Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Fan

Der Fan; thriller, Germany, 1982; D: Eckhart Schmidt, S: Désirée Nosbusch, Bodo Staiger, Jonas Vischer, Simone Brahmann

Simone is a teenage girl completely fascinated by pop idol R. She writes him several letters, but he never replies back. Simone starts imagining things, namely that her postman is withholding R's letter or that his secretary destroyed her messages. When she hears he will appear on TV live in Munich, she runs away from home and hitchhikes to that city. She meets R and he brings her to his mansion. They sleep there but R quickly dumps her to go and meet other girls. Angered by his routine approach, she kills and hacks him. Simone eats his flesh, shaves her head and returns home, revealing she might be pregnant.

Movies that only rely on cheap "scandal" and "shock" often do not hold up well with the passing of time, among which is Echkhart Schmidt's "The Fan", a bizzare patchwork that did not intend to tell a cohesive storyline as much as attract attention with dismay. The "blue" cinematography is aesthetic and Desiree Nosbusch is very good in the role of a deranged fan, but the first half an hour of the movie is almost like Waiting for Godot in the pop world, where nothing much happens - and when something starts happening some 35 minutes into the film, where Simone meets R, it takes a trashy turn towards blatant violence culminating in the infamous ending (involving such scenes as the heroine licking his blood) or too much mannerisms (Simone kissing her own image in the mirror). More so, when they meet for the first time, it is emotionless. "The Fan" also has too much empty walk (the aftermath of the murder drags on for over 20 minutes) which is at odds with the attempt at suspense, whereas it is not clear what the authors wanted to say by implying such a shallow fan-idol relationship. Fans of German dubs will probably enjoy seeing a rare on-screen performance by Simone Brahmann in a small supporting role of R's secretary, who almost steals the show with her sustained appearance.


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