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Lost Killers

In "Lost Killers," an informal quintet of lovable losers pursue dubious schemes to improve their lives as illegal immigrants in Mannheim, Germany. Sly, off-kilter humor balances the essential tawdriness of prostitution, drug dealing and contract killing, resulting in a strikingly shot and surprisingly amusing slice of life. Georgian helmer Dito Tsintsadze's modest ode to joy in unlikely places is a nice bet for fests as well as a showcase for its multicultural cast.

With:
Lan..... Nicole Seelig Branko ..... Misel Maticevic Merab..... Lasha Bakradze Carlos.....Elie James Blezes Maria.....Franca Kastein Ferreira Alves

In “Lost Killers,” an informal quintet of lovable losers pursue dubious schemes to improve their lives as illegal immigrants in Mannheim, Germany. Sly, off-kilter humor balances the essential tawdriness of prostitution, drug dealing and contract killing, resulting in a strikingly shot and surprisingly amusing slice of life. Georgian helmer Dito Tsintsadze’s modest ode to joy in unlikely places is a nice bet for fests as well as a showcase for its multicultural cast.

A Vietnamese prostitute whose rotten teeth impede her marketability and who has the professional liability of sinking into a coma-like trance after orgasm when she does land a client, Lan (Nicole Seelig) meets hulking Haitian Carlos (Elie James Blezes). An unlikely romance evolves as Carlos plans to sell one of his kidneys for the cash to emigrate to Australia.

Novice hit men Branko (Misel Maticevic) and Merab (Lasha Bakradze) bumble and dawdle over carrying out an assignment to murder a businessman. Nebbishy Merab doesn’t have the stomach for killing and bores his acquaintances with impromptu lectures about the customs and culture of his native Georgia when he’s not vomiting.

Croatian Branko’s cadaverous old mother should have died years ago but keeps responding to Merab’s Georgian toasts to health and longevity. Branko’s Portuguese girlfriend, Maria (Franca Kastein Ferreira Alves), serves as bait for the doomed mark, with unforeseen results.

From its appealing guitar-based score to its casual concern with the practical aspects of a comfortably run gang bang, pic makes a case for a semblance of love and solidarity in the midst of alcohol-soaked quasi-desperate straits. Thesps are distinctive and endearing.

Lost Killers

(GERMANY)

Production: A Home Run Pictures, Rommel Film co-production with backing from MFG Baden-Wurttemberg, BKM, Filmboard Berlin-Brandenberg and support from ZDF/Arte. (International sales: Christa Saredi, Zurich.) Produced by Peter Rommel. Executive producer, Monika Kintner. Directed, written by Dito Tsintsadze. Camera (color), Benedict Neuenfels; editor, Stephan Krumbiegel; music, Dito Tsintsadze & Mirian, Udo Schobel, Adrian Sherwood, Skip McDonald; production designer, Thilo Mengler; costume designer, Bettina Marx; sound (Dolby), Angelo d'Angelico; assistant director, Annette Stefan; casting, Stefanie Larson. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard), May 17, 2000. Running time: 97 MIN.

With: Lan..... Nicole Seelig Branko ..... Misel Maticevic Merab..... Lasha Bakradze Carlos.....Elie James Blezes Maria.....Franca Kastein Ferreira Alves

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