Synopsis: Having just landed a gig with a trendy magazine, young photographer Nadja celebrates at the local disco, where she bumps into Darius, a 20-year-old skateboarder. Although her frankness at first scares him, the two quickly become a couple, and as their intoxicating affair takes off, they seem like passionate soul mates. Soon, however, career demands and emotional intensity gradually put a strain on their rapport, and things turn even more complicated in director/screenwriter Felicitas Korn’s contribution to the 2008 Cinequest Film Festival.
eyelights: its sexy bits. its observations.
eyesores: its unclear conclusions.
“I never met someone as fearless as me before.”
‘Auftauchen’ is a 2006 German film by Felicitas Korn about an unfocused photography student whose life changes when she is faced with difficult choices. A flirtatious party girl who spends her evenings raving, one night Nadja meets a young man who is as fascinated with her as she is with him.
He has never met someone as fearless as he is, Darius tells her.
Though he plays it cool at first, and even turns down an offer to stay the night, they become inseparable and soon move in together. But their intense connection will fritter apart as she becomes focused on her blooming career instead of the relationship and even faces an unexpected pregnancy.
Nadja is starting to wake up to a few truths in her life.
But is she ready for it?
I stumbled on ‘Auftauchen’ as I was looking up sexy titles for the blog, but I knew nothing about it other than the few comments on IMDB; the picture hasn’t been released on DVD in North America and it’s not exactly a common title. But I was intrigued enough to seek (and luckily find) a copy of it.
And I’m happy that I did. Though the film takes a morose turn when Nadja and Darius start falling out of love, and never really recovers, leaving Nadja (and ourselves) with more questions than answers, it felt truthful in the sense that life often doesn’t serve up easy paths – it can be sobering.
Not only was Nadja lackadaisical about her relationships (case-in-point, the one with her mother, or her ex), she was also pretty reckless about sex – hence the pregnancy. She just couldn’t be bothered to play it safe, at one point convincing Darius to go bareback because she didn’t “have AIDS”.
…as though that was the only risk.
In any event, their carefree encounters (of which there are many: some beautiful, some sexy and not all explicit) eventually come to an end as Darius grows more resentful and pushes her away. Suddenly lost without it, with the rest of her life in a tailspin, Nadja acts out irresponsibly.
But she learns. Eventually.
And this is the strength of ‘Auftauchen’. Though it’s not a wholly pleasant ride, it can serve as a gentle wake-up call for other young adults who lead a similar lifestyle. It’s all fun and games for a while, but life can come crashing down on you when you least expect it. And that’s hard.
You have to be ready to break the surface.
And go deep.
Date of viewing: January 4, 2017