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Planet Alex

Sci-fi fans may get into "Planet Alex," an apocalyptic tale set around Berlin's Alexanderplatz, where a strange figure from another world has come to save the city from imminent destruction. The convoluted plot is not very important compared with pic's fast-paced MTV look and hip young characters out of a modern-art comicbook.

With:
Marusha - Asaki Anna - Marie Zielcke

Sci-fi fans may get into “Planet Alex,” an apocalyptic tale set around Berlin’s Alexanderplatz, where a strange figure from another world has come to save the city from imminent destruction. The convoluted plot is not very important compared with pic’s fast-paced MTV look and hip young characters out of a modern-art comicbook. Not much of a festival item, this lightweight pic has a universal-now look targeted at young auds in multiplexes. Its one-line dialogue could easily be dubbed with no artistic loss.

Joker is a cool guy whose buddy recently got run over by a train in the subway. Joker’s memory has blanked out regarding the accident, and several people insinuate he pushed his pal and stole a case full of dope.

He meets Anna, a cute out-of-towner who wants to have fun, but there are too many ruthless Hungarian coke dealers after him, and all they have time for is a few drugs, a disco and a tumble in bed.

The mysterious Asaki (singer Marusha, whose music is heard in the film) has pinpointed Joker as her contact to save Berlin, but he doesn’t remember that, either. Meanwhile, the planets are lining up over the city in a once-in-a-lifetime cosmic stampede that bodes no good. A goofy character named Eric is in tune with the planetary energies, but he lets Asaki down, too.

Cinematographer Alex Fischerkoesen creates a shiny, unfamiliar universe out of the city, with its walls of reflecting glass and soaring TV tower. The expensive-looking film was shot on DV and blown up to 35mm, a perfect choice for the futuristic story. Music, credited to Jacki Engelken and Ulrik Spies, gives pic a cool but mellow city sound.

Planet Alex

Germany

Production: A De.Flex-Film production in association with ZDF. (International sales: De.Flex-Film, Berlin.) Produced by Milanka Comfort. Directed by Uli M. Schuppel. Screenplay, Charlotte Wetzel, Schuppel.

Crew: Camera (color), Alexander Fischerkoesen; editor, Elena Bromund; music, Jacki Engelken, Ulrik Spies; production designer, Donia Hamdami. Reviewed at Rotterdam Film Festival (competing), Jan. 27, 2001. Running time: 102 MIN.

With: Marusha - Asaki Anna - Marie ZielckeWith: Nadeshda Brennicke, Baki Davrak, Ben Becker.

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