Isi & Ossi (2020)

Isi & Ossi
Director: Oliver Kienle
Writer: Oliver Kienle
Cast: Lisa Vicari, Dennis Mojen, Ernst Stötzner, Walid Al-Atiyat, Zoe Straub, Hans-Jochen Wagner, Christina Hecke, Lisa Hagmeister, André Eisermann
Seen on: 5.9.2021

Content Note: ableism, classism, racism

Plot:
Isi (Lisa Vicari) grew up very rich indeed and her parents (Hans-Jochen Wagner, Christina Hecke) have a very clear idea of where she should go next once she finally gets through school – a bit of a struggle for Isi: getting a finance degree and then going into the family business. But Isi has other ideas: she would love nothing more than become a cook and is looking to go to a prestigious culinary arts class in New York. But she needs money for that, and her parents are unwilling to give it. When she meets Ossi (Dennis Mojen) by chance, she thinks she may have found a way to force her parents’ hands. Because Ossi is everything she is not: he grew up rough and poor. Most importantly, he is in need of money to secure a fight that could finally get his boxing career going. So the two strike a deal: Isi will give Ossi the money he needs, while they pretend to date until Isi’s parents give in. Easier said than done, though.

I love fake dating stories, so I definitely wanted to check out Isi & Ossi, but unfortunately I was pretty disappointed with this iteration of that trope. I found much of the film offensive and I just didn’t buy it.

The film poster showing polaroids of Isi (Lisa Vicari) and Ossi (Dennis Mojen)  that are stuck together with a piece of tape.
Continue reading

Warten auf Godot [Waiting for Godot]

Warten auf Godot [German], which is – as you might have guessed – the German title of Waiting for Godot is the current production of the play by Samuel Beckett at the Burgtheater in Vienna. [My review of the book here.] It stars Michael Maertens, Ernst Stötzner, Ignaz Kirchner and Marcus Kiepe. [All actor links in German.]

Plot:
Vladimir (Michael Maertens) and Estragon (Ernst Stötzner) are sitting in the middle for nowhere, waiting for Godot who will have a proposal for them that can drastically change their lives. It’s unclear how long they’ve been waiting but it seems to be a pretty long time. They pass the time with partly comical, partly tragic, partly non-sensical banter, joined for a short period by the pompous Pozzo (Ignaz Kirchner) and his slave Lucky (Marcus Kiepe).

The stage design of this production is fantastic and works really well. The actors are really good, too, even though I pictured Vladimir completely differently from what Maertens does. Though it has a few lengths (even though it cut one of my favourite parts of the play), it’s a thoroughly enjoyable piece of work.

[That’s what I mean when I say fantastic stage design.]

Continue reading