DEADPOOL. Marvel goes Kick-Ass.


In the opening credit scene -shot in some bullet time The Matix-like photography- instead of the usual type credits, we get some credits altered/approved by the character Deadpool of a more “truthful” nature. In stead of director it says “an overpaid tool”, the writers are referred to as “the real heroes here” the production company credit reads “some douchebag’s film” and the film is “produced by some asshats”. Stan Lee’s obligatory cameo -who’s visibily enjoying himself as a DJ in a strip club- gets a similar kind of mentioning.
The tone is set immediately, this will not be your typical superhero movie. The character Deadpool constantly breaks the fourth wall and directly addresses the audience commenting in a rather raunchy manner on the action at hand, action which is rougher and the sex scenes more racy that you would expect to see in a Hollywood blockbuster. The humor obviously lets the filmmakers get away with more, eventough the film is R rated.

The film is fast paced, goes back and forward in time, has a revenge and a romance driven plot and over the top violence. Ryan Reynolds is hilarious as Wade Wilson who’s turned into the unlikely superhero Deadpool who after some experimental “treatment” to cure his cancer has some not so nice-looking side effects and some accelerated healing powers. He’s determined to take down ‘his maker’.
The film is full of popular cultural references, Reynolds is taking the piss out of himself, especially the way fun is being made of Green Lantern (2011) is priceless, as is thevcomment that the X-Men academy (Deadpool is a character that is part of the X-Men Marvel universe) appears to be populated by just 2 characters.

A more obscure reference to Monty Pyhton and the Holy Grail (1975) can be found in the fight scene between Deadpool and Colossus. Just compare the ‘swordfight’ scene that leaves a fearless knight dismembered with the fight scene in which Deadpool breaks his ankles and wrists as he continues to fight Colossus against better judgement.
The film can hardly be compared to any of the other films in the Marvel canon so far. If you’ve enjoyed such films as Shoot ‘Em Up (2007) and the Kick-Ass films (2010 & 2013) -the 2 films which I feel tonally come closest to Deadpool- this is the film for you.

Jan Bollen
(some self-proclaimed douchebag film critic)




The premise of the film is that all animals life together in perfect harmony in a civilised society without there being any form of prejudice between the different species. When a small bunny called Judy Hopps (what’s in a name) has a dream to become a police officer in the big city she gets the chance to try it, but she’s nevertheless being ridiculed.

The film is tightly structered and moves on very well. Part 1 is basically showing Daisy in training and on her first job being somewhat sidetracked as she’s assigned to parking duty. But Judy keeps her natural opptimism going, instead of  100 parket tickets a day she is convinced she can get 200 before lunchtime.
Here she meets a fox called Nick Wilde who will prove to be a true friend and great help when in the 2nd act gets her first real case. She’s assigned to find one of the 14 missing animals, a mission to prove herself or confirm -as her captain suspects- she hasn’t got what it takes to become a police women.
The 3rd act revolves around the former predatory species reverting back to their natural behavior as they are seemingly becoming wild again.

(in Europe, Zootopia in the US) tackles a lot of hot topics such as gender equality, diveristy, stereotyping, risk of racial profiling, big town versus small town mentality and as you may come to expect from Disney, some more sappy, value oriented (friendship, never give up, … ) kinda stuff.
Something you wouldn’t expect in a Disney feature is a scene set in a Naturalist Resort (don’t worry it remains very kid friendly) and therefore one of the most memorable moments in the film. Other highlights are the Police briefing scenes and an instant classic: the scene that makes fun of civil servants, in this instance of the DMV a.k.a. the Department of Mammal (i.o Motor) Vehicles run by sloths (slow-moving mammals indeed). You don’t need to be a visionary to realise that the character of Flash will become an audience favorite.
The 3D effect is ok and really starts to kick in once Judy enters the big city. There’s also a parody of The Godfather surrounding the character of Mr. Big. But let’s face it, Godfather parodies already kinda wore off or lost their freshness at the time The Freshman (1990) came out, and that one even had Marlon Brando himself having a crack at it. All in all, not bad at all.

