Archive for March 24, 2018

An Earful of Rain

Posted in FILM with tags , , on March 24, 2018 by dcairns

So I should soon be finished my side-job of watching movies for the Edinburgh International Film Festival, which seems to have been even more exhausting than usual. I might not do it again, even though the money is always nice. I’ve been wanting to binge on Dominik Graf krimi TV and I can’t because I have to binge on NEW STUFF. But after Monday that should be winding down.

I did watch Graf’s The Invisible Girl — Das Unsichtbare Madchen, a 2011 Graf TV movie which boasts a typically twisty and dark plot involving police AND political corruption, murder, and child prostitution. The hero is a copper under a cloud, previously accused of sleeping with an underaged witness, and while the script makes his innocence incontestably clear, Graf’s montage (oh, the story is set in the town of Eisenstein) keeps implying that he’s fighting paedophile urges the whole time. The film also features imagery of the child sex-slaves that would NEVER be allowed in British or US TV, or so I’d think.

(It’s not gratuitous: again, it points up the hero’s weakness — but the question is, is such imagery justifiable even with a good dramatic reason? In the UK, in the current climate, most would say not.)

If you can overlook that — and it does give me pause — the film is compelling and nervy, with restless pans to create tension (nobody else seems to do this like Graf) and odd moments that might be references to the famous filmmaker who shares a name with the setting — a crash zoom on a stuffed fox head during a sex scene is pretty peculiar. It doesn’t feel quite like an homage to the stone lions of POTEMKIN or the peacock automaton of OCTOBER, but who am I to say?

A grisly detail — the inciting incident is the discovery of a corpse in a rainstorm (and the person who finds her is the cop hero, which is the kind of nonsense I’ll only forgive because it’s Graf). The dead woman’s ear is full of rainwater. I think that kidney-shaped pool in her ear-well is probably the loneliest body of water ever photographed for German television.