Review: ‘Dancing With Myself’

Billy Idol's got nothing to do with "Dancing With Myself," docu profile of three very different Berliners who rely on movement to deliver them from the annoyances of daily existence. This measured yet downbeat pic will waltz at fests before boogying straight to the tube.

Billy Idol’s got nothing to do with “Dancing With Myself,” docu profile of three very different Berliners who rely on movement to deliver them from the annoyances of daily existence. A more dignified and pensive stylistic offshoot of Nicholas Barker’s 1997 hybrid dramatic docu “Unmade Beds,” this measured yet downbeat pic will waltz at fests before boogying straight to the tube.

Inspired by “Zorba the Greek,” 62-year-old Reinhard Borutta attends self-help dance seminars and grapples with depression. Eighteen-year-old social misfit Laurin Wiese cruises dubious clubs hoping to attract a mate. Mario Soenke, 38, who lives with his mother, takes the Tony Manero route of mannered calisthenics to forget his chaotic life. Helmers Judith Keil and Antje Kruska, both assistant editors on Andres Veiel’s thesping docu “Addicted to Acting,” apply similar narrative intimacy to real-life subjects, which deepens the auds’ connection to them. Stripped of Barker’s fierce irony, however, the relentless struggle to keep sadness at bay becomes less inspiring than wearying. Pic was the opening feature at the Berlin fest’s Perspektive Deutsches Kino program, winning the runner-up award in French-sponsored Dialogue en Perspective competish. No German title is given.

Dancing With Myself

Germany

Production

A Timebandits films release (in Germany) of an Egoli Tossell Film production. Produced by Jens Meurer. Directed, written by Judith Keil, Antje Kruska.

Crew

Camera (color), Marcus Winterbauer; editor, Inge Schneider. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Perspektive Deutsches Kino), Feb. 11, 2005. Running time: 96 MIN.
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