Pssst, want to check out Yella in our new look?
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The third Petzold movie I’ve seen, and not having seen Carnival of Souls I went in lacking narrative context. Ah well, everything I need is here: Petzold’s understated style, Nina Hoss, and… balance sheets? I mean: simmering tension.
Where the story works it ratchets up the tension surrounding Yella’s life: her escape from the East, narrow escape from death, struggles to find work, and to keep away from Ben. People driving in cars again! And the concealed motives that go along with that. As it progresses the struggles get tougher, the stakes higher. Things go poorly and in the end we see what we didn’t want to know all along.
That’s part of where the story doesn’t work so well: it seems in hewing to the original Carnival it has nowhere to go from what it set up. Petzold made a unique choice to translate the “ghosts” as metaphorical: the past, the ex, capitalism itself. It transcends the original story by my quick reading. But the ending brings it right back down.
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!