Shot a few years after the first mining pits were closed in the Ruhr area, Nestler takes his audience on a journey through mining pits, coal heaps, cold stores and to workingmen’s settlements and pubs in the city of Mülheim.
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Part of me would like some vocal testimony in this account of the city of Mülheim but Nestler's approach works a treat. He packs an awful lot into this highly detailed short film. There is a sense of the elegiac about it but, unlike the coal towns in Belgium, England and France, Mülheim had a successful reinvention as an industrial centre. It also helps that the town is full of interesting architecture. Wonderful.
Die Dissonanz zwischen Filmmusik und den trunkenen Bilder der Bewohner von Mühlheim: erst am Ende des Filmes scheinen sie zueinander zu passen. Noch immer Nachkriegszeit, noch immer Ruhrpott: das Wirtschaftswunder ist in dieser Stadt nicht angekommen. Kaum Bautätigkeit. Industrie, Nebel, Smog und Schmutz und darin die Menschen, die ihr Leben zu meistern haben: arbeiten, ein Bier trinken, ihre Freizeit verbringen.
No doubt the stilted ragtime, jazzy classical guitar, and mouth harp triple threat of the score had different affective or cultural connotations in 1960s W. Germany, but they're pretty awkwardly/miserably lost in temporal translation. I appreciate the fact of the clear-eyed class consciousness far more than I appreciate the film. 2.5
Really more like a series of moving, momentary snapshots than a film, it's a bit like the short, German version of 'Man With a Movie Camera'. Setting aside the political angle, the tiny, free details such as a child dancing carelessly in the street, and a woman smoothing her hair on a date, are what really engages about this short. And I think it's best read as a moving picture gallery of its subject city.
Wow! Thank you, MUBI! That is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen! A very generalized thing to say, but I seldom go there, so hopefully any who have endured my diatribes and polemics will register what it might mean for me to be wordless (or maybe overworded! from how specific and yet poetic this film is) and tossing superlatives without saying specifically why. I hope this series gets extended! Please!