Review: ‘The Sandman’

One of the best films made in Germany last year, "The Sandman" was sent to the bigscreen after airing on the small one and receiving high critical praise. The portrait of an ambitious young journalist who finds herself used by an author she suspects may be a serial killer, this fest-worthy pic also has chances for video, TV and specialty screenings.

One of the best films made in Germany last year, “The Sandman” was sent to the bigscreen after airing on the small one and receiving high critical praise. The portrait of an ambitious young journalist who finds herself used by an author she suspects may be a serial killer, this fest-worthy pic also has chances for video, TV and specialty screenings.

Alleged murderer-cum-author Henry Kupfer (Goetz George) is released from prison, and a series of prostitute murders starts again. Kupfer’s next book happens to be about a prostitute killer, and young TV reporter Ina Littmann (Karoline Eichhorn), who begins to suspect Kupfer might be behind the murders, starts to assemble evidence. Only when she confronts Kupfer with this on TV does she learn the truth.

Performances are all superb. Eichhorn is convincing as a young, hard-nosed yet feminine reporter driven by ambition but trying to fulfill her moral responsibility at the same time. Pic’s real treat, however, is veteran George (“The Deathmaker”) as Kupfer, a role that’s at once completely attractive and completely frightening.

Tom Faehrmann’s camera adds a gloss to the entire production, which is sharp. Script by TV pro Matthias Seelig is concise and fast, and direction by Nico Hofmann is precise.

The Sandman

(GERMAN)

Production

A Westdeutsche Universum-Film production, in association with RTL 2. (International sales: UFA Film & Fernseh, Hamburg.) Produced by Norbert Sauer. Directed by Nico Hofmann. Screenplay, Matthias Seelig.

Crew

Camera (color), Tom Faehrmann; editor, Inge Behrens; music, Nick Glowna; production design, Thomas Freudenthal; costume design, Christina Schnell; sound, Jochen Schwarzat; line producer, Frank Huwe; assistant director, Stuart Kummer. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (New German Cinema), Feb. 17, 1996. Running time: 88 MIN.

With

Henry Kupfer ... Goetz George Ina Littmann ... Karoline Eichhorn Sabina Amman ... Barbara Rudnik Volker Lommel ... Martin Armknecht
With: Michael Brandner, Ilka Teichmueller, Rudolf Kowalski, Juergen Hentsch.
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