Dir: Matthias Glasner. Germany. 2000. 103mins.
Prod co: Calypso Filmproduktion, Buena Vista International Filmproduktion (Germany). Int'l sales: Bavaria Film International (49 89 6499 3506). Prod: Werner Possardt. Scr: Glasner. DoP: Sonja Rom. Prod des: Ingrid Buron. Ed: Markus Goller. Mus: Fetisch/meister. Main cast: Moritz Bleibtreu, Nicolette Krebitz, Richy Muller, Corinna Harfouch, Volker Spengler.
A high-gloss, high-speed rush through Berlin's clubland, Fandango exhilarated the crowds at its premiere in the Panorama section in Berlin and though the over-25s are likely to find its frenetic camerawork, freakish cast and bursts of violence a turn-off, those who flocked to Human Traffic could make this a surprise hit.
Director Matthias Glasner is a former projectionist and he was obviously paying attention since his film is liberally laced with nods to crime and drug-fuelled films of the past.
The restless camerawork, a mix of Dogme95, Tarantino and Barbarella, provides a succession of striking wide-screen images as we follow Shirley (Nicolette Krebitz) trying to fulfil her dream of becoming a model and break free from her good-looking but nasty boyfriend Lupo (Richy Muller) who runs the best club in town but spends most of his time mugging his own clientele. He, in turn, is in thrall to Duke, an even more sadistic lesbian (a creepy turn by Corinna Harfouch) who has a profitable coke-dealing business. The plot is set in motion when DJ Sunny (Moritz Bleibtreu) who pretends to be blind steals Lupo's car, cash and cocaine and bumps into Shirley who immediately falls for him.
Glasner certainly knows how to give his film a shot of adrenaline but he's less sure about its tone - is it a comic-strip fantasy or nightmarish realistic thriller' But the strong cast, eye-catching settings and frequent laughs make this an enjoyable, if noisy, romp.