Review: ‘Secret of Love’

Lydia Adriana Altaras Sarah Idil Uener Walter (Vogelweide) Johannes Herrschmann Karlheinz Wolfgang Boehmer Anita Christiane Radlach Man With Cross Marquard Bohm

Lydia Adriana Altaras Sarah Idil Uener Walter (Vogelweide) Johannes Herrschmann Karlheinz Wolfgang Boehmer Anita Christiane Radlach Man With Cross Marquard Bohm

“The Secret” is another laconic, anti-sensational Rudolf Thome pic that could have been made in the ’70s (and would have had better chances then). This is strictly arthouse fare for the faithful, with its homemovie look better suited to the director’s immediate friends and family.

Part four in Thome’s “Forms of Love” cycle, the story concerns four friends who form couples and spend time in the country making spaghetti and trying to start the car. Soon after, one of the women, Lydia (Adriana Altaras), is visited by a stranger who claims to be Jesus Christ and wishes to share with her the secret of the universel love.

After impregnating her, J.C. dies in her bed, then disappears completely, leaving her and her friends to wonder whether it all really happened.

As with all Thome films (including “The Philosopher” and “The Microscope”), “modest” is the word that springs to mind. The story presents issues (love and belief) but doesn’t bother to explore them. Performances are (perhaps intentionally) amateurish, dialogue is wooden, and the characters seem to be right out of Thome’s Berlin of the ’70s, where communes, free love and harmony (meaning, in this case, a tedious absence of conflict) are taken for granted.

Interiors look underlit and the camera work is clumsy and simplistic. There is, however, a good, melancholy jazz score by Uli Beckerhoff.

Secret of Love

(GERMAN)

Production

A Filmverlagder Autoren release (in Germany) of a Moana production. Produced , directed, written by Rudolf Thome, Additional dialogue, Peter Lund,

Crew

Camera (color), Reinhold Vorschneider; editor, Bernd Euscher; music, Uli Beckerhoff; costume design, Maria Speth; sound, Klaus Heidemann; line producer, Brigit Mulders. Reviewed at Olympia Theater, Berlin, July 24, 1995. (In Taormina Film Festival.) Running time: 77 MIN.
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