English and German with English subtitles, 2012, 111 minutes, color, Germany, World Dramatic
Clemens Trunschka is not doing so well. With spotty employment and a shaky marriage, he’s pretty much lost any claim to being a “functional alcoholic.” The more accurate term for him would probably be “lousy drunk.” So when an opportunity arises to help a German company recruit an American candidate as its CEO, Trunschka seizes the chance to get back in the black—with both his finances and his family.
Showing a deftness for handling such emotional material, writer/director Bastian Günther expands Trunschka’s headhunting expedition into a captivating and subtle examination of failure. He’s aided by lead actor Ulrich Tukur, who delivers a fearless portrayal of a man searching for new ways to hit bottom as he flings himself down the slopes of self-loathing with all the gusto of a certain cartoon coyote. Houston dives unflinchingly deep into the heart of Texas and comes up with something as surprising as it is precious: hope. - J. K.
About the Director
Born in 1974 in Hachenburg, Germany, Bastian Günther studied directing at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin. The short film he made there, End of a Trip, won a First Steps award in 2006. Autopilots, which he wrote and directed in 2007, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and went on to screen at festivals worldwide, winning the MFG-Star award for young directors at the MFG Festival in Baden-Baden. He divides his time between Berlin and Austin, Texas.
Cast and Credits
Director: Bastian Günther
Screenwriter: Bastian Günther
Producers: Martin Heisler, Joachim Ortmanns, Anne Walker-McBay
Cinematographer: Michael Kotschi
Editor: Anne Fabini
Production Designers: Christiane Krumwiede, Jeff Hartmann
Music: Michael Rother, NEU!
Principal Cast: Ulrich Tukur, Garret Dillahunt, Wolfram Koch, Jenny Schily, Jason Douglas, Jens Münchow
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