THE WALL (DIE WAND)

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
JANUARY 14, 2014

An interesting premise, “The Wall” sees a woman trapped in the wilderness behind an invisible barrier, left to fend for herself and face solitude, with only animals to accompany her and give her purpose. If you haven’t read Marlen Haushofer’s 1963 novel in which the film is based, you’ll likely get an inkling of the same type of story in Stephen King’s “Under The Dome” which puts a town under a mysterious dome barrier, blocking them from the outside world. The major difference in these works, besides the number of humans trapped, is the eventual mystery-solving that takes place to explain the dome, as well as other odd occurrences happening. In “The Wall”, however, the reasoning behind the barrier is never really even touched upon. Instead, we’re delivered a character study of a woman played by Martina Gedeck as she writes down her memories from the start of the occurrence until her last piece of paper to write on.

Slow and plodding, the film is deliberate in its pace, making time almost a character in the film, even going as far as to remind us of the seasons that are taking place. Many questions arise from the narrative, like why the woman never attempts to find all the borders or where the mysterious man in the film comes from or how all the animals survive. Regardless, director Julian Pölsler chooses his moments and sticks with them, providing both breathtaking visuals of the Austrian mountainside and a visceral performance from Martina Gedeck who acts as a one-woman show and carries herself exquisitely. Setting a high concept science-fiction device like the invisible wall into a very strong drama peaked my anticipation for the film, and despite “The Wall” not quite reaching the levels to which I had wished, it stills marks an amazing feat in foreign film-making and simply leaves plenty of room for improvement in the genre.

RELEASE DATE
May 31, 2013

DIRECTOR
Julian Pölsler

WRITTEN BY
Julian Pölsler

BASED ON
“Die Wand”
by Marlen Haushofer

STUDIO
Music Box Films

NOT RATED

DRAMA
FANTASY
INTERNATIONAL
MYSTERY

108 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Jrp Artman
Christian Berger
Markus Fraunholz
Martin Gschlacht
Bernhard Keller
Helmut Pirnat
Hans Selikovsky
Richard Wagner

COMPOSER
Bernd Jungmair

EDITOR
Thomas Kohler
Bettina Mazakarini

CAST
Martina Gedeck
Luchs
Karlheinz Hackl
Ulrike Beimpold
Julia Gschnitzer
Hans-Michael Rehberg
Wolfgang M. Bauer

PRODUCED BY
Wasiliki Bleser
Rainer Kölmel
Antonin Svoboda
Bruno Wagner

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