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Archive for June 11th, 2010

Der Todesking (The Death King)

by on Jun.11, 2010, under Daily Review

Seven days of death. That’s what we have here. Suicide and murder, one a day, in different parts of the city with different folks for different reasons. It’s grey and bleak and not really nice to watch, although verging more on the Art film than anything else. Some of the sequences are very nicely put together and filmed to perfection, clinically, but it’s all a bit too harsh, even the slow bits are harsh… even the bits that aren’t too harsh still appear to be harsh.

This film is more of documented social evidence for decay of the mind and structure of life. It’s all interesting and many chats over a pint could be had over the reasons behind Buttgereit’s reasons for this piece, but it doesn’t really make for happy viewing. Saying all that, this film has one of my favourite all time scenes in cinema. A girl seeking her 15 minutes of fame creates a camera device on her shoulder, heads to a gig to see rock/punk band and pulls a gun, first taking shots at the band, then onto the stage shooting random people in the crowd. All the while, documenting the event with the POV recording on her shoulder. Genius.

There’s a nice moment with a bloke getting shot by a woman in the park too. All filmed very nicely.

Buttgereit takes the viewer to the extreme, but clings to the edge with a slim amount of humanity, love even, showing characters as broken beings. Is this a reflection of Germany in the 1980’s? I’m not sure. Maybe this is a recording of a social feeling, or just a viewpoint of the director. What is surprising, which keeps me coming back to Buttgereit, is the bitter reality which he captures. Credit to his low budget skills, and whist on the subject of budget, the effects are always outstanding, brutal, nasty and harsh, but ever so realistic created on a shoestring.

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