Jan Bollen

STEVE JOBS. A Danny Boyle iFilm of an Aaron Sorkin iPlay.

steve jobs

In 2013 Hollywood made a traditional, decent but somewhat conventional biopic called JOBS starring Ashton Kutcher as the Apple guru. Writer Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, The Soical Network) on the other hand opted to compress his take on the life of Steve Jobs around 3 crucial presentations the man gave starting in 1984 with the launch of the Apple Macintosh, 1988 the lauch of NeXT after he was fired from the company he co-founded, ending in 1998 with the launch of the iMac, back in the saddle with Apple.

The entire film (except for a few short flashbacks, some not surprisingly set in a garage) takes place backstage just moments before these presentations are to take place. During these hectic moments he meets the same key players, some are or granted ‘an audience’ others impose themselves forcefully.
There’s his wife Joanna Hoffman (an excellent Kate Winslet), Steve Woziak co-founder and ‘know-how’ guy of Apple (Seth Rogen just like in Take This Waltz, very convincing in a non-comedic role), John Sculley (Jeff Daniels back for some more Aaron Sorkin dialogue, still going strong in his Will ‘The Newsroom’ McAvoy cadence) the Apple CEO that got Jobs fired after the Mackintosh failure, Andy Hertzfeld (Michael ‘A Serious Man‘ Stuhlbarg) a main engineer and last but not least, the ex-wife Chrisann Brennan (Katherine ‘Inherent Vice‘ Waterston, daughter of Sam Waterston) and their daughter Lisa who he fails to recognise as his own. The only child he’s interested in is the Apple Macintosh and later the iMac. Over the course of these 15 years they all have scores to settle with Jobs or just want what they feel they’re entitled to, ranging from alimony to recognition.

Therefore the film is truly what you could call a character driven film, the drive set by Sorkin’s typically snappy, witty, bitter and spiteful dialogues. Michael Fassbender is fantasic as the title character, and even though the physical resemblance isn’t that great, his portrayal of Jobs as put on paper by Sorkin as an arrogant, self indulgent man with a vision who won’t take no for an answer is brilliant. Obsessed with making the easiest to operate, best looking, personal computer EVERYBODY is dreaming of and hence is willing to pay the price (overpriced?) for.

Director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire, … ) ranges in nice performances from his excellent cast and does little to hide Sorkin’s ‘concept’ of the classic 3 act play. Luckily the makers clearly see the humor of the repetitive nature (3 presentations, same characters that go at it over the course of these 15 years) of the structure they chose to tell the story in. At a certain moment of the film Jobs states with an air of desperation: “how come everyone is coming to talk to me just minutes before a product launch?”

Jan Bollen

SPOTLIGHT. The story that uncovered the cover-up of child sex abuse by Catholic priests, from Boston to Bruges, Belgium.


The film follows a team of reporters (excellently played by Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery and Brian d’Arcy James) writing for the Boston Globe that is dedicated to investigative journalism called Spotlight. A new editor (Liev Schreiber) asks them to write a follow-up investigative piece on lawyer Mitchell Garabedian’s (Stanley Tucci) accusations regarding Cardinal Law who according to him knew that a priest named John Geoghan had been sexually abusing children and did not take the necessary actions you would normally expect.
The investigation that starts of by looking into one case slowly but surely leads to a vastly increasing number of similar cases were the sexual abuse of minors by Roman Catholic priests are being covered-up systematically by the Boston Archdiocese for decades. The cases are being settled out of court, victims are not being acknowledged or helped, they’re forced to sign non-diclosure agreements and the priests are moved around from one parish to another and in some cases are put in a ‘safe’house (see also Pablo Lorraín’s El Club in a society that is not willing (or able) to except what is really happening.

