Two kids from the projects kill without apparent reason in novice helmer-scripter Niels Laupert's skilled but unprobing graduation feature, "Seven Days Sunday."

Two kids from the projects kill without apparent reason in novice helmer-scripter Niels Laupert’s skilled but unprobing graduation feature, “Seven Days Sunday.” Based on a true story, pic falls back on the tired formula of repressed homoerotic desire to explain why a couple wastrels take a life, though the psychopathic nature of one and the impressionability of the other are more decisive factors. Nicely textured visuals hold interest when limited characterizations threaten to oversimplify the disturbing drama. Though offshore prospects are slim, Laupert shows signs of a future talent.

A Leipzig housing estate’s concrete wastes are the limiting playground for Adam (Ludwig Trepte) and Tommek (Martin Kiefer). Latter is the bad boy, too obviously signaled with shots of him sniffing glue and pissing on a church wall. Sara (Jil Funke) has the hots for Adam, but his innate shyness and palpable crush on Tommek prevent him from acting on her advances. Tensions come to a head after a drunken party, when Adam announces they should kill someone. Laupert tacks on unnecessary interviews with the real killers, but otherwise maintains an unsettling, detached eye, helped by Christoph Dammast’s saturated lensing.

Seven Days Sunday

Germany

Production

A Bartl Laupert Dierbach Filmproduktion production, in association with ARRI Film & TV Services. Produced by Thomas Bartl, Alexander Dierbach, Niels Laupert. Directed, written by Niels Laupert.

Crew

Camera (color, HD-to-Super 35, Super 35, widescreen), Christoph Dammast; editor, Hansjoerg Weissbrich; music, Michael Heilrath; production designer, Matthias Friedrich; costume designer, Christian Roehrs. Reviewed at Rotterdam Film Festival (Sturm und Drang), Jan. 30, 2008. (Also in Munich Film Festival.) Original title: Sieben tage Sonntag. German, Polish dialogue. Running time: 80 MIN.

With

Ludwig Trepte, Martin Kiefer, Jil Funke, Karin Baal, Antonio Wannek, Jennifer Ulrich, Lenn Kudrjawizki, Ludwig Zimmeck, Andreas Schmidt-Schaller, Grit Stephan, Mathias Engel, Martin Richter, Thomas Bieberstein.

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