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Tom Tykwer

Cloud Atlas * Tom Tykwer, Lana & Andy Wachowski (2012)

How unfortunate! That it took me so long to watch this film. I was mostly interested because of the directors, but the 3 hour length held me back. “Cloud Atlas” is a brilliant film though and certainly worth the three hours.
I have not read that much about the film, but the way I see it there are 7 different stories which are cut up and presented through eachother. Stories in the past, the future and combinations between the two. Many actors have 7 parts and there are several indications that the different stories are different lives of the same people. What all (or most) stories have incommon, is that the nonconformistic people are some sort of rebels. The different stories allowed the directors to go from pompous (Matrix-like) scifi to maritime drama, Medieval adventure and harsch humour. The stories in themselves are all interesting and contain some sort of mystery. It takes way up to the end before many things fall into place (but I guess watching the film again will do so even more), since the actors are not always too recognisable and also before there are cross-references between the stories. Overall there is this great Wachowski atmosphere.

The International * Tom Tykwer (2009)

The InternationalIt seems like Tom Tykwer wants to make a film in a different genre each time he makes another film. “The International” is a fast ‘intellectual action’ film like “The Da Vinci Code” or “National Treasure“, but with financial instead of ‘religious’ conspiracies. A government agency discovers serious additional activities of a bank and run into a deep and dangerous conspiracy. “The International” is quite a typical Hollywood blockbuster, but a good one and it even kept me awake after a very short night.

Perfume * Tom Tykwer * 2007

I saw this film (in German) in a room with a few hundred “Grufties” during the 2007 edition of the Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig. Not that this has anything to do with the film, but I thought it would be nice to mention.
Tom Tykwer, the many-sided director of Lola Rennt, Heaven, Der Krieger und die Kaisering, this time comes with a historical drama around a boy with a magnificent sense of smell. After a wretched youth he becomes student with a perfume-maker and becomes obsessed with the pursuit to capture the scent of a woman.
“Perfume: the story of a murderer” is a nice historical drama which gives a nice insight in the fabrication of perfumes, has a nice sence of humour and good acting. The beginning and especially the end are much overdone though, both in filming (the beginning) and the story (the end). For the rest a nice watch.

Die Tödliche Maria * Tom Tykwer * 1994

This was the second film of Tom Tykwer who is of course best known for his filmhit “Lola Rennt” (1998) and his also quite well-known “Der Krieger Und Die Kaiserin” (2000).
“Deadly Maria” is about Maria, a woman who didn’t have too much luck in her life. The film is brought quite fairytale-like as Maria looks back on her life. Maria’s mother dies giving birth and her father wants his daughter to replace his wife. She is brought up a servant for daddy having to fulfill his needs for food, drinks and that of his friends. When father gets a heartattack after seeing Maria kissing a boy, he becomes practically invalid, no longer able to get out of bed by himself and Maria has to make even more effort taking care of him. Then a friend (or colleague) of Maria’s father offers free rent of the house in trade for marying Maria who has become a nice-looking young woman. Her husband is as horrid as her father, demanding dinner at the minute he comes home from work and breakfast ready when he has his suit on.
From her youth Maria has been writing letters to a small statue that she got from a women at an early age. When she finds back all the letters she dreamingly thinks back to passages in her life.
Going crazy she also dreams away seeing a lonely neighbour passing every morning. She even kills her husband for him, but he scares away, so it is time for her father…
A nice film, quite strange but not too much. Not much alike Lola or Der Krieger, but why should someone’s film always be the same? See it if you get the change.

Der Krieger Und Die Kaiserin * Tom Tykwer * 2000

What a strange translation of the title in the international version. “Der Krieger Under Die Kaiserin” means “the warrior and the empress” but the English version is called “The Princess And The Warrior”. Anyway, this is the film that Tom Tykwer made after his wonderfull “Lola Rennt” (Lola Runs).

“Der Krieger…” is a fairytale-like film in which Simone/Sissi (Franka Potente) is run over by a truck caused by the chasing of the criminal Bodo (Benno Fürmann). ‘Accidentally’ the two ‘meet’ under the truck, Bodo saves Sissi’s life and disappears. Sissi turns out to be born in a mental-institution and became assistant. She can’t get over the idea that the meeting wasn’t accidental and she goes to look for Bodo. At first he doesn’t want to see her, but in the end all turns out fine, however also this is relative.

Obviously the idea behind the film is “nothing happens without a reason”. “Der Krieger…” is very slow, totally unlike “Lola Rennt” but charming and beautiful.

Heaven * Tom Tykwer * 2002

Tykwer is making a varried filmography with “Die Tödliche Maria” (heavy drama), “Lola Rennt” (fast and hip), “Der Krieger Und Die Kaisering” (fairytale like drama) and now this crime-film. He even managed to get nobody less than Cate Blanchett in the main part. Blanchett who probably looks so much like herself that I hardly recognised her.

Philippa (Blanchett) is an English schoolteacher in Italy who sees her children getting in touch with drugs and even die from that daily. Her husband knows the big man from the drugsscene which knowledge gets him killed. Time and time again Philippa tells the police, but a few higher in rank there are also involved and nothing is done. Then Philippa decides to take justice in her own hand and tries to kill the drugs-boss in the office of his ‘normal occupation’. Things go wrong, Philippa ends up in jail, wins the heart of the young Filipo who helps her escape and a nice story with several unexpected turns (especially by lack of information by the way) bring this short film (96 min) to a very strange end.
For the large part a nice tv-film, with an end that most tv-junkies will be unsatisfied with but those who know Tykwers older work will be used to some ‘unconventionallity’. Not Tykwers best film, but still nice.