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'Ingeborg Bachmann – A Journey into the Desert' review: Vicky Krieps shines in Margarethe von Trotta's lackluster literary biopic

Margarethe von Trotta, one of Germany’s most outstanding female directors since the 1970 von Trotta) is no stranger to stories about women who, like her, challenge convention in often male-dominated settings.

Whether portraying the revolutionary socialist (Rosa Luxemburg), the seminal philosopher (Hannah Arendt ) or the medieval nun, composer and botanist (Vision), many of von Trotta’s best films feature protagonists who refuse to bow to gender Carried and social norms.

Ingeborg Bachmann – Desert Tour

Bottom Line Inert drama driven by a great actress.

Place: Berlin Film Festival ( competition)
Throwing: Vicky Krieps, Ronald Zehrfeld, Tobias Resch, Basil Eidenbenz
Director and screenwriter: Margarethe von Trotta

1 hour51 minute

This was the case with the famous Austrian poet and writer Ingeborg Bachmann, who rebelled against her time and ultimately paid for it, in died young at the age of 18. Played by the glamorous Vicky Krieps, she is at the center of this beautifully bound but rather bland period work, which chronicles Bachmann’s relationship with the Swiss playwright Max Frisch. ) of a doomed and stubborn romance, and her trip to the desert to forget love and maybe find herself again.

Screened at the main competition in Berlin, 1970 year old von Trotta’s th feature should easily appeal to local art galleries, especially those catering to an older audience. But neither Bachmann nor Frisch are household names outside the German-speaking world, which may make such a tasteful but dull affair a harder sell abroad.

Before her death, the film uses a flashback structure to tell two major events in the author’s life. One sees her traveling to an unnamed Middle Eastern country to get some fresh air and overcome the depression of a monumental breakup, accompanied by young writer and filmmaker Adolf Opel (Tobias Resch) , which made her life worse than death.

Another desert sequence interlaced with all the grace that reveals Bachmann’s tumultuous five-year romance with Frisch (Ronald Zehrfeld) – a romance that began charmingly but ended Sometimes it’s like the wars of the roses of the upper-class intellectuals , with the duo in all sorts of coveted Swiss or Italian decor (courtesy of Su Erdt) and the most chic costumes (courtesy of Courtesy of Uli Simon).

The film is refined and tasteful, not to mention the quote-marked lines and dialogue, which often feel dull. That’s always been a pitfall of biopics about famous authors — there’s nothing more boring than watching a writer write — but what’s equally problematic is that the Bachmann-Frisch story seems doomed from the get-go, Their personalities are so incompatible.

When they first met, Bachmann, already a respected poet, was attracted by Frisch’s text and literature after one of his plays was performed in Paris. Attracted by confidence, and into his arms. But after a brief honeymoon, Frisch revealed himself as bored: All he seemed to want was for Bachmann to settle in his impeccably designed Zurich residence and sit there, tapping away at his keyboard while hammering out new material. So loud that Bachmann couldn’t concentrate on her own work.

Of course, this doesn’t fly with the poetess, she flies to Rome for a break and then reconnects with Hans Werner Henze (Basil Eidenbenz), who seems to have had an on and off relationship with a composer relation. However, Bachmann couldn’t help but return to the jealous and callous Frisch, doing her best to make things work. She really fell in love with this man, and for all his flaws, she also fell in love with her writing, and putting two famous authors in the same small house became a recipe for disaster.

Trying to set up the drama is no easy feat, and while von Trotta gets some traction from the flashback structure, not to mention the great acting and setting, there’s still not enough energy for her movie lifelike. While the desert framing rig gives us captivating visuals, Bachmann’s affair with a young Opel leads to a grand conclusion that’s supposed to involve the author’s own sexual liberation, but feels exotic Orientalism.

Ingeborg Bachmann’s saving grace is Krieps, who not only effortlessly hops between countries and continents as her character Switching between German, French and Italian makes her constant inner turmoil feel both real and painful. “You’re going to make me unhappy, but I’ll take the risk,” Bachmann told Frisch on their first date, and she sums up her feelings about the romance at the end of the film by saying, “Fascism is The first element of a relationship between a man and a woman.”

Not one to take things lightly, be it love or literature, Cripps paints Bachmann as someone who constantly yearns for the better, even as she It seemed like deep down I knew it would never come. As a portrait of an emancipated woman succeeding in a very masculine world of writers—a sentiment echoed in the scene where Bachmann addresses a roomful of grim, tuxedo-clad gentlemen—von Trotta’s The movie is of course pessimistic, especially about the toll the personal takes on the professional and vice versa. But Krieps managed to give it some hope.

Full credits 80

Venue: Berlin Film Festival (Competition)80 Production companies: tellfilm, Amour Four Vienna Heimatfilm, Amour Fou Luxembourg
Cast: Vicky Krieps, Ronald Zehrfeld, Tobias Resch, Basil Eidenbenz

Director, Screenwriter: Margarethe von Trotta Producer People: Katrin Renz, Bady Minck, Bettina Brokemper, Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu Director of Photography: Martin Gschlacht Production Designer: Su Erdt

Costume Design: Uli Simon Editing: Hansjörg Weissbrich Composer: André Mergenthaler Casting Director: Simone Bär, Lisa Olàh Sales: Match Factory
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