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Undine – 2020 Petzold
- With Undine, German auteur Christian Petzold reteams with actors Paula Beer and Franz Rogowski from 2018’s Transit taping into fantasy and myths.
- It is set and shot in Berlin, roughly 30 years after the fall of the wall — and the film is obsessed with history repeating itself.
- A strong use of Bach by Pertzold.
- Undine (Beer) meets a man (Rogowski) in a restaurant after a fallout with her current lover. There is an aquarium, a diver, green algae…and this green pervades the rest of Petzold’s work down to the stickies in Undine’s office or the drapes in her apartment.
- This is a fable, and I adore the “architecture of form follows function” aspect Petzold implores. Time (like Transit, Phoenix) is really a subject in the film, this is about the past echoing in the present. Like Transit, and some of the work of Apichatpong Weerasethakul, this film almost seems like it could work on a loop simply repeating itself starting at random times. Undine arrives again at the coffee shop (with green tables of course) near the end.
- Petzold knows how to hold a straight fantasy drama without dramatic pauses- almost every other version of this film directed by someone else is 120 minutes, this is 91 minutes.
- Like most great auteur cinema- Undine works better as a piece in Petzold’s collection
- Recommend but not in the top 10 of 2020