You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Places in Cities

(German and French dialogue)

Mimmi ..... Sophie Aigner Mimmi's Mother ..... Friederike Kammer Mimmi's Friend ..... Katie Eckerfeld Christoph ..... Martin Jackowski Nicolas ..... Jerome Robart Marc ..... Sebastian Charles Yves ..... Vincent Brancher Irene ..... Marie-Lou Sellem

(German and French dialogue)

Imagine the worst excesses of ’70s German cinema crossed with Chantal Ackerman, and “Places in Cities” will quickly fall into focus. Made for pubcaster ZDF’s telemovie strand, this relentlessly minimalist study of a pregnant teen’s emotional dysfunction may find a few admirers among unreconstructed fans of old-style Teuton arthouse fare but, as at its Croisette preem, will send most auds dashing for the exit. The choice of this joyless snoozer as the only 100% German pic at Cannes raises major questions about its selectors’ attitudes toward German cinema and its current, vibrant reinvention.

Mimmi (Sophie Aigner), a 19-year-old Berliner about to take her final school exams, doesn’t get on with her mom (Friederike Kammer) and has a cool relationship with her b.f. (Martin Jackowski). One day, the parents of her only real friend (Katie Eckerfeld) are hurt in a car crash, which adds even more angst to her plate.

On a school trip to Paris, she sleeps with a guy and later finds she’s pregnant, prompting a return to France, further mooning around and no clear resolution to her situation.

On the plus side, Schanelec, whose graduation pic, “My Sister’s Good Fortune, ” toured some fests in 1995-96, brings a geometrical visual style to the movie that’s almost architectural in its compositions and cityscapes. Unfortunately, the same rigidity affects her characters, who spend long stretches staring into space, seem unable to hold normal conversations and throw out no emotional lifelines for the viewer. Several sequences, including Mimmi’s lying motionless in bed or dancing with her girlfriend by a pool, are pure film-school mannerisms taken to the max. Tech credits are pro; aside from Kammer as the mom, perfs are suitably lifeless.

Places in Cities


Production: A Schramm Film production, in association with ZDF. (International sales: ZDF Enterprises, Mainz, Germany.) Executive producer (ZDF), Sibylle Hubatschek-Rahn. Directed, written by Angela Schanelec.

Crew: Camera (color), Reinhold Vorschneider; editors, Schanelec, Bettina Boehler; music, none; art director, Kade Gruber; costumes, Anette Guther; sound, Martin Ehlers, Martin Steyer; assistant directors, Frederic Moriette, Jean-Marc Benguigui. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard), May 22, 1998. Running time: 120 MIN.

With: Mimmi ..... Sophie Aigner Mimmi's Mother ..... Friederike Kammer Mimmi's Friend ..... Katie Eckerfeld Christoph ..... Martin Jackowski Nicolas ..... Jerome Robart Marc ..... Sebastian Charles Yves ..... Vincent Brancher Irene ..... Marie-Lou Sellem

More Film

  • Kalank

    Film Review: ‘Kalank’

    Events leading to the 1947 Partition of India serve as the forebodingly serious backdrop for the exhaustingly overextended razzmatazz of “Kalank,” writer-director Abhishek Varman’s lavish but ponderous Bollywood extravaganza, which opened in the U.S. on more than 300 screens the same day as its Indian release. Despite the preponderance of sets and costumes spectacular enough [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA: 92 Percent of Writers Who Signed Statement of Support Have Fired Agents

    The Writers Guild of America estimated that over 92 percent of their members who support a new code of conduct for talent agencies have fired those representatives. Letters announcing formal termination will be delivered on Monday, the guild said in a late-hitting memo on Thursday, as most agencies will be closed tomorrow in observance of [...]

  • Jimmie Fails Signs With CAA

    'Last Black Man in San Francisco' Star Jimmie Fails Signs With CAA

    Jimmie Fails, co-writer and star of “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” has signed with CAA for representation. The drama, inspired by Fails’ own life, had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. In his review for Variety, chief film critic Peter Debruge described the film as “a gorgeous and touchingly idealistic [...]

  • Stuck

    Film Review: 'Stuck'

    A stalled New York City subway carriage serves as a toe-tapping musical Petri dish for six socioeconomically diverse souls in the unique stage-to-screen musical adaptation “Stuck.” Sharing a stylistic template with its 2016 left-coast cousin “La La Land” (which it predated Off-Broadway by a good four years), the film’s 2017 copyright suggests a missed opportunity [...]

  • Gay Chorus Deep South

    Why Airbnb Produced Documentary 'Gay Chorus Deep South,' Its First-Ever Film (EXCLUSIVE)

    The latest player to hit the film-festival circuit may be a bit unexpected: Airbnb, the travel-accommodations booking marketplace, developed, financed and produced documentary film “Gay Chorus Deep South,” set to premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival on April 29. It’s the company’s very first feature film. Directed by David Charles Rodrigues, “Gay Chorus Deep [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content