — He has the bits I remember best from Toronto 2007 (I saw it alongside NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN and so hated its last reel that I’ve never gone back to it) — the pride-shame mix in dealing with his family.

    Woody Harrelson, ZOMBIELAND — Remember how awesome Woody the Bartender was. Here’s a completely different type of comic “character role,” sure, but Harrelson shows he hasn’t lost it. He should just do comedy from now on.

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    February 6, 2010 - Posted by | Skandies

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  • Skandie runners-up — supporting males
    (”Jerichow” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Skandie runners-up — supporting males

    Hilmi Sozer (right) steals JERICHOW, especially at the end, playing the unwanted third leg in a romantic triangle someone like Mr. Dietrichson in DOUBLE INDEMNITY.

    Ptolemy Slocum, (UNTITLED) — I considered him just to annoy Sicinski, as he’s playing a hilariously vicious caricature of the Bad Modern Artists whom Waz loves. Just kidding bud. Sorta.

    Horst Rehberg, CLOUD 9 — Plays a 70-year-old man with a convincingly heedless, romantic (and Romantic) 20-year-old’s soul. He always has the sparkle that Ursula Werner only sometimes does — and therein lies the drama. This year was filled with “nearly” performances in German films.

    Timothy Spall, THE DAMNED UNITED — Proves he doesn’t need Mike Leigh to inhabit a working-class Joe (yes … men in his position at that time weren’t filthy-rich — part of the film’s interest). And the reconciliation scene with Clough at his home doesn’t have a hint of anachronistic gayness as a result.

    Peter Sarsgaard, AN EDUCATION — Why is Carey Mulligan getting all the Hosannas in Excelsis for this film? The charming villain is always the better role, and Sarsgaard oozes it like pretty pus.

    Anthony Mackie, THE HURT LOCKER — After playing the enemies of Tupac Shakur and Eminem … pffft to al Qaeda in Iraq. Mackie has all the charisma needed to be a great star, and maybe his Jesse Owens and (less likely) Buddy Bolden biopics will make him one. He and Jeremy Renner nail soldiers’ ornery chemistry (most importantly, the drunken barracks carousing) without a hint of anachronistic gayness or psychopathy.

    Tom Waits, THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS — Why is Heath Ledger getting all the Hosannas in Excelsis for this film (OK, besides THAT)? The charming villain is always the better role, and Waits oozes it like pretty pus.

    James Gandolfini, IN THE LOOP — But here’s the opposite end. In a movie that’s all a barrage of would-be farcical “flow” (to the point of exhaustion and without being terribly funny to me — the timing was never right), Gandolfini provided the little “ebb,” the few moments of non-showing-off solidity.

    Hilmi Sözer, JERICHOW — Damn. I so wanted to give JERICHOW something. May have been prevented by the fact I didn’t get a chance to see it a second time, in retrospect with full knowledge of everything including … the end … (especially considering how blown away Sicinski was by JERICHOW). Lack of a second viewing meant the film stayed a “solid 7” — and thus always on the (ahem) outside looking in. Sorry Waz. No joke.

    Eli Wallach, NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU — It really takes something to stand out in an omnibus of 11 or so shorts. And something else again to be a huge star of decades ago, not rely on the instant-recognition factor, not rely on pity for the elderly. I honestly had to look him up — who played the husband in the last piece, about the love remaining between the old couple? Him? Really?

    Kristyan Ferrer, SIN NOMBRE — Had to look up his name too. He’s the young kid who wants to join the teenagers trip to El Norte — for various reasons. Like Wallach, only at the other end of the life cycle, Ferrer plays a role that easily could have reduced to age-pathos  or alternatively to easy kid-brutalism (e.g. the film the people who hated CITY OF GOD imagined they saw).

    Christopher Plummer, UP — Hurt to also leave out Plummer, who is having a nice late-career renaissance between this film, PARNASSUS and LAST STATION. Plummer’s also done quite a bit of voice acting lately (IIRC, Burton’s 9 and narrating THE GOSPEL OF JOHN), and ideally for this type of “Bond villain” role, he has a low, quiet but resonant voice with menace he can turn on and off.

    Paul Bettany, THE YOUNG VICTORIA — I hated Lord Melbourne. That means Bettany was awesome.

    (spoiler), ZOMBIELAND — It’s only a single-sequence cameo, and it very much relies on who he is. But it’s too funny and he’s too good — needed counterpoint, both to downplay Woody Harrelson’s “I can’t believe it” fanboy slobbering and to be taken aback by Abigail Breslin’s “who?” incredulity.

