Helle Nächte [Bright Nights] (2017)

Helle Nächte
Director: Thomas Arslan
Writer: Thomas Arslan
Cast: Georg Friedrich, Tristan Göbel, Marie Leuenberger, Hanna Karlberg
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 22.10.2017

Michael’s (Georg Friedrich) estranged father recently died in Norway. Michael has to go there to take care of things and decides to take his own son Luis (Tristan Göbel) with him. Luis lives with his mother and he and Michael don’t get along all that well, either. For Michael, this trip and the ensuing drive across Norway is supposed to be a chance for the two of them to connect. For Luis, it’s less clear what he wants from his father and this trip.

Helle Nächte doesn’t tell a very new story, but it tells it well. It wasn’t the film I was most emotionally invested in, but I enjoyed it.

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Tschick [Goodbye Berlin] (2016)

Director: Fatih Akin
Writer: Lars Hubrich, Fatih Akin, Hark Bohm
Based on: Wolfgang Herrndorf’s novel
Cast: Tristan Göbel, Anand BatbilegMercedes Müller, Aniya Wendel, Anja Schneider, Uwe Bohm, Udo Samel, Xenia Assenza
Seen on: 12.10.2016

14 year old Maik (Tristan Göbel) is one of those kids who don’t really register and when he does, he’s perceived as weird. His class mate Tschick (Anand Batbileg) on the other hand registers everywhere, despite – or maybe because – rarely showing up in school, and when he does, he’s often drunk. When Maik and Tschick are the only people not invited to the birthday party of popular girl Tanja (Aniya Wendel), Tschick kind of adopts Maik. And even though Maik is uncomfortable at first, when Tschick shows up with an old car and invites Maik to go on an adventure, Maik doesn’t have to think long about the empty summer ahead of him to agree to go along.

Tschick sticks close to the novel it’s based on for the most part which works nicely but also, unfortunately, means that some of the book’s weaknesses are also carried over to the film. I did enjoy it, but I didn’t love it.

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