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Bad Director
Germany 2024

Opening 9 May 2024

Directed by: Oskar Roehler
Writing credits: Oskar Roehler
Principal actors: Oliver Masucci, Bella Dayne, Anne Ratte-Polle, Elie Kaempfen, Götz Otto

Gregor Samsa (Oliver Masucci), now in his mid-50s, has had enough of his career as a film director. He is wrapping up his, hopefully, final film, facing conflicts with actors, the producer, and the film team in general. In a sudden spurt of desperation, he leaves his filming and goes into an antique bookstore where, by chance, he meets the charming Grete (Bella Dayne). Otherwise, he “relaxes” by booking prostitutes to his hotel room.  What a surprise, when the prostitute who arrives the next time is Grete. They become friends.

The film opens with us looking at a bare bottom, something which appears more than once in the next 130 minutes. Although the film describes a film director, Roehler does not consider it to be autobiographical, although, naturally, he could draw on some of his own experiences, e.g., described in his book Selbstverfickung (2017). The title translates into “You fucked yourself,” a sentence which appears once in the film. Some of my press colleagues were slow to judge Bad Director a “good” film. Still, actor Elie Kaempfen, who plays the role of Fabian, as well as the many actors in the roles of Petra, Suzanne, Konstanze, Sommerwind, Harry, Samuel, etc. are excellent. Definitely watching leading actor Oliver Masucci as Gregor is an opportunity not to be missed. This is the third film directed by Oskar Roehler to feature Oliver Masucci; the prior ones are HERRliche Zeiten (2018) and Enfant Terrible (2020). There is limited background music with a highlight being “Je t’aime…moi non plus” (1967) by Serge Gainsbourg. Filmed in Cologne and Berlin. (Becky Tan)

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