The Austin Chronicle


SXSW 2000 Film Festival and Conference

By Hollis Chacona, March 24, 2000, Screens


Dir/Scr: Tomi Streiff; Scr: Ela Thier; Prod: Susan Schulte; DP: Johannes Hollmann; Ed: Roswitha Gnädig ; Music: Oliver Kuka, Hulger Nesweda; Cast: Isabella Parkinson, Oliver Reinhard, the Cow Hannah, Maria Schrader, Dani Levy.

35mm, 87 min., 1999, English subtitles (USP)

Flora is a librarian traveling to the city to join her sister, Sylvia, the pinnacle of wisdom and stability. Falling prey to a con man, Flora is forced to hitchhike and is picked up by Tim, a sad-sack plumber and bridegroom-to-be. Tim and his nuptial gift cow, Hannah, are en route to the wedding, but the trip goes awry when Flora allows Hannah to escape. Just the beginning of their troubles, of course, for Flora's prim and mousy demeanor is the placid center of a virtual vortex of mishaps. Despite a penchant for dutifully quoting her sister's sage maxims, Flora never seems able to follow them. From the lost cow to a larcenous runaway to a stay in a garish honeymoon suite, Tim and Flora are swept away by the vortex but remain curiously afloat, bobbing along rather than being towed under. Their shared calm amidst mayhem runs counter to most screwball comedies where the madcap comedian plays off the stoic straight man, but the duo cast a gentle charm that works in this picture. Die Hochzeitskuh has the pace of a leisurely Sunday drive, but unexpectedly, it's the destination, not the ride, that pays off.

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