Casting movie poster

It’s five days before shooting commences, and Vera (Judith Engel) — it’s the third film for the documentarian, and her first dramatic digression — can’t seem to make up her mind over who should play the lead role of Fassbinder’s broken-but-still-capable-of-loving fashion designer in this TV remake of The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant.. That’s the premise behind co-writer and director Nicolas Wackerbarth’s alternately amusing and agonizingly frustrating comedy as we join Vera in “seeing” at least a half-dozen contenders, none of whom make the grade. The film takes place in one location, and each scene plays out in real time. That’s where the similarities to Fassbinder begin to wane. There’s not an uninformed composition in all of Petra Von Kant. If it was Wackerbarth’s intention to pay homage to Fassbinder, the least he could have done was pop for a tripod. Luckily, Casting is couched in acting, and even the non-stop jiggling of the camera can’t shake off these performances. 2017.

Scott Marks

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