Liebe und Zufall, a labyrinthine diary between fiction and reality
by Muriel del Don
- With Liebe und Zufall Swiss director Fredi M.Murer proves his fame as an innovative and doggedly independent filmmaker
Fredi M. Murer, multi-talented and multi-faceted Swiss director has once again amazed with his latest feature film Liebe und Zufall [+see also:
film profile], a comedy with a labyrinthine plot in which the characters slowly reveal themselves in a kind of bitter-tasting riddle.
Liebe und Zufall is the complex portrait of a woman who has decided to face up to the ghosts of her past in order to build a more honest future, in keeping with her deepest feelings. At 76 years of age Elise lives a safe and reassuring life, cradled by a routine that has left her almost impervious to emotion. Her future is clear to her: she will spend the last years of her life with Paul with whom she has been happily married for 50 years, in the showy and decadent setting of their Zurich villa. Their guardian angel is Angela, the faithful housekeeper who takes care of them and allows them to live an independent life safe from the outside world. However, their quiet middle class life is overturned by the arrival of Enrique, a charismatic character with a fiery temperament who employs Angela as the lead in his new play. A number of small serious accidents gradually start to arise in their lives: Paul accidentally knocks down a man with his Maserati and immediately becomes friends with him, not knowing his true identity and Elise is the victim of a series of ordeals that push her to face up to the ghosts of her past with strength and courage, in order to survive or perhaps in order to start living.
Liebe und Zufall is the moving portrait of a woman and at the same time a harmonic film with strong and sensitive characters that are tempestuous and emotional. The screenplay, written with Rolando Colla, Murer's faithful collaborator, accompanies the viewer in a Baroque world in which popular theatre combines with more balanced dialogues that are at times basic but always profound. It's perhaps the echo of a Bourgeois world in which words should be used sparingly. The Swiss director, a fully-fledged illusionist, plays with the situations and with the characters' feelings with an ease and command that is rarely seen. Murer's latest effort is a real mix of emotions with extremely human characters despite a plot that at times is deliberately artificial, almost theatrical. Fredi Murer recreates a labyrinthine narrative that makes you dizzy, where you can lose yourself or maybe even find yourself.
Liebe und Zufall is a kind of private journal concealed in fiction, a perfectly calibrated mix of autobiography (the film draws its inspiration from a novel written by the director' mother) and documentary. Murer is interested in the subtle boundary between reality and fiction, which suspended moment in which the world that surrounds us suddenly, through artistic creativity, becomes “something different”. Liebe und Zufall is also a love letter to the city of Zurich, to its rich cultural and artistic past and to the mystery that oozes from its streets and from the majestic mountains that surround it. The hyper modernity of the new buildings clashes with the reassuring intimacy of Elise and Paul's villa, a sort of protected oasis, safe from a world that has pushed them aside. Murer succeeds, thanks also the splendid photography of Pio Corradi, in showing us the wealth and majesty of a Swiss landscape perhaps too often forgotten. An ode to the beauty of a wild nature that vigorously defends its own independence.
Liebe und Zufall is producded by Vega Film.
(Translated from Italian)