Elfi Mikesch

Scen., F.: Elfi Mikesch. M.: Heide Breitel. Mus.: Ed Lieber, Christian Geerdes, Ursula Weck, Fritz Mikesch. Int.: Magdalena Montezuma (Isabelle), Bernd Broaderup (Max Taurus), Heinz Emigholz (Vinzenz Nola), Carola Regnier (Franziska), Fritz Mikesch (Sandro Deadalos), Frank Ripploh (Tannenzauber), Edith Lechtape (Ariadne). Prod.: Laurens Straub, Elfi Mikesch per Filmwelt Verleihagentur GmbH, Oh Muvie Film, ZDF. DCP. D.: 90’. Col.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

This time Elfi Mikesch works with stars. The great Magdalena Montezuma, more beautiful than she has ever been before, plays a crime writer who invents a world of crimes involving herself. Bernd Broaderup, whom we know as the sympathetic gay man from Taxi zum Klo, plays Max Taurus, a romantic bureaucrat who believes not in the good but in the evil in people, and who looks for it and thinks he can find it everywhere in the city. In search of crime, he enters a derelict house where the resistance to the environment lies in the pleasure of neglect. He finds hyenas, victims and perpetrators at the same time, in a system of invisible prisons. He encounters a counter-world that only seems to behave differently from his own. There is Frank Ripploh, who plays a sleazy, elegant con man, Carola Regnier, who speaks of love with a destroyed face, Fritz Mikesch, who portrays a painter practising suicide in his labyrinth. Heinz Emigholz is the only one whose humour survives, whose mad face intimidates the murderer.
Mikesch’s ingenious camera keeps reinventing cinema (who else does that in Germany?). She works with light and colour, with a poetry and concentration that makes the heart stand still. She shot this film for over a year – with little money, but with imagination and strength and collaborators who believed in her talent. The audience, prepared only for realism and made primitive by the media, will have its difficulties. Details become main characters. The beauty of a lip or a glove seizes the perpetrator, draw him under their spell. The murderer is hypnotised, and the detective must die. Life goes on, but only with women, whose love is more important than the aggression of men. Macumba is the most beautiful film about crime made by a woman.

Rosa von Praunheim, in “Berlinale-tip”, n. 3, 1982

Copy From

Restored in 2020 by Deutsche Kinemathek at ARRI Media laboratory from a 16mm print preserved at ZDF