The script as penned by Josh Singer and director Tom McCarthy is a great piece of investigative writing in its own right painstakingly recreating the lengths the reporters went to to bring this Pulitzer Prize winning story to the public. In a nice sidenote the film shows how the story is momentarily being put on hold as the coverage of the 9/11 attacks and its aftermath are taking priority. McCarthy a respected actor (he played a journalist himself, be it a dodgy one, in the final season of The Wire) made his directorial debut in 2003 with The Station Agent starring Peter Dinklage (mostly known for his role as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones) in the lead, followed up with The Visitor (2007) providing respected character actor Richard Jenkins in the lead (even leading to an oscar nomination). Jenkins can also be heard (during several phone calls but is not seen on screen) in Spotlight as he plays psychotherapist Richard Sipe.
In what could be a first, this year McCarthy has films nominated for both the Oscars and the Razzies. His previous film The Cobbler (2014) -which is not that bad at all- has been nominated for 2 Razzies as its lead actor Adam Sandler happens to be somewhat of a Razzie magnet.

Spotlight is certainly his most ambitious film to date. McCarthy is not the kind of director that likes to show off with flashy camerawork and a radical cinematic style but instead opts for a more classic approach, starting from a great story/interesting subject matter, and a gripping script superbly acted that keeps you at the edge of your seat. In the wake of the publications similar stories broke all over the globe that showed a remarkably comparable systemic problem and handling of such cases including o.a. in Bruges, Belgium (as mentioned in the end credits).

Jan Bollen

LES CHEVALIERS BLANCS. ‘The White Knights’ without shining armour.


As was the case with his previous film A Perdre la raison, 2012 a.k.a. Our Children about the Geneviève Lhermitte affair, the latest film by Belgian director Joachim Lafosse -of the excellent Ça rend heureux (2006) and Elève Libre (2008, Private Lessons)- is based on a highly publicised affair: the L’Arche de Zoé (Ark of Zoé) affair.
In the film a group of volunteer aid workers of the fictional NGO Move For Kids go to Chad to help children that are orphaned due to the Darfur conflict. The problem is that they are there under false pretenses. Instead of staying for a long period of time to provide food and education to the orphaned children they intend to be there for just a brief time only to select orphaned children under 5 and take them back to France to be fostered/adopted by French families who’ve financed the operation.

Lafosse could hardly have chosen a more interesting approach to tackle this subject matter. Instead of imposing his point of view he opted to show the motivations and actions of the different parties involved and leaves it up to the audience to draw their own conclusions. This results in a sublte and nuanced depiction that helps you on one hand to understand the idealism at the heart of the operation but on the other hand with increasing disbelief you get to witness the dangerous, naive, ill prepared and illegal nature of their undertaking. Where they start off by not conveying the local people of their true intentions (as they realise all to well that their plans are not completely on the up and up) they are becoming more and more self delusional.

The film has great performances by popular French actors lead by Vincent Lindon (Welcome, La Loi du Marché, … ), Louise Bourgoin (o.a. the underrated Je suis un soldat, 2015, … ) and actress/director Valerie Donzelli (La Guerre est declarée, 2011) and some Belgian actors as Jean-Henri Compère (a nice departure from his parts in the La Vie Sexuelle des Belges films by Jan Bucquoy) and Yannick Renier (brother of Jéremie Renier and Lafosse regular o.a. Nue Propriété, 2006 a.k.a. Private Property).
Most impressive/memorable perhaps was the unknown/first time actress Bintou Rimtobaye who plays the interpreter and serves as a kind of moral center of the film. Highly recommended.

Jan Bollen

THE REVENANT. Man in the wilderness left for dead.

