Heinrich von Kleist - Romantic Poet • Drama, Romance
Alliance of Women Film Journalists Selection! Read an excerpt from Marilyn Ferdinand's AWFJ review: "The careful framing, gorgeous period settings, brilliantly orchestrated set-pieces, and vibrant colors of this film are a feast for the eyes, and I admired the subtle performances of this uniformly fine cast, especially Birte Schnoeink. She initially emerges as a shallow hausfrau without a thought in her head that her husband and acquaintances haven’t put there. As her situation grows more dire and her choices narrow, our laughter gives way to concern and a contemplation of what we owe to society and what we owe to ourselves. There is a shocking ambiguity to her actions and a genuine poignancy to her growing attraction to the eternal, but is she the victim of yet another man dumping his desires into her empty cranium? Trapped between two equally distressing outcomes from the audience’s point of view, we wait anxiously for Henriette to make her choice."
Inspired by the actual suicide of Heinrich von Kleist (author of THE MARQUISE OF O...) and Henrietta Vogel, AMOUR FOU is a Cannes Film Festival-nominated wry period dramedy, which went on to win two prizes at the Austrian Film Awards. Forever under-appreciated and melancholy, Heinrich is a young poet in Romantic Era Berlin who determines his best way out of despair is to end it all, and he sets about finding a woman to join him in his predetermined departure. Recently diagnosed with a terminal illness, the well-off but unremarkable Henrietta, fascinated by Heinrich's controversial THE MARQUISE OF O..., finds his offer intriguing, if a bit strange. And yet, she agrees to navigate the uncharted journey towards a suicide pact with him, at once awkward and enlightening for them both. Rather than a declaration of passionate devotion, AMOUR FOU goes against expectations to become a droll and curious denunciation of dying for love.
Nominated for the Un Certain Regard Award at the Cannes Film Festival, AMOUR FOU is a "satirical yet sensitive study of the 1811 death pact between poet Heinrich von Kleist and Henriette Vogel. Hausner expertly conveys the claustrophobia and inflexibility of this environment by tightly choreographing her characters through carefully composed, sparsely decorated spaces" (Film Comment).
DIRECTED BY JESSICA HAUSNER
AUSTRIA, LUXEMBOURG AND GERMANY | 2014 | GERMAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES