Thursday, October 09, 2008
Ausreisser (The Runaway)
Ausreisser (The Runaway)
Ausreisser is a science-fiction film which, tastefully, proposes that loved-ones revive the spirit in mankind. At 7:10 AM, Walter Dahlmann prepares for an interviewed with a potential employer. Upon leaving his apartment, Walter is propositioned by a young lad - who, later, becomes known as Yuri - for a ride to school. Walter disregards the proposal, for the youth is unknown by him. However, Yuri is persistent in his asking and Walter transports him to school on his bicycle. This is not the last Walter will see of Yuri. In fact, Walter and Yuri have a special connection. Walter is Yuri's father. The problem is this: at 7:00 AM, Yuri and his mother were in a fatal car accident. Yuri's mother was killed and Yuri in critical condition.
My interest in this film stems from its musical composition. Many films, whether short or feature, include one or more musical pieces which solicit the viewers' emotional response. And more often, music is an element of the film's thematic structure which signifies change of emotion and/or theme. In “The Formal Design of Brokeback Mountain," Edgecombe points out that music is, also, used as a concluding formal distinction from the main structure; this is referred to as the film's coda.
Ausriesser has several musical compositions which are significant to its structure. On one hand, throughout the film, a bouncy classical composition (which, at times, becomes eerie and horrifying) indicates changes to the character(s) emotional state. But, most interesting is the compositions -which are clearly American - at the beginning and end of the narrative. At the beginning, a funk composition and, at the end, the alternative music genre is represented. Interesting because Ausreisser is a German short film (setting and language). Imagining this film without these American music compositions, I decided, perhaps, this film could and, perhaps, would have been just as successful without them. Then, I remembered this film was, at least, nominated for the 78th Annual Academy Awards; commonly, an American award ceremony. Ausreisser, through Germanic dialogue, addresses issues associated with death and its coda rings, "Don't cry for me," in the English language which, at first, seems inconsistent, but, aesthetically fascinates. Certainly, death is a universal issue and music is, supposedly, a universal method of communication. But, why does Grote choose American music? In my opinion, to capture an American audience.