The Revenant

Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a guide for a bunch of trappers earning ‘their living’ selling the furs they ‘harvest’ along the Missouri river in the earlier 1820’s. Before you realise it the film puts you in the middle of an attack by the local Arikara Native American tribe that has their minds set on the pelts as well.
In an impressive long single steadycam shot lasting for the entire battle from among the trees till the retreat on the boat (at least for those who were not slaughtered) director Alejandro González Iñárritu and his DoP Emmanuel ‘Chivo’ Lubezki set out to prove that the technical bravoura they were able to pull off in an around a theater on Broadway for Birdman (2014) they can also accomplish in the wilderness in harsh conditions.
Glass manages to convince Henry (Domhall Gleeson, Ex Machina, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and has a father called Brendan) the leader of the troop they stand a better chance outrunning the Arikara by leaving the boat and return to their fort on foot.
A little later Hugh gets attacked by a bear who’s protecting his cubs and is severley wounded. He’s being stitched up as good as you might expect under the circumstances but it’s evident to everybody Glass will not survive the injuries he’s sustained. Henry offers money to several volunteers to stay with Glass untill he dies and give him a proper burial. Fitzgerald (the omni-present Tom Hardy), Bridger and Hawk (Glass’s half-native son) stay behind.
Fitzgerald is more interested in the money than upholding his promise and starts his manoeuvres, determined to leave Glass behind for dead, as for him the entire operation is too risky and useless. However, there’s more life left in him than Fitzgerald expected and Glass will be looking for revenge.

The incredible real life survival story of Hugh Glass already resulted in an excellent film called Man in the Wilderness starring Richard Harris and John Huston, directed by Richard C. Sarafian, mostly known for Vanishing Point, both released in 1971. In case you’re interested I can recommend the french DVD edition by Wild Side Video ( Richard-Sarafian Box Man in the wilderness + The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing) that also includes Sarafian’s The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (1973) starring Burt Reynolds.

This version is largely based the book by Michael Punke. Considering the previous credits of screenwriter Mark L. Smith that consists entirely of genre movies, this was initially probably conceived as a straightforward revenge flick. Once Iñárritu came aboard he appears to have introduced some mystical elements to the original source material. The subplot involving Glass’s son Hawk and the dreamsequences involving Glass’s Native American wife were added as the real life Hugh Glass was not married at that point of his life. Especially the scene set in the ruins of a church full of icon murals and a cast bronze bell swinging on it’s own while only half of the archway is still intact is clearly referencing Andrei Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev (1966-69). You can spot plenty of homages to Tarkovsky in the film. I’ve singled out the ‘bird coming out of a chest’ scene which besides Tarkovsky holds a Alejandro Jodorowsky reference as well. Could even have included 2 clips from Jodorowsky’s Fando y Lis (1968) which also features two Egyptian culture inspired ‘soul leaving the body’ scenes.

From a technical point of view the film is flawless. Although most of the stories surrounding this production are probably exaggerated to say the least (no CGI: yeah right, Leo slept in a real animal carcasse: sure) the dedication of the entire cast and crew most have been absolute : the excellent production design by Jack Fisk, the wonderful use of (original and hard to reach) locations, the spectactular photography by Lubezki, …  .
The mystical elements (not my favorite part of the film) and the extremely violent and rough tone of the film may catch audiences expecting a more straightforward adventurous approach off guard.

Impressive (absolutely), violent (definitely) and somewhat pretentious (afraid so).

Jan Bollen

LEGEND. Tom Hardy incorporates the Kray twins.


After several documentaries and the Peter Medak film The Krays (1990), with the real-life brothers Gary and Martin Kemp (mostly known as the members of their former pop group Spandau Ballet) playing the notorious London based gangster twins Ronald and Reginald Kray the time was deemed ripe for another film depicting these ‘legends’. There’s even 2 more recent low-budget films, The Rise of the Krays (2015) and The Fall of the Krays (2016) by Zackary Adler, just going to show The Krays still very much appeal to the British imagination.

