UNDINE ★★★ ½
91 minutes, ranked M, ACMI (Melbourne) and Golden Age (Sydney)
The opening scene of Christian Petzold Undine it’s extra like the tip of a narrative than the start. A pair is sitting at a espresso desk in a courtyard: a younger girl (Paula Beer) with wavy pink hair, and a barely older man (Jacob Matschenz).
Relatively, we put our pillows on maintain: it is a break-up scene, the place the man, Johannes, has to confess to his girlfriend Undine that he has discovered one other one. Nothing could possibly be extra bizarre till she responds with an ultimatum: “In the event you depart me, you need to kill me.”
We really feel that she will not be kidding, nor does she communicate solely metaphorically. However what precisely occurs? Is she a psychopath? Did we undergo a spy thriller? Or if there may be one other chance, what may or not it’s?
There’s a lot to say about stepping into Undine figuring out nothing, not even the premise. Particularly not the premise, since you may get nearly to the tip of this pretty brief movie with out having the slightest concept of what’s actually happening, even when every part proceeds within the calm, lucid manner you’d anticipate from Petzold, a prime gentle of present German cinema.
Equally typical of Petzold is the cleanliness of the design, constructed round recurring motifs: prepare journeys, for instance, or Bach’s piano piece punctuating the soundtrack, or the full of life and guaranteed however considerably unstable manner of the heroine of march for Berlin as we speak.
Undine by career is an structure scholar, giving talks to visiting grownup teams on the altering face of the town. Right here he makes use of each maps and three-dimensional fashions with empty faces – and we’re led to really feel that the movie, in its enigmatic readability, is similar to an indication mannequin of this sort.