André Erkau's debut feature film "Selbstgespräche" is based on his own experiences of working in a call-center, in order to finance his studies. It is a small film, but it is worth to see it on a big screen. It was co-produced by the German TV network ZDF, so chances were good from the start that it would be shown on TV. The date now is Sunday, August 16, 2009 at 23:30.
Max-Ophüls-Award 2008 for the film and the Max-Ophüls-Film Score Award for Joachim Dürbeck & Rene Dohmen
The characters do telephone marketing in a call-center, this time it is in Cologne, so the people in this film talk a lot, actually they talk all the time, but they have forgotten how to speak with each other. There is Richard Harms, the team leader who is full of empty phrases, who isn't able to talk with his wife, instead of just talking to her. There is Adrain Becher, who can schmooze everyone into buying everything he is trying to sell over the phone, but in the life outside the call center he isn't able to say anthing - until the new colleague Sascha coaches him in how to contact Gebriele Deutschmann, one of his female customers, after business hours. There is Marie Bremer, trained architect and single mother, who uses her phone-line to apply for better jobs, and fights the father of her son. And there is Sascha Wegemann, young and handsome, who dreams of becoming the host of a TV-show, but in reality works there as a handy man, and fails terribly when he finally gets a chance for a job in front of the cameras. He considers working in a call-center is making easy money, but pretty fast learns that the reality is harsh. His girlfriend Astrid gets pregnant, but he can't make the decision to commit to a family life.
And then there is the Sword of Damocles hanging over their heads: They have to raise their sales rate by five percent within four weeks or else their office will be closed.
These characters are like hamsters in a treadmill, confined to small cubicles in a large office hanging on the phone cord like itis their live wire. We know such people working their behinds off to make a living, and so forgetting how to live. The director shows great sympathy for them, none of them is really bad or only good, they all have their moments. They are caught in a web of dreams and promises, and you can't help but wish them all the possible best.
Acting is great, lifelike, only the dialog is sometimes wooden. But on the other hand: Who really speaks in printable sentences? Also, the colour scheme for the characters is way too obvious in my opinion – or who has seen in one office someone who sticks to the bluish tones only, another one to the brownish tones, and another to the greyish ones? But perhaps this effect was wanted by director and designer.
One other thing: It wouldn't have been necessary to have a string of such close close-ups of guest-starring singer Chris Norman (back in the 70ies front man of UK pop band Smokie), still a great voice, but his looks have paid tribute to the years.
Watching the film is definitely not a waste of time, especially on a rainy afternoon (as it was both times when I saw it in summer 2008), and if you want to hear how someone whose native language is Bavarian (Sascha aka Maximilian Brückner) successfully deals with accentless German. And you learn a lot about life and surviving it in current Germany.
- Website in English of production company Geißendörffer Film- & Fernsehproduktion for "Soliloquies" with information about the film, its production and awards and photos from filming
- Official German website: "Selbstgespräche - Wir müssen reden" with more photos, the trailer and links
Stills photographers: Thomas Kost & Tom Trambow
Backgrund image and movie stills kindly provided by DVD release company EuroVideo
|Page created on
26, 2009 by EFi
gesucht wird : Maximilian Brückner