The Edukators (Die Fetten Jahre Sing Vorbei) - Hans Weingarten - Germany 2004
Viewed Tyneside Film Theatre 7 5 05 Ticket price £5-95
No message from the dead
Its interesting to note that the English title of this movie owes nothing to the original German which I think points directly to the past as a source of ideas. The English distributors have gone for a sort of neo punk handle contrived as hip gesture of semi-illiteracy in the hope of suggesting a film that has at least something vital in its craw. But there is nothing here - it is an empty vacant movie with round smiling faces.
I think that as film The Educakors is not even a film: its a TV sit com, a sort of German version of Friends without the Manhattan haircuts but with similar if less well contrived plot devices. Looking at The Edukators it appeared to me so visually impoverished that it probably would have worked better as a radio play. There are certainly no film ideas in evidence. The camera work comprises little more than the technical feat of pointing the thing in the right direction and remembering to turn it over; the editing is characterised by cute little jump cuts in the action and little else and the acting is stolidly mediocre. For which mediocrity, the actors are possibly blameless in as much as the script requires them to go through vacuous gestures in response to ideas that have been decanted of all meaning. The political/social ideas that lurk as the historical background to the Edukators are not introduced in order to be probed examined put to the test suffered or destroyed. Their existence in the film is marked only to the extent that they are milked for their entertainment value, for their value in manipulating ironic contretemps and as wallpaper for the light comedic situations. This use of ideas let alone politics in movies fully accords with the thinking of most Hollywood studios and looking at this work I wondered if Hans Weingarten might be marking his menu card for a possible piece of american pie.