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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Mark My Words

by Marinell Haegelin

Choosing films to screen from Filmfest Hamburg’s program is challenging. Written to entice audiences, mark my words there’s a fine art to reading/understanding synopses. For example: by definition hybrid means, “made by combining different elements,” e.g. stylistic treatments. 24 FRAMES brings paintings/photographs to life using a combination of computer effects and multifaceted sound design. However, most likely THE FUTURE PROJECT was given this label because they didn’t know how else to sell it. Another current favorite is “road movie” with an accompanying adjective: wild, bizarre, political, etc.

Oftentimes the terms are downright bunkum. Warning bell terminology is: “interaction and togetherness in surreal tones,” and “In hypnotic pictures…the voices speak for themselves”—I was duped (COCOTE). How about “grotesque chamber piece on speed” and “psychological chamber piece” – makes you want to run out and buy a ticket, right? The word “comedy” is most abused from adjectival burdens: turbulent, quirky, fast-paced, warm-hearted, politically incorrect, and heart-warming tragicomedy; dark and black are accepted genre terminology. So, read between the lines and pay attention to semantics until festival’s sections programmers learn to write accurate synopses.

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