This time round the casting coup consists of having 1 actor, an excellent Tom Hardy, play the East-End gangsters twins. Where the 1990 version scripted by Philip Ridley (director of the excellent films The Reflecting Skin, 1990, The Passion of Darkly Noon, 1995 and Heartless, 2009) heavily centered on the determining role their mother Violet (an excellent Billie Whitelaw) played in the history of the Krays the Brian Helgeland (director of Payback, 1999, but mostly known for his scripts/adaptations of L.A. Confidential, 1997, and Mystic River, 2003) version is told from the point of view of the character Frances Shea, Reggie’s wife, sensetively played and narrated by Emily Browning.

The film deals with the rise and fall of the Krays and shows the well-known ‘highlights’ of their gangster career, including the violent outbursts, their association with celebrities and their own celebrity status during the London Swinging Sixties, Ronnie’s homosexual escapades (the MP Robert Lord Bootby affair) and the murders of George Cornell and Jack ‘the hat’ McVittie.
The film starts of flashy with a lot of popular tunes of the time, the photography by Dick Pope (Mike Leigh’s regular DoP) is great. There’s a particularly impressive long steadycam shot that follows Reggie and Frances into one of his nightclubs to their table, interrupted by a lot of greetings from the guests. Just when he’s about to sit down and relax with his girlfriend he’s obliged to deal with some urgent ‘business’, deals with it, then returns to Frances, sits down at their table and continue their conversation for quite some time, all in one single take, perfectly acted and choreographed. There might be a cut when Hardy sits down and an extra moves past the camera. This scene can be seen as a nod to a similar shot in Scorsese’s Goodfellas (1990), probably the best known steadycam shot of its sort in cinema history following Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco from outside the Copacobana through the back , and the kitchen and to a specially installed table close to the stage, Henry Hill introducing and impressing his future wife Karen Hill to his ‘life-style’.

The tone of the film is mostly bordering on absurdly funny which does not always work well towards the end when the story moves towards a more dramatic conclusion. The visual effects putting Tom Hardy on the screen as both Ronnie and Reggie Kray in the same frame is flawless and pushes the technical achievements of e.g. Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers (1988, state of the art at the time for its the use of repeated pre-programmed camera moves to enable to have moving shots with the same actor for the first time in the same frame) to a whole other level.
Besides Hardy and Browning, there’s a large number of great British actors at display such as Christopher Eccleston, David Thewlis, Paul Bettany, Paul Anderson and Tara Fitzgerald. And Chazz Palminteri plays Angelo Bruno a representative of the famous US gangster Meyer Lansky in some of the films most hilarious scenes. The Krays proudly claim they own a casino, to which Angelo Bruno, trying to hide his amusment, states in an understated fashion that they own Las Vegas.
Was there really a necessity for yet another movie about the Krays? Perhaps not. At least this time there was no need for some controversy surrounding gangsters benefiting financially from their life of crime (they where still alive -jailed for life- at the time of the 1990 film and received a handsome sum for the film rights to their lifestory).

Jan Bollen

CREED. Rocky reboot by the talented Fruitvale Station team.


After 6 Rocky films and Grudge Match (basically Rocky vs. Raging Bull) the time was apparently ripe for yet another reboot. This film does for the Rocky franchise what The Force Awakens does for the Star Wars franchise: add new blood to a popular series but stay extremely loyal to the initial films and characters. Where The Force Awakens is (mainly) a clone of A New Hope, Creed is a clone of the first Rocky (1976) film.

Creed refers to the new main character Adonis Johnson, the illegitimate child of Apollo Creed, the former adversary and late friend (see Rocky IV) of Rocky Balboa. After his mother died he had a rough childhood untill Creed’s widow decides to take care of him. He wants to step into his father’s footsteps and become a professional boxer. Upto now he’s done some fighting in Mexico but has remained under the radar. He wants to make a name for himself (therefore his bloodline needs to remain a secret) and tries to enlist Rocky Balboa as his trainer.
The movie sticks to the succesfull elements that the audience loved from the original film: sentimentality and ‘uplifting’ fightscenes. There’s a love interest, illness, and a new adversary ‘pretty’ Ricky Conlan and off course training sequences.

Highlight of the film is beyond a doubt an amazing fight sequence shot in one incredible long continuous uninterrupted take, a perfect choreography between the actors and the steadycam operator.
There’s also a copy of (or nod to) the long steadycam shot from Scorsese’s Raging Bull (1980) which starts in the dressing room and shows the end of the warm-up of Jake La Motta, follows him from the catacombs of the stadium up the stairs and into the arena through the spectators to the ring, La Motta goes one way, the camera the other and while De Niro enters the ring, the camera operator steps up a crane and cranes up. It’s not clear if the ‘copied’ shot in Creed is done in a single take as well as there might be a subliminal cut when they move from the dark catacomb into the arena (or via a flash of light).

Check-out this and another homage by watching the 2 below comparison clips:

I can understand the financial logic behind this reboot, but why writer-director Ryan Coogler and actor Michael B. Johnson, the team that brought us the excellent Fruitvale Station (2013), needed to waste their time and talent on this type of predictable, sentimental, rehashed material is beyond me.

Jan Bollen

CAROL. (Too?) subtle depiction of a fifties gay love story.


New York in the fifties, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) works as a clerk in a toy shop of a Frankenberg department store where Carol Aird is doing some christmas shopping. After exchanging some fleeting parting glances Carol (Cate Blanchett) shows up at Therese’s counter. The doll she wanted to buy for her daughter is out of stock, so she ends up buying an electrical train set instead. Carol writes down her personal information on a salesslip for the trainset to be delivered to her residence in time for christmas. A little later Therese notices Carol’s hand gloves -which she left there (accidentally?)- on the counter.  Therese takes the gloves home and sends them privately via the post to Carol’s home address.

This is the start of the most subtle of love stories between 2 women of different ages and completely different social backgrounds. During a scene in the begining of the film Therese and some friends are watching Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard (1950) from a projection-booth. One of the young boys declares it is the sixth time he’s watching the film, this time he’ll be focusing on the correlation of what the characters are saying versus wath they are really feeling. This could be considered the verbalisation of the approach screenwriter Phillis Nagy had when adapting the Patricia Highsmith (writer of o.a. Strangers on a train, The Ripley novels and Two Faces of January) novel ‘The Price of Salt‘. The novel in which Highsmith used autobiographical elements was first published under the pseudonym Claire Morgan. Only in 1990 towards the end of her life the novel was rereleased under her own name, retitled as Carol.

The scenes in the toy store amidst the toy dolls could be seen as a reference to Haynes’ very own medium length film Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1988), a film that’s forbidden/illegal to be shown due to a lawsuit but which you can easily find on Youtube. Hayness used music from The Carpenters without permission but it is said that the real reason the film has been boycotted by the Carpenter family is due to the fact that the film portrays the brother Richard Carpenter as a homosexual. The film deals with Karen Carpenter’s battle with anorexia nervosa, a battle she lost in 1983. What makes the film special is that it is filmed using Ken and Barbie dolls. The idea of using Ken and Barbie dolls to tell a story about an anorexia patient is a particularly brilliant one.


Director Todd Haynes and DoP Ed Lachman decided to shoot the film in 16 mm which leads to a colorful somewhat grainy look. For the visual look of the film they’ve declared they were influenced by photographers such as Saul Leiter, Vivian Maier, Esther Bubley, Ruth Orkin and Helen Levitt.

Saul Leiter:

Vivian Maier:

Esther Bubley:

Ruth Orkin:

Helen Levitt:

The framing device in which an annoying character interrupts an important emotional conversation is clearly a nod to David Lean’s Brief Encounter (1945).

