Saturday, May 23, 2015

IN JULY (IN JULI) (2000)



Written & Directed By: Faith Akin 
Cinematography By: Pierre Aim 
Editor: Andrew Bird 

Cast: Mortiz Bleibtreu, Christiane Paul, Branka Katic, Idil Uner, Mehmet Kurtulus, Jochen Nickel, Briol Unel, Sandra Borgmann

Daniel is a young teacher, who in contrast to everyone else plans to stay in Hamburg for the summer. Juli, a girl at the flea-market, wants to get known to Daniel and manages to sell him a Mayan ring with a sun on it, foretelling him that he will meet a girl with a sun. One day later Daniel is already on his way across Europe. It seems the prophecy came true somehow.

A romantic fantasy that is whimsical and much lighter then the directors later films.

It begins with a bit of misdirection as a framing device.

Director Faith akin has kept his heart with characters like these throughout his films. Hopeless romantics to a degree and the hardships of reality they must face. He has developed more of a style since this film to really explain and develop his ideas. His next two films after this one HEAD-ON (one of my favorite films of all time) and EDGE OF HEAVEN are more dark and dramatic before returning to his kind of lightweight film with SOUL KITCHEN

This film runs on the premise of many screwball romantic comedies with a mix of spiritualism, fortune and fate. Only here not played for laughs as much. It stays fun while being a bit dramatic and serious but keeps ant darkness to itself and stays in the shadows. The film stays in it's perimeters. Where it and we know where it's going, but with wonder how it will get there. Only knowing it will be colorful and different. As obstacles and other amounts are thrown in the way it seems like fare and the sense of free will, will prevail. The film stars Mortiz Bleibtreu who seems to be a regular when it comes to German cinema happily the films he tends to be in that I see are good and noteworthy (RUN LOLA RUN, DAS EXPERIMENT) he returns to faith akin in the film SOUL KITCHEN.

A film that is as light and free spirited as it's female characters. In fact the film uses a similar photo montage from run Lola run. The film feels in spirit more like the female lead to cover exposition

At first the film seems to be a set up of miscommunication and lost chances then it seems like a modern foreign Preston Sturges film without the brilliant dialogue by making it seem like good and bad in the world and characters around them are willing to help shape their future and throw obstacles at them to guarantee the romance springing the characters. Mostly him into action as she plays more the grinning car who watches as she has feelings for him, but has pointed him far from the target. Watching how far he is willing to go for love and her at certain points. While he begins realizing slowly his own deeper feelings for her. Which he into thinks is camaraderie and friendship.

At least not all the characters they cross are good hearted by somehow always mean well. The film feels at times like it wants to be part of magical realism.

Think is this as a more fun and responsible THE SURE THING.

When Daniel and Juli are traveling through Romania, only photos are shown instead of real film footage. The reason for that is the Romanian government didn't give permission to film in their country, so they had to take photos instead.

It's like the universe is forcing him into a romance for his own good. He is the only person who doesn't realize it as he chases his ideal his perfect is by his side and has been throughout this journey. constantly blind to the obvious around him.

A little rough around the edges but you can tell he is coming into his own. Nice to see such a film that is a bit different in Presentation. Yet traditional in it's heart. That leaves you warm and charmed.

In fact love and it's boundaries has usually been at the heart of his work. It is rare that he ventures into romance fully and lightly. This is the latest of his films that I have seen even though it is his first one. I can say not as an insult mind you. It is one of his lesser films so far, but still good and a great experience.

Though each film plays more or less magical and spiritual. This film seems more to be under the influence of it's time. Though worldly seems more of a product of 90's cinema. As it came at the end of that era and at the beginning of a new generation of era in cinema.

Originally, Daniel and Juli were supposed to sing The Cure's "Friday I'm In Love", but the rights were too expensive. When the music supervisor was able to secure the rights for "Blue Moon" instead, the script was changed at the last minute to include a conversation on oldies.

All the female characters are gorgeous. So that you can see when his character is so distracted and conflicted. While each woman he meets takes him in a new and different journey as they all have their charms and strengths yet reasons why they are not meant for one another. But yet when their time together ends it leaves him With little direction once away from them. Also it shows his feelings are not about looks alone as all of the females are good looking so there is a deeper connection with his intended.

The moment when Daniel sees Melek for the first time, the walking scene is shot reverse for Melek and played backwards to make a more charming introduction.

SPOILER

Though towards the end it is confusing that once he meets the object of his affection. They seem happy and she seems romantic towards him. Yet disappeared to find out he is in love and then as things become full circle seems more of a convenience for a happy ending then natural

SPOILER END

A frolicking adventure and fun ride. Definitely a crowd pleaser. It's so lighthearted it's hard to find something to dislike or completely hate

Though this feels like it loses more meaning at heart and more to say then SOUL KITCHEN which seems more fascinated with the directors interest and fascinations as well as distracted with the soundtrack. More fun than challenging or passionate.


Grade: B+

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