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RELEASES Germany

Hotel: The secrets are at the end of the corridor

by 

Whether it is because of the summer or not, very few new releases hit German screens this week. Today’s two European productions, however, have good chances of battling it out with three US productions. Buena Vista is releasing the UK title Mrs. Henderson Presents by Stephen Frears (starring Judi Dench), while Neue Visionen is distributing Hotel [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, by Jessica Hausner (Lovely Rita [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
).

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In Hausner’s film, presented in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2004 Cannes Film Festival and co-produced by Coop 99 (Austria) and Essential Film (Germany), the director tells a story without no real beginning or end, that of Irene (Franziska Weisz) who starts working as a receptionist in a supposedly haunted hotel surrounded by a dark forest where certain mysteries — such as the death of the former receptionist and a necklace stolen while Irene was swimming alone in the dark — remain unresolved.

Surprisingly, in the red and green hues of the lonely hotel, the mysteries do not incite fear or anguish, as Hausner’s universe is not blurred, rather it has straight lines like the character of its heroine and breathtaking trees in cold colours that always lead to a secret door.

The film, inspired by local legends, is more like a thriller than a thriller itself, and is designed like a game of Cluedo, a dream and a book of bare walls, where something undefined and vaguely mysterious seems to be hidden behind every door.

(Translated from French)

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