The film is so subtle and the period recreation so lavishing in all of its detail there’s a risk the underplaying of the passion and the emphasis on visual beauty may result in keeping the audience at a distance. There are a lot of minute details and unspoken emotions you’ll have to pick up on to be able to fully enjoy this film.

Jan Bollen

Er ist wieder da. Look Who’s Back. Some people seem to know when the time is ripe.

er ist wieder da

Just when Mein Kampf has been reissued in Germany on 08jan16 (in a critically annotated edition by the Munich Institute for Contemporary History) as the copyright expired and thus became part of the public domain and Turkish prime minister Erdoğan seemed to praise Adolf Hitler’s effective form of government the extremely popular German comedy Er ist wieder da (Look Who’s Back) hits the Belgian screens.

If you leave Ernst Lubitsch out of the equation Germany is not exactly universally praised for their wonderful sense of humor. A German comedy about Adolf Hitler awakening In Berlin 70 years after his demise in 1945 near the former site where once stood his famous bunker, to be honest my expectations were not that high. All the more pleasant was the surprise that the film was not bad at all. The film is based upon the bestseller of the same name by Timur Vermes which was sold at the symbolic price of € 19,33 (a deliberant hint towards the year Hitler rose to power) and draws parallels with the current reaction to Europe beeing flooded with refugees and judging by some message boards seems to piss off the right-wing.
Via newspapers and magazines and the wonderful new inventions called television and the internet slowly but surely Hitler comes to realise things did not work out as he intended and that Germany underwent a few changes in the past seventy years. He’s not a big fan of actors that have portrayed him, of commercial television (cooking) programmes nor of the current ultra right wing NPD, they’re too soft, he’s more in favour of Die Grünen (The Green Party) as they at least show some love for the German soil. In this perspective there’s a funny scene where Hitler looks at a mountain range, marvels at its beauty and then throws an empty styrofoam coffee cup into the grass.
Hitler is first seen by a down and out freelance journalist/reporter/documentarian. He and the rest of Germany is convinced they’re being confronted by a method actor gone to the extremes, never going out of character, that of the führer Adolf Hitler. He quickly goes viral via the help of social media and thus becomes a popular comedian, the new media sensation. Only a demented jewish old lady sees him for what he really is.

The film opens with aerial images of Berlin seen through clouds, a clear reference to the opening of Leni Riefensthals Triumph des Willens (1934). Some more nods to nazi-propaganda films can be found when sortly after Hitler awakens a football is kicked in his direction and rolls next to him, one of the kids playing football is wearing a Ronaldo shirt, hence he’s being addressed as Hitlerjunge Ronaldo after Hitlerjunge Quex (1933).
In some of the best scenes the filmmakers adopt to the Sacha Baron Cohen style of guerilla filmmaking and drop the actor Oliver Masucci ‘in character’ as Hitler near the Brandenburger Tor or an NPD (the far-right Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands) rally to see how a contempary german public would react to his presence.
In another scene the filmmakers are goofing around with Der Untergang (Downfall, 2004), a TV producer is being told they’ve run out of options and he reacts in a manner copying Bruno Ganz’s performance in the Oliver Hirschbiegel film in a similar scene. By the way, next week Hirschbiegel is returning to the subject of Adolf Hitler with his film Elser (international title 13 Minutes) about the attempt of Georg Elser in 1939 to assassinate the Führer (not to be confused with the von Stauffenberg case as portrayed in the Tom Cruise vehicle Valkyrie, 2008)
And as it’s also a bit of a timetravel movie you may spot some Back to the Future references: there’s a German poster (Zurück in die Zukunft) hanging in the reporter’s house plus he’s often wearing a red jacket not unlike that of Marty McFly (see picture below).
When the reporter first studies the footage in which he accidentially captured the return of Hitler you will notice it happens in a way similar to the return of that other famous Aussie Arnold Schwarzenegger in (yet another eighties timetravel film) The Terminator , in a circular flash of light.

er ist wieder da1

Jan Bollen