REQUIEM FOR A ROMANTIC WOMAN.
(HISTORICAL DRAMA - GERMAN)
A TiMe release (in Germany) of a Dagmar Knoepfel Filmproduktion production, in association with HR, BR, WDR, Arte, Das Werk, Cinecam. (International sales: Media Luna, Cologne.)
Produced, directed, written by Dagmar Knoepfel, based on original letters and a treatment by Hans Magnus Enzensberger. Camera (Fujicolor), Igor Luther; editor, Edith Eisenstecken; music, Joschi Schumann; art director, Silke Buhr; costume designer, Birgitta Lohrer. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 19, 1999. Original title: Requiem fuer eine romantische Frau. Running time: 100 MIN.
With: Janina Sachau, Sylvester Groth, Jeanette Hain, Felix von Manteuffel, Edgar Selge, Anian Zollner, Michael Koenig, Jan Gregor Kremp, Max Urlacher, Renee Dumont.
Literary in bent, modern-day in its sexual dynamics, "Requiem for a Romantic Woman" is a controlled, modest costumer that's best suited to cultural webs. Based on the true story of a scandalous love between a poet and a teen girl, this sophomore feature by writer-director Dagmar Knoepfel strongly recalls her earlier B&W feature, "Brigitta" (1994), in its poise, observance of social manners and uncommercial approach.
Clemens Brentano (Sylvester Groth) falls for Auguste Bussmann (Janina Sachau), the impulsive 17-year-old daughter of a Frankfurt banker. Cut off by her rich dad, Auguste marries Clemens, who decides to live a "poetic existence." He soon tires of her uninhibited ways, lusty demands and lack of social graces, but finds he can't live without her, either. She, determined to live life like a romantic heroine, makes several attempts at suicide and slowly goes nuts. Partly infuriating, partly compelling, pic is buoyed by an all-out performance from Sachau as the sensual, childlike Auguste. Lensing plays down warmer colors in favor of a cold ocher tone, and the score is classical and chamber-like, befitting the dramatic restraint. Jeanette Hain provides solid support as Clemens' sister Bettine.
FILM REVIEW INDEX The Accident 79 Big Dadd 76 Bingo: The Documentary 79 The Creator 77 Hand of Fate 79 Havana Quartet 79 Heart 76 Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade 80 The Journey to Paris 80 Lisbon 79 MuMu 78 Requiem for a Romantic Woman 80 Say You'll Be Mine 78 The Sex Monster 80 Shadow Boxers 78 Tamaro: Stones and Angels. Mario Botta and Enzo Cucchi 78 Spank! 77 Watani: A World Without Evil 77 Wiped-Out Footprints 79