Introduction and Q+A with Prof. Sara Hall
This film contains strong sexual content and language. Viewers' discretion is advised!
Director: Jakob Lass, color, 89 min., 2013
This movie is an example of German mumblecore films that use improvisation in terms of style and production – this is a recurrent theme of all the different aspects of the filmmaking process. It is not only the actors who improvise; the directors and camera crew do too. There tends not to be any screenplay at all, with only the rough outlines of a plot serving as a guideline. The resulting stylized authenticity is, as it were, the exact polar opposite to the stringently regulated productions of the Berlin School.
A luxury hotel. Steaks are sizzling. Muffintops are massaged. Clemens (rare) joins the spa as a rookie. Lara (well-done) needs to assert herself in the kitchen pack. The elevator brings the two together. Hanging out until they start to rub. Rubbing to ignite. Igniting to burn.
“In LOVE STEAKS I tell a love story in which two different life concepts collide: “doing good deeds” vs. “living wild”. Neither Lara nor Clemens has an easy time following their life concept in their traditional hierarchical work environment. That’s why they find one another, love one another, but also challenge one another. But Lara’s wild life leaves her harmless and weak, and Clemens’ good deeds eventually cause immense damage. They are forced to fight for their love.”
is Associate Professor of Germanic Studies at UIC, where she also serves as the chair of the minor in Moving Image Arts. She has taught and lectured around Chicago in such venerable venues as the Center on Halsted, the Chicago Cultural Center/Cinema Chicago, the Gene Siskel Film Center and Facets Multimedia. She received her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley and has been awarded fellowships from the German Academic Exchange Service, the Berlin Program for Advanced European Studies at the Freie-Universität Berlin, the UIC Institute for the Humanities, and the John Nuveen Center for International Affairs. She is the author of numerous academic articles on German silent and early sound film and New German Cinema, as well as a book manuscript on the role of film in police work in 1920s Berlin.