DCP, 2k (from the 16mm original), rewatched. Having not yet seen "Transit", this dry, precise, direct film, through layers of meaning and its dramatic evolution, in which the thriller is articulated with a critique of pure reason and an analysis of a systemic economy, is still one of his best, before the recent trend for soporific historic romanesque.
Ultimately a tragedy, though not without the occasional subtle sense of humor. Throughout the film Petzold often creates a building suspense, only to evade what we'd hoped or feared--characters miss opportunities to confess, or overlook certain details. In the end this is not your typical story of atonement and redemption and I appreciate how this film is willing to explore & ultimately defy any such expectations.
It's remarkable for a film with such a contrived plot to be psychologically this captivating and ultimately feel so hauntingly poetic. Automobile soundscapes beautifully interweave with Fürmann and Hoss's marvellous screen presence and German non-places. This film isn't called "Wolfsburg" for no reason.
A criminally underrated gem of a thriller. Petzold's sophomore effort displays the kind of ace writing and control over the genre one expects only from the most experienced. The development never veers from being absolutely riveting and is appropriately pared with fantastic acting, Nina Hoss is especially a standout. Absolutely recommended.