Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actor: Ullman; Kroymann; Vollenklee
Director: Angelina Maccarone
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Gay & Lesbian, Mystery & Suspense
Jan is a 16-year-old juvenile delinquent placed under the watchful eye of Elsa Seifert, a stern, driven, and uncompromising 49-year-old probation officer. Elsa cares for her charges, but tolerates no stepping out of line. ... more »
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 07/04/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride
Due out on September 11 from Picture This Entertainment is an interesting new film, a sado- masochistic German drama, "Punish Me". The performances of the actors is what makes this movie one to keep an eye out for. Kostja Ullman (Summer Storm) and Maren Kroymann set the screen ablaze with astounding acting.
The part of Winkler is played by Ullman. He is a 16 year old juvenile delinquent who is under the observation of a very stern parole officer, Elsa Siefert (Kroymann). Seifert is driven and without compassion. At 49, she is unwilling to compromise. She cares for those in her charge but she does allow them to overstep themselves to any degree whatsoever. As she realizes that she is not getting any younger, she bends a bit and her professionalism allows some small holes to enter. Her daughter, who is now grown, is leaving hoe and her marriage is dissolving. She looks for something out of her ordinary life; something that is intense enough to give her spirit.
Jan Winkler is set to fill her loneliness. He is young and he is obsessed and volunteers to subjugate himself sexually to her. Elsa knowing that no good can come from this enters into an arrangement with Winkler and together they explore the forbidden and taboo. A woman of her age, she feels, is deprived of any type of sexuality and so she abandons reason and knowingly and willingly enters a sado-masochistic affair with a 16 year old. It is not enough that Winkler is young but she is also his parole officer.
The story is basically about the keeping of a secret. In their secret world, Elsa and Winkler can be themselves while being both divided and undivided at the same time. The two break boundaries. There is both lust and revulsion and a myriad of themes crop up. The movie deals with age and transience and pain, both physical and mental. It deals with distorted issues of self-acceptance, power and its rejection and abandonment, about betrayal of one's own ideals and about initiation and the need for a strong experience. The relationship of the two brings all these conflicts into play.
We get to look through a peep hole at forbidden lust and our voyeurism sucks us into the world of the two. We see the nakedness--especially the inner nakedness of two people. We are transgressors like the two lovers as we watch what we should not see. We also se what age can do to bring about the quest and the need for change. Worthlessness becomes mythical or does it become empowering? Without the reproductive impetus and the lack of obligation to fulfill it and without familial approval being necessary, we see that we can proceed to do whatever we want. Approval is not necessary and we have freedom without compromise. What a powerful way to look at life....and ourselves.
Needs and Recriminations
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 12/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"PUNISH ME (VERFOLGT), aptly photographed in rich black and white, is a deftly made German film that raises as many questions as disturbing thoughts, a film that in every definition is a film noir - and a superb one at that. Writer Susanne Billig and director Angelina Maccarone (note: two very talented women!) have concocted a tale of disparate matching between a 50-year-old woman and a 16-year-old boy, a relationship that builds on sadomasochism as a means of filling voids in each character. The story could easily have become 'sensational' in less sensitive hands, but here, with the sound help of a superb and wholly credible cast, it asks us to examine the extremes to which people will go to feel complete.
Jan Winkler (the gifted and inordinately handsome Kostja Ullmann) is 16 and on probation for petty crimes. He is assigned to parole officer Elsa Seifert (the fine actress Maren Kroymann), a 50-year-old frustrated woman in a marriage that has stagnated. Jan feels a strange attraction to Elsa, an act that at first Elsa rebuffs and discourages but gradually becomes fascinated with the attention and seductive behavior of the young Jan. Committed to helping Jan she manages to talk her husband into employing Jan at his car repair shop the two males strike up a friendship. In a series of subtle episodes Jan suggests his need for 'structuring' to Elsa: what he needs is Elsa to punish him physically, and when Elsa complies she is attracted to the process of sadomasochistic behavior (as the Dominatrix) as well as to the tenderness that always follows their dark sessions. Elsa's husband discovers his wife's relationship with Jan while Jan's friends uncover the secret, and the resulting behavior and recriminations flesh out the surprising ending.
Both Ullmann and Kroymann are outstanding in these difficult roles and manage to maintain our empathy and understanding throughout the story. Both are exceptional actors and both have compelling screen presence. The cinematography allows us to once again remember how powerful black and white film can be. This is a film that some may find difficult to view (sadomasochism, teenage/older woman 'romance'), but the director keeps the story in tight rein and the result is a powerful tale of need and love and the sticky path that often joins the two feelings. Recommended. In German with English subtitles. Grady Harp, December 07
Very well done, interesting exploration of sexuality
M. Guerin | 10/23/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I thoroughly enjoyed this German movie. The lead actress, Maren Kroymann, did a great job playing a tricky role. I totally bought this unique, sado-masochistic, sexual relationship between the older woman and the very young man. The sexual dynamic, with the older woman holding all the "power" and the young man as subservient boy toy (and often nude), very much appealed to me. The young German actor, Kostja Ullmann, playing the boy was very, very sexy and beautiful, I remember him from the sweet German gay flick Summer Storm. I truly hope we see more of this sexy young man in other similar flicks.
Barker D. Chunn, Jr. | New Braunfels,Texas | 11/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Enjoyed this different and unusual European film. This movie again points out the difference in mores, American versus everyone else. American Censorship has crept slowly and relentlessly along for the past forty years are so. Political correctness and Agenda media has reached
suffocating status in the states. "Midnight Cowboy" in it's original
cut was X rated yet allowed to be released into lst run theaters. That
could never happen now. The latest thing that is to be banned is smoking, and use of the N word.
I still need to learn how to locate the English on the selection
There is some progress, the movie "Suddenly" was banned for over 40 years, staring Frank Sinatra is now available.
The Walt Disney movie "Song of the South" remains off the market.
Barker D. Chunn,Jr.