Schultze Gets the Blues

Not everyone will be able to appreciate or even tolerate the pace of this little film, which was originally released in 2003. It takes its time getting to where it is going, but it is a perfect depiction of life in the sleepy little German town. It is not the usual type of Hollywood film where things happen at breakneck speed and huge changes occur within characters overnight. There is no forced or phony dialogue whose only purpose it is to fill up silence. The dialogue and scenery is sparse and that is just right for the film. It really is a portrayal of everyday life with an emphasis on loneliness and how many people are affected by it. The only time people are woken out of their slumber is when they are playing music. The actors, especially the lead, do an amazing job making it look like they are not acting, but actually are the characters. Director Michael Schorr's (first film) minimalist film is a success because he does not interfere too much. The quiet scenes of landscapes and the Bayou are just what this type of story requires. If you enjoyed the film 'Broken Flowers' then this film is definitely your speed.

Schultze (Horst Krause – ), who lives in a small German town, and two of his co-workers, Jürgen (Harald Warmbrunn – accomplished German television actor) and Manfred (Karl Fred Müller – German television actor), have just retired from being miners. They now have all day to do whatever they please. Unfortunately for them, there does not seem to be much to do in their town except for annoying the Gatekeeper (Wolfgang Boos), a young man who has to raise the bar across the train tracks every time someone wants to pass. The three men get together often at a local bar, but there is only so much sitting around and drinking beer that one can do. The local music club is celebrating its 50th anniversary and Schultze, who plays polka music on the accordion, is going to participate at the celebratory concert.

One night, having trouble sleeping, Schultze wakes up and turns on the radio in the kitchen. The music that he hears is Zydeco music. The music seems to overtake Schultze and now whenever he plays his accordion Zydeco music comes out. Even when he plays the accordion for residents of his mother's (Loni Frank – first film) retirement home he plays the upbeat Zydeco music, which no one seems to appreciate except for his new female friend, Lorant (Rosemarie Deibel). He plays the music at the celebration and only Jürgen and Manfred like it; the others do not want him to play the music of black people. Even though he cannot speak any English, Schultze decides to travel to the heart of Zydeco land and goes to Louisiana.

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