Casting

Films about filmmaking often dance on a thin line between introspection and self-indulgence. High risk particularly when it concerns the actual casting of actors, where egos are the somewhat focus for derision and ridicule to the point of being easy targets. But writer and director Nicolas Wackerbarth has created a fine