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    February 8, 2010 - Posted by | Skandies

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  • Toronto 08 — Day 8 capsules
    (”Jerichow” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Toronto 08 — Day 8 capsules

    A WOMAN IN BERLIN (Max Farberbock, Germany, 2008) — 7

    It doesn’t take a genius or a German-speaker to realize this film, which follows one woman and her neighbors for about a week during the fall of Berlin to the Soviets at the tail end of WW2, has had one word dropped from its German title. And the “Anonymous” strikes me as important (though we learn the story about this story at the end of the film, via title cards), because one of the things A WOMAN IN BERLIN is about is how shame can even follow actions done in-extremis. Nina Hoss plays the titular heroine and her performance here and in JERICHOW make her the TIFF Acting MVP. The performances in similar in their understated interiority with more than a touch of sullenness (this still actually embodies her performance quite well). Waz calls her performance in JERICHOW “wooden” (though in a complimentary way) and he’s not wrong: both roles are fundamentally about women keeping their heads down as they negotiate their status as sex commodities, which Hoss, certainly here, doesn’t play as “sexy.” It’s been a fact of war since THE ILIAD that victorious soldiers often seize or rape the defeated party’s women as a spoil of war and that women will try to avoid this via accommodations that we’d not hesitate to call whoring or concubinage in other circumstances, and is sometimes explicitly called that here. In fact, A WOMAN IN BERLIN is actually the first film in history to make me consider for a second (only a second) the radical-feminist position that all sex under patriarchy is rape as anything other than the rantings of the certifiable. But it’s more complicated than that — this film also shows that even actions taken in-extremis and under a structure of sin still objectively shape our souls. After all keep in mind, and A WOMAN IN BERLIN makes a couple of nods toward it including a dance scene, that the odious regime of East Germany will be built on the ashes that we see being created. “We have to be practical, Herr Hoch. Things will get better.” There is one scene — and all I’ll say is that it involves an apple pie — where the women of the building talk about Russian and German men in ways that I, at least, could hardly believe. The female Russian soldier that we see frankly has not a shred of sex solidarity. A WOMAN IN BERLIN is not a great film because it’s a bit too predictable and pat (though I was surprised and throat-frogged by the one suicide), though this actually may help its aim to be a LIVES OF OTHERS-type breakout German hit. (The audience I saw it with certainly liked it a lot.) It’s not as good as LIVES, but it could be a US hit; it’s certainly better than most of the more-accessible foreign films I saw and it’s more accessible than the most of the better foreign films I saw.

    GIGANTIC (Matt Asselton, USA, 2008) — 2

    When GIGANTIC was over, Missy Schwartz sitting next to me whispered words to me to the effect of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, and I whispered back to her “makes the Coen Brothers look look De Sica.” As Pauline Kael once wrote about I-forget-what, GIGANTIC’s Bizarroworld contrivances feel more like “the captions a bright teen might write under a photograph” than a script. Caption contests can be funny or sustain a three-or-four-frame comic strip, but they really can’t sustain a feature-length movie. GIGANTIC is the sort of Indiewood comedy that ultimately quirks itself to death: the protagonist is a 28-year-old single man who has wanted to adopt a Chinese baby since he was 8 (this is as close to a central throughline as GIGANTIC has); a scientist dips his sandwiches in a mayonnaise jar and drinks blue athlete-concoction out of a chemistry-class beaker; a homeless man tries to kill the protagonist three or four times without the slightest explanation; a mattress salesman, **while trying to sell to clients** uses the n-word and the m-f word in his sales pitch; a business meeting takes place at a massage parlor where the three men are lined up in a row being obviously masturbated; a family ritual involves busting pinatas painted like political dictators. There is exactly one laugh in the movie: One character says “What’s a Countach,” the other responds “it’s a Lamborghini … (pauses to think) … it’s a car.” (I have now saved you the price of admission.) Anyone who criticized Sally Hawkins’s performance in HAPPY GO-LUCKY as too *much* is invited to look at Zooey Deschanel’s collection of quirks as the girlfriend here, to repent and to come to me for absolution. Anyone who complained of Paul Dano’s performance in THERE WILL BE BLOOD as bland and diffident is invited to look at Dano here, to repent and to come to me for absolution. I am available at 3 pm Saturdays, an hour before each Mass and by appointment.

    How is a movie like this possible? There is an exchange late in the movie between Dano’s mother and Deschanel (we’re talking about a girl who casually mentions being a prostitute the first time she meets Dano). The mother assumes the sage worldly tone of girl talk on the balcony looking out on the street at sunset, which clearly indicates Author’s Message, and says that “nothing’s normal.” There was a scene in REVANCHE where the identical point is made — well, it was in German and my notes on the subtitle actually say “this is perfectly normal.” (And however the constructions look, “everything is normal” is “nothing is normal” are actually the same thought.) But the REVANCHE line was said by a prostitute as she was snorting coke, which led me to think that perhaps it was ironic, and the film played out in the way I described below. A movie as aggressively ridiculous as GIGANTIC is only possible because the very notion of normality is now suspect — it marginalizes difference and reinforces the status quo by privileging its contingent normativities, you understand. Maybe I should go see BURN AFTER READING this week and get back to something realistic and normal.

    CLOUD 9 (Andreas Dresen, Germany, 2008) — 7

    Let’s deal right away with the central “selling” fact of this movie about an adulterous liaison (see the festival guidebook, e.g.) — that it has some fairly explicit sex scenes involving characters in their 60s or 70s. Wags have already riffed off a current Canadian film and dubbed this one OLD PEOPLE FUCKING, though the couple of scenes, and they happen quite early, are not even close to hard-core, and barely soft-core IMHO. The thing is that while not deliberately disgusting a la Greenaway, the scenes are not a turn-on and so very obviously not intended to be that it was difficult for me to be offended by them. There are “good” reasons pornographers prefer young performers, but beyond that, CLOUD 9 is simply not directed as an erotic turn-on — Dresen uses a close-up heavy, Dogme-influenced style with long takes and natural light that is too matter-of-fact for the manipulations of porn. The film’s interest also extends far beyond the sex scenes — indeed, the most cynical part of me thinks that maybe the scriptwriter thought he had done his duty and could now make something interesting (OK, the sex is outta the way … let me get to the story, now). The adulterous liaison is discovered (a story like this really had no other place to go), but how it is discovered is not. Wife Ilse simply tells her boring but unsuspecting husband Werner without “having” to, simply for honesty’s sake about her and lover Karl. The scenes that follow are brilliant — worthy of Bergman’s marital quarrels in SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE. Old hurts having nothing to do with the adultery at hand (“I raised your kids,” e.g.) are dredged up, and they sting worse and maybe in part because they’re true. Ursula Werner sobs for apparently minutes on end and hits the right emotional notes through her tears in a manner worthy of Ullmann. When Ilse tells their daughter about the liaison and her plans to move in with Karl (whose acts like a little puppy), we get this perfect exchange: “What was I supposed to do, lie to him? / Exactly.” There is a reason the confessional is private. Indeed, late during the film I remember thinking to myself, “Ilse and Karl are played emotionally exactly as if they were in her 10s or 20s,” which in some ways could be the point: authenticity is the shackles of youth, to paraphrase REM. But I though why make this story, well-done though it is, about old people — and then the last plot point answered my question. Among young lovers, it would have been unbelievable; not among 70-year-olds.

    STILL WALKING (Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan, 2008) — 8

    Seeing this film one day after A CHRISTMAS TALE, I realized that I couldn’t recall seeing two films so similar to each other in such a time frame while having no obvious immediate connection, either in terms of auteurial or other-talent influence or in terms of topical subject matter. Adult children visit the grandparents, with the kids in tow for an annual memorial for the death of a sibling. And the resentments and disappointments presided over by the memory of a dead child get played out. In other words, the reverse premise of Ozu’s TOKYO STORY, and Kore-eda does frequently use Ozu-like “pillow shots” of things like factories as breathing spots between events and at the start of the 2nd day, like another director might use a fade to black. But Kore-eda frames actions in multiple planes within the image (kids playing bust the watermelon in the foreground oblivious to what’s going on at the dinner table in the background) more than I recall Ozu doing. And at an earlier screening, Kore-eda reportedly said in a Q-and-A that his family resembled more a Naruse film than an Ozu.

    But compared to the Desplechin, Kore-eda works from the better script, I think, or certainly the less-contrived one. The family in STILL WALKING puts on a better show of finding one another tolerable, keeping up appearances and social avoidances — like turning the channel when the TV mentions a dead child. All of which is frankly far more believable than the open hatreds in the Desplechin family (e.g., why would Mathieu Amalric even show up, if this is how he feels about them or they him). One example: the line “so, how did you feel when your dad died” is said by one child to another. Children, who haven’t learned the social graces and filters, can talk that way believably; adults really can’t (and Desplechin’s film is full of lines at that level of either cluelessness or unbelievable cruelty). There are occasions in STILL WALKING when adults do say that kind of thing, for example a scene in which a (notably cranky) character talks about the difficulties of arranging marriages in a set of circumstances that just happens to also be the circumstances of another couple in the room. Kore-eda’s camera and actors act more disturbed, as though propriety has been breached. And the moments of open cruelty take place outside the victim’s ear — for example, the grandmother’s explanation (“maybe the gods will punish me; so be it”) for why she invites the man whose life her dead son saved to the memorial each year. Or they take place for only the victim’s ear — like the record of “Yokohama.” In other words, bitchiness is present in STILL WALKING but not the norm or is contained in believable ways. Still, Kore-eda’s direction isn’t nearly as lively as Desplechin’s. And combined with the lack of a through-line and the one-too-many resolutions at the end, this keeps WALKING below the category of Kore-eda’s best (NOBODY KNOWS and AFTER LIFE)

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    September 16, 2008 - Posted by | Andreas Dresen, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Matt Asselton, Max Farberbock, TIFF 2008

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  • Toronto 08 — Day 9 grades
    (”Jerichow” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Toronto 08 — Day 9 grades

    CHE (Steven Soderbergh, USA/Spain, 2008) — 3
    JERICHOW (Christian Petzold, Germany, 2008) — 7
    CONTROL-ALT-DELETE (Cameron Labine, Canada, 2008) — 1
    ACHILLES AND THE TORTOISE (Takeshi Kitano, Japan, 2008) — 6
    EASY VIRTUE (Stephan Elliott, Britain, 2008) — 6

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    September 13, 2008 - Posted by | TIFF 2008

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Armond White1
The National Review / OUT



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Transit Is a Trendy Casablanca Knockoff
    (”Jerichow” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Alienated globalists, following political fashion, anticipate the death of the West.
    ...
    (Review Source)

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