February, 1985

Tränen in Florenz (Tears in Florence)

(West Germany - Color)

Saarbrücken, Jan.19.

A Marianne Schaefer Film Production, West Germany. Directed by Schaefer. Features entire cast. Screenplay Schaefer, Peter Rueben; camera (color) Jaques Steyn; music, Charles Kalmann. Reviewed at Saarbrücken Filmfestival (Max Ophüls Prize), Jan. 18. 1985. Running Time 87 MINS. With Wolfgang Joop (Rüdiger Keienburg), Violetta Sanchez (Countess Vera da Vinci), Christoph Eichhorn (Wolfram Dernbach), Rita Kail (Gerda) Yolande Gilot (Anabel) Werner Eichorn, Ortrud Beginnin.

Marianne Schaefer's "Tears in Florence" was one of surprise hits at the Max Ophüls Prize Competition. A debut feature, it draws it's inspiration from the so called "trivial novel" found in droves on paperback stands of large European cities. The love story melodramas are usually set in plush settings and deal with idle rich finding and losing and finding each other under circumstances that are suppose to stimulate the readers emotions and tear ducts.

Film begins in San Remo on the Riviera, where a Düsseldorf fashion king runs over a fair countess while driving his sports car too fast on curving lanes. She ends up in a hospital and needs plastic surgery to repair the scar on her face, but it's still love at first sight. Meanwhile back at the shop, a fashion show is rescued from a flop at the last minute by replacing the ankle-injured mannequin with a cinderella-lovely who goes on not only to steal the show but the heart of young manager and clothing designer.

The fashion czar and the countess from Florence wish to marry, but a quirk of fate reveals that they are related by blood - in fact, Rüdiger is rescued in the nick of time from marrying his half-sister. Naturally everything gets unraveled in the end to reveal more oddities in the family tree.

Everything is done tongue-in-cheek and in grand parody style: Corny lines and silly costumes. The Hamburg designer Wolfgang Joop plays the couturier Rüdiger to the hilt, while the Italian countess is in real-life an Yves-Saint-Laurent mannequin from Paris, Violetta Sanchez. All the other roles, too, fit their personalities like a kid gloves. The other plus is Jaquqes Steyn's talent for lightening and decoration. - Holl.