Director: Lars Büchel
Cast: Fritzi Haberlandt,
Hilmir Snaer Gudnason, Tina Engel, Harald Schrott
Toma, Lars Buechel
Huth, Ralf Zimmermann
Editor(s): Peter R.
Lars Büchel's Filmography:
Jetzt oder nie - Zeit ist Geld (Now or Never) (2000); 4 Geschichten über
5 Tote (1998)
Lars Buchel's visually stunning
road film takes its blind hero on an emotional and physical journey, tracing
his every step with dollops of sensual beauty and unexpected humor.
Alternately romantic and
comic (in a refreshingly offbeat way) but never sentimental, Lars Buchel's
Peas at 5:30 takes the notion of "the blind leading the blind" and turns
it inside out. Büchel literally drenches his film in enticing water
imagery — starting with his very first frame — that immediately makes his
story a tactile, sensual experience. While his tale morphs from one genre
to another, its theme remains stable: the film is all about touching, and
being touched. Hilmir Snaer Gudnason plays an avant-garde stage director
named Jakob who is left blind following an automobile accident. He
soon falls into a guarded yet heightened relationship with his guide/teacher,
Lilly, who is also blind (played by Fritzi Haberlandt, employing a fascinating
body language for the role). Summoned by his dying mother in Russia,
Jakob embarks on a journey in every sense of the word, accompanied by Lilly.
The movie itself takes on the contours of a road film, while never losing
the moody tone that Büchel beautifully conjures in his first few scenes.
One surprise follows another on their journey: Jakob's oddball suicide
attempt is staged for deadpan comic effect yet feels right in character,
and in lieu of a sex scene, the film delivers a subtly powerful prelude-to-eroticism
sequence in which Jakob and Lilly slowly savor each other's body parts.
Rarely has the idea of "touch" been so palpable — or arousing. The
film's unusual title, incidentally, is explained by a waitress in a wry
interlude set in a restaurant.
Comedy / Drama / Romance
LANGUAGE: German &
Russian, with English Sub-Titles
RUNNING TIME: 110