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Winter Sleepers (1997)

1 rating: 5.0
Art House & International and Drama movie directed by Tom Tykwer

Tom Tykwer, writer-director of the international hitRun Lola Run, shows a more pensive side withWinter Sleepers. The film examines the lives of five characters in the aftermath of an auto accident. As withRun Lola Run, Tykwer's main concern is with chance … see full wiki

Director: Tom Tykwer
Genre: Foreign, Drama
1 review about Winter Sleepers (1997)

Amazing Camera Work - Predates Run Lola Run

  • Sep 3, 2009
Tom Tykwer, the director of Winter Sleepers, has a unique method of telling stories. His masterpiece Run Lola Run, where he explores his theory that some tiny change in a story can have monumental impact later. Winter Sleepers was released one year before Lola, and this film shows some of Tykwer's experiments in preparation for Lola.

Telling much about this story would harm viewing this film. In the broadest sense, it is a film about two women, Rebecca and Laura, that share a house owned by Laura. Rebecca has a ski instructor boyfriend. Laura is single, but looking. The universe of this little Alpen town is small. A lot happens in the over 2 hour movie. But yet, not a lot happens. And make no mistake, this is not a happy film.

The cinematography of this film is incredible. The opening montage with the gorgeous music, amazing helicopter shots of snow covered mountains. The almost effortless, silky smooth camera movements are poetry. Tykwer knows exactly how to make the right camera movement at the right moment without calling attention to the fact that the scene is moving. He unveils exactly the right objects at the perfect moment.

There is a sense in this film that tiny details do have grave consequences. The ski instructor drives up in his Alfa Romeo, he's so excited to see Rebecca, they kiss as he opens the door, he sweeps her into the house; leaving the keys in the car and the car door open. Two very simple small things that have incredible consequences - in fact are the tipping point in the whole story. Its the same idea as in Run Lola Run, except that the conclusion isn't played out three times with three small changes.

The film is beautiful to watch. Rebecca loves the color red. I'm certain this has some meaning in the film; or it is simply, she looks absolutely stunning in red. Floriane Daniel, Rebecca, is a beautiful actress. Her ski bum boyfriend, Marco, is a tall handsome man. Laura has a unique bohemian beauty about her. Rene, the unusual or odd love interest Laura develops, has a special allure. The town, the mountains, the snow, Laura's amazing little house, they are all beautiful.

I am a fan of Tom Tykwer's work. There is a progression in his film making. Winter Sleepers is fairly easy to watch, he builds one story and tells it one time. Run Lola Run is definately his masterpiece film, but seeing that event three times over can be a bit daunting. The Princess and the Warrior was an odd film, that stepped in a little different direction. Heaven, is my next film to watch, starring Kate Blanchett and Giovanni Ribisi. Paris, Je T'Aime (Paris, I Love You), is a strange film where 20 seemingly unrelated stories are told; but then build into a single coherent movie. Remarkable that a director could pull this off. And finally Perfume - The Story Of A Murderer, a revolting, difficult to watch movie. As a body of work, he is a genius.

This film is not rated. There is no violence. There insn't much strong language. There are several scenes with exposed breasts. When full frontal nudity might happen, artfully placed foreground objects obscure the private parts, both female and male. There are a couple of sex scenes, all done artfully. Rebecca in her clothes, is shown masturbating. The important factor, these scenes are all meaningful in the film, they are not just gratuitious nudity.

The DVD is shown in German with English subtitles that can be turned off. There are only a few special features, filmographies, trailers, and production credits. Tykwer, rightly so, makes his film, and what is on the cutting room floor stays there.

This is a fine film. The beginnings of a great film director are visible. The pace is not speedy, the story develops slowly and deliberately. It is gorgeous to watch.

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