Halbe Treppe July 3, 2006Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
But needs must so it’s some lazy, TV-inspired blog-meat for today. In a last desperate attempt to avoid work for the day, the day’s play already over at Wimbledon and not a sniff of football in the air, I switched on the TV to see if I might catch a random episode of Wife Swap. German TV is actually very good. Any flat I’ve lived in in Berlin has always had a gazillion TV channels because you need that box-thing to get reception which picks up every channel from Reykjavik to Singapore. So you’re bound to find something to tickle your fancy. If you’re in a Camus mood, you can go straight to Arte, a Franco-German channel which pitches every programme at an audience with an IQ of no less than 140. Sure enough, this often makes for puking pus about the history of the Slovenian Green Party, but occasionally they provide something that hits the spot. And so it was this evening with Halbe Treppe, a heavenly German film from 2002, which, according to its imdb link, was released in the English-speaking world under the name Grill Point. Even if you don’t speak Deutsch, I recommend finding the trailer somewhere to give you a hint of what you’d be in for if you were to take my advice and dash out and hire the video ASAP. I can’t write a review because my IQ, like Linda Lusardi’s, and unlike the real ARTE audience’s, stands at 11 (a dead pig’s is 12, as a German friend of mine likes to say) but what I will say – I’m sure I could be a New Labour MP if I tried – is that it’s a fucking good film about two Ossi couples who get into a mess when an affair starts between two of the four. My only gripe is that the moral of the story seems to be if you’re fat and have an unglamorous job, you deserve to be left by your wife, but it’s still a corkingly good watch. I laughed out loud and shed the odd tear. I’d considered giving up smoking again this evening but was so buoyant when the credits rolled that I floated out the window and accidentally bought some emergency fags.
I know this is all part of my almost pornographic love affair with everything German at the moment, but this is a properly, lovelily good film. I’m trying to think of who could possibly hate it. Classical musicians are the only category I’ve come up with so far, as they, in my limited experience, loathe everything bar classical music. It’s sort of Dogme-like with a Mike Leigh twist. Gloom and humour in equal measure. Some lovely portrayal of fun, drunkenness and ordinary Ossi life. Watch it, and then click on my blog and tell me you love me…