Short Films at the Diagonale 2018

I saw four short films at the Diagonale.
Sekundenschlaf [Microsleep] (2017)
Director: Lena Lemerhofer
Writer: Lena Lemerhofer
Cast: Paula Parker, Merten Schroedter, Judith Sehrbrock, Ayla Siegmund, Heike Warmuth
Generalprobe [Dress Rehearsal] (2017)
Director: Jannis Lenz
Writer: Jannis Lenz
Cast: Anna Suk, Ahmet Simsek
Bester Mann [Main Man] (2018)
Director: Florian Forsch
Writer: Florian Forsch
Cast: Adrian Grünewald, Frederik Schmid, Yuri Völsch, Thomas Bartholomäus, Jarl Lando Beger
Arena (2018)
Director: Björn Kämmerer
Seen on: 14.3.2018

Three of the four films I saw were part of a short film program, the fourth was a short opening film to another movie. All four films were strong, but some were stronger than others.

After the jump, read about each of the films seperately.


Karo (Paula Parker) drives home with her parents from the holidays. But then there’s a crash and they are brought to the hospital. And after the hospital, Karo goes to stay with another family.

Sekundenschlaf manages to stay in the child’s perspective. We get to see her world entirely through her eyes. But in this case the “perceiving without understanding” turned into a lack of interpretation and kept the film a little shallow.



Lisa (Anna Suk) and Marco (Ahmet Simsek) make their way to a lonely hut in the woods. Once they arrive, they start to prepare for something. But what is it, exactly, that they are planning?

I have to admit that the plot of Generalprobe wasn’t particularly impressive, but Suk and Simsek are so absolutely fantastic that every second of emotion hit me like a freight train. And at the end, I really wasn’t ready to let them go: I really need to know how things continued with them.


Bester Mann

Kevin (Adrian Grünewald) is being bullied by boys his age, when Benny (Frederik Schmid) comes along. He is older, he rides a motorcycle, and he chases off the bullies. Kevin is instantly in awe and starts to follow Benny around like a puppy. But Benny may not be the good guy Kevin thinks he is.

Bester Mann is a heavy film, but a really well-made one. It tackles a very difficult topic with a great cast and a fine eye for power relations. I’m a little hesitant about the ending of the story: did Kevin really have to go through so much before he finds his strength? Then again, it is good that despite being victimized, Kevin is ultimately empowered. In any case, it’s a film well worth checking out.

Bester Mann


Arena is an experimental short film that just shows the seats of a stadium as the camera slowly moves. There is no sound, there are no living creatures, nothing really happens. It sounds like a recipe for disaster, but it turns out, it’s really quite interesting and engrossing. The silence kept me a lot busier than I expected and created a weird atmosphere, but I was weirdly enchanted by those seats.


Summarizing: a very nice selection of films by talented filmmakers.

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