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Amour Fou

Director:  Jessica Hausner
Year Released:  2014
Rating:  1.0

Profoundly troubled German poet/playwright Heinrich von Kleist (Christian Friedel) goes around telling his cousin he wants to shoot her in the head (out of love, you see!) - meanwhile, Henriette Vogel (Birte Schnoeink), a singer and the wife of one of Von Kleist's associates, is diagnosed with an terminal ulcer ... and strongly considers the artist's suggestion. The major issue with this is that Hausner picked an incredibly dreary and draining topic to center a film around - both Von Kleist and Madame Vogel come across as being less-than-human - and then records their despair with supreme detachment: between Von Kleist's suicidal ideation and Vogel's suffering, the movie sinks into itself, becoming completely inert. Hausner's suggestion that - pre-Freud and developments in psychiatry - Vogel's 'illness' is actually the same as Von Kleist's should surprise no one (as it turns out, Vogel, in real life, did not have a tumor). In between the scenes of internalized anguish: tedious musical interludes with a little girl plonking on a piano!

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