Thursday , June 24 2021

"In my room" by Ulrich Köhler: Robinson in East Westphalia





The last thing that Armin sees on the populated world is a celebration of Weser's night-time party with discolored and ecstatic dancing people. After that, the cinematographer from Berlin has a film crash, rather a glitch, and nothing is more like before: Semi-driven cars are on an open engine at gas stations, drivers without a car have driven into each other on streets, the ship drives unmanned on the river.

Between two shots in "In my room", people disappear, a statement not explained in the movie, and it makes it a genrebit: first a dystopian science fiction film where a person stumbles through a post-apocalyptic world; then a Robinson's, where the same man creates a new world out of civilization remains.

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"In my room":
Tell me where the people are

We first met Armin as a not very sympathetic city citizen. If he dares into the world as a cameraman, he confuses the on and off button and provides pictures of politician interviews that the important thing lacks. In his student apartment, which has been preserved in adulthood, he tries to seduce a much younger woman without success. From the youthroom in his Westphalian birthplace he sees his grandmother die.

New movements, new muscles

Ulrich Köhler's new film is called "In My Room", as in "Bungalow" (2002) and "Montag die Fenster" (2006), he tells about unthinking heroes who try to get up and fall from a difficult living situation to the next, the title On the new movie is a Beach Boys quote: The one who burys himself in his room thinks he can rule out all the fears and concerns, it says. When Armin finally goes out of the world, almost everything seems worrying about him and worries him.

As laconically as Ulrich Köhler outlines Army's life in the first third of the film, he temporarily lit the special effect. Few images are enough to declare the world of "In My Room": East Westphalia suddenly abandoned, dogs without a championship, horses left forgotten in trailers, Armin takes the fastest orphaned car he can find and drive through the city unrestrained villages.



"In my room"
Germany 2018

Book and Director: Ulrich Köhler
participants: Hans Löw, Elena Radonicich, Michael Wittenborn, Ruth Bickelhaupt
production: Pandora Film Production, Echo Film, Collaborators Film et al.
rent Pandora movie rental


Mark: 12 years
length: 120 minutes
Start: November 8, 2018


Once again, there is a movie year, just like Köhlers friend Patrick Orth was confused to turn on and off buttons. Suddenly there is summer, the front gardens of the Minden district are already overgrown with weeds, wild boar driving over the highway, the offers in the mall are still the same. Armin now has a beard, a senile, half-dressed natural human body, leading us with confident movements in his new space: a cabin of animals collected from the surrounding houses Schöner accommodation, even sewn covers to Verandasessel.

Hans Löw does not play Robinson as a special effect, but as a true embodiment: New moves create new muscles. The camera carefully observes this body, is interested in its new relationship with the world, in what it does with its freedom.

Like in Vlotho

"In my room" is a good fortune in German cinema. The broken arrival of genre formulas serves as a fresh air in today's film-historical lists of the state of the country, and at the same time it is very special how Köhler portrays his post-apocalyptic speculation: Robinson's humble paradise lies in the Ostwestfalen-Lippe radius, his new living space looks as fast as a family home in Vlotho, he cooks on his grandmother's recipe book, and one would not be surprised if he would borrow from the orphan video store only movies with Ben Affleck.

And yet – or maybe because of it – the film draws the ground under your feet.

In the video: The trailer for "In my room
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In the last third, we suddenly see Armin from another observer perspective. Robinson is not alone. Friday is a woman, and she will not settle in her world. But even it works in "In My Room" not as a special effect, but as an odd joke about what people imagine under freedom.

Sometimes it's just a bag of rubber bears from the unguarded gas station. Or a song from Pet Shop Boys.


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