Review: ‘Marseille’

Existential cinema is done no favors by "Marseille," the most pretentious film-reverie yet from Germany's poetess of emptiness, Angela Schanelec . Perverse, frequently baffling "story" about a German woman mooning around in southern France and Berlin has zero commercial potential outside the fest circuit that created the writer-director's career.

Existential cinema is done no favors by “Marseille,” the most maddeningly pretentious film-reverie yet from Germany’s poetess of emptiness, Angela Schanelec (“Places in the City”). Perverse, frequently baffling “story” about a German woman mooning around in southern France and Berlin has zero commercial potential outside the fest circuit that created the writer-director’s career, and even then will appeal to card-carrying fans only.

Visiting Marseille on an apartment exchange, young photographer Sophie (Maren Eggert) falls for a garage mechanic, Pierre (Alexis Loret). Back in Berlin, where she secretly loves Ivan (Devid Striesow), husband of best friend Hanna (Marie-Lou Sellem), Sophie feels shut out. So she travels back to Marseille, where she’s mugged in the street. Shot in fixed takes of varying length, sliver of a plot is strung out with soulless, taciturn conversations, sequences of silence and cityscapes, and a perverse refusal to engage the audience’s sympathy or interest. Technically, pic is fine, with sharp lensing by Reinhold Vorschneider.

Marseille

Un Certain Regard / Germany

Production

A Peripher Filmverleih release of a Schramm Film Koerner & Weber production in association with ZDF/Arte with participation of Neon Prods. (International sales: Schramm, Berlin.) Executive producers, Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Michael Weber. Directed, written by Angela Schanelec.

Crew

Camera (color), Reinhold Vorschneider; editor, Bettina Boehler; art director, Ulrika Andersson, Felicity Good; costumes, Anette Guther. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard), May 18, 2004. German, French dialogue. Running time: 95 MIN.

With

Maren Eggert, Emily Atef, Alexis Loret, Marie-Lou Sellem, Louis Schanelec, Devid Striesow, Wolfgang Michael, Friederike Kammer, Juergen Gosch, Christian Mazzuchini.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading