Back from a trip to New York City, Daniela pays a visit to her friend Mia in Berlin. Jetlag makes her insomnia even worse. Mia also has trouble sleeping, she is tired of “these empty days where nothing happens”. A few months later, Mia and Natasha go spend a few idle days at Daniela’s apartment in Vienna.
Their unproductive spleen is at odds with the Dantean passion that drove the characters of Classical Period (FID 2019). Outside Noise is the reverse shot of that film. What may seem like a careless stroll at first is in fact dark and anxious underneath. Actually, that very tension between latent anxiety and plain casualness is what makes this Stimmungfilm beautiful. The dialogues, written by the director and her actresses, spin the tight web of self fiction on which the three young women get trapped. Deciding whether to have some tea or not, to finish a Master dissertation or not, to visit such-and-such museum in cities that blend into the same dreariness – in this sad comedy of equivalence, existence itself seems to come down to playing tourist in limbo, and going in circles to the sound of outside noise. Through the mesh of the character study emerges a portrait of our times, a “deferred time”, after the title of a poem by Ingeborg Bachmann that Daniela might read next autumn; right now, it just feels beyond her. As the poem says, it is time for us to act, to shake ourselves up, because “harder days are coming”. But the women are tired, and the men are either obnoxious or annoying. Mischievously disguised as a cosmopolitan and multilingual tourist guide, Ted Fendt teaches Mia the Charleston, but it probably won’t solve the problem. Admittedly, it is not a
tragedy, but in the beautiful epilogue to the film, a question arises, punctuating this tender slide and allowing a sense of bitter nostalgia to linger – is a fantastic, heroic life even possible in an uneventful Europe?
Original Version : German.
Subtitles : English, French.
Script : Daniela Zahlner, Mia Sellmann, Ted Fendt.
Photography : Sage Einarsen, Britni West, Jenny Lou Ziegel.
Editing : Ted Fendt.
Sound : Johannes Schmelzer-Ziringer, Melissa Dullius, Sean Dunn, Daniel D‘Errico.
Casting : Daniela Zahlner, Mia Sellmann, Natascha Manthe, Genevieve Havemeyer-King.
Production : Zsuzsanna Kiràly (Flaneur Films).
International sellings : Egle Cepaite (Shellac).
Filmography : Classical Period, 2018. Short Stay, 2016.
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