Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Film Review: Auf der Strecke [On the Line]

A Short Story in Film:
30 Minutes of a Gripping Tale

by Eric Green

Rolf is a Swiss born security guard in a German department story that become totally involved with Sarah the book seller at the store. The problem she doesn't know it. He just follows her on the security cameras.

He takes care of theft at the store with a gentler touch than his colleague and seems generally not very happy with his job. He is often distracted by Sarah and he actually becomes her stalker.

He sees "arranges" to see her, he knows when she leaves the store and makes sure that he gets on the same metro. He is hopeful on the next "rendezvous" on the after work Metro train, but she enters the train with another guy. What comes after that is a quick turn of events that have you glued to the screen?

Philippe Zweifel has done an excellent screenplay and Reto Caffi as his collaborator and also the film's director.

Roeland Wiesnekker plays Rolf. He has a familiar face, but looking at his many film credits, none appear to be films released in the U.S. And, Catherine Janke plays Sarah. She seems to be new actor. Both Wiesnekker and Janke do excellent jobs in portraying this unlikely couple.

The film is 30 minutes, which qualified it for a "Short Live Action Film" category at the Academy Awards. And, in fact it was nominated. While it didn't win, it probably joins all of the other short films in the unfortunate world of not being seeing in major distribution areas.

This prestigious Oscar nomination is the climax in the impressive life of the short film "Auf der Strecke". It has been honored with 50 awards, including the Swiss Film Prize 2008 (Quartz for Best Short Film), the Grand Prix 2008 at the International Short Film Festival in Clermont-Ferrand, the Lutin 2008 Best European Short Film [A French Award] and the Student Oscar (Honorary Foreign Film Student Award).

The 37 year-old director Reto Caffi is a graduate of the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne, Germany, [A university based academy] which produced the film with co-producers Blush Films [Zurich] and Swiss Television. This was Caffi's graduation film.

If your interested in viewing this film, you can go to the web site of the film and see portions of the film.