Winter Sleepers

Rebecca and Marco on a bed

In 1997’s Winter Sleepers (Winterschläfer) German director Tom Tykwer warms up the engines for his breakthrough hit, 1998’s Run Lola Run. There are fewer tricks here, not as much visual pizzazz, the fourth wall remains unbroken, and yet Tykwer is clearly up to something as he spins out a tale of two different couples, one whose relationship is in the hot flush of urgent sexual need, while the other two at the outset don’t know each other at all. On the one hand a blond pair who seem bright and charming and a dark pair whose standoffishness looks like it might be dooming them to a life at one remove from the action. … Read more

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Karoline Herfurth and Ben Whishaw in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Having wandered off up arthouse avenue in recent years, with The Princess and the Warrior and Heaven, director Tom Tykwer delivers his most accessible film since Run Lola Run. It’s an adaptation of Patrick Süskind’s runaway best-seller about an 18th century peasant with an incredible olfactory talent and the trouble that that gets him into. The feted Ben Whishaw gives it plenty of Norman Wisdom/Lee Evans gaucheness in the lead, as the lad whose almost Asperger’s talent for one single thing, and a commensurate lack of social skills, drives him on a giddy flight to the dark side. And the supporting cast is notable, sumptuous even. Dustin Hoffman does an entirely inappropriate panto … Read more

Run Lola Run

Franka Potente in Run Lola Run

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 9 November Schicksaltag, Germany In Germany 9 November has in recent years become known as Schicksaltag (the Fateful Day), a day which has been on five separate occasions the turning point for the country. The string of seeming coincidences was first noted after the Second World War but Schicksaltag as a concept really picked up momentum after 1989. In 1848, with the execution of poet and democrat Robert Blum on this day, the 1848 Revolutions were seen to come to an abortive end. In 1918, Kaiser Wilhelm II was deposed as head of state, bringing to an end the notion of … Read more