Headshots taken in Rotterdam
by Boyd van Hoeij
US-born director Lawrence Tooley presented his German-language, Berlin-set film Headshots [+see also:
film profile] at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (January 26-February 6), which opened a week ago with the premiere of the well-received Greek film Wasted Youth (see news).
Headshots is part of the festival’s Tiger Competition for first and second features, and only one of three fully European productions, besides Wasted Youth and the Spanish production Finisterrae [+see also:
interview: Sergio Caballero
Headshots, which was produced by the director for his German outfit AskimAskim Film, is many different films at once, and is almost as diverse as the city where it is set: Berlin.
It could be argued that the film has no real protagonists, but the character closest to a traditional protagonist is photographer Marianne (Loretta Pflaum). She is shaken when a strange accident befalls one of the models during one of her shoots.
We follow Marianne and a group of acquaintances and related characters throughout the film, as the 30-something photographer discovers she is pregnant, which seems to alter her vision of those around her even more.
The narrative style of Tooley, who wrote the screenplay together with actress Pflaum, is neither very close to realism (though the performances are) and neither simply based on freewheeling associations. The scenes, with an exceptionally uncluttered mise-en-scene, unfold simply one after the other, as if there would be no different way to tell the story. Integrated into the film are scenes that feel like confessions from Pflaum’s character, apparently taken from webcam footage.
Tooley not only directed, produced and co-wrote the film, but was also responsible for the production design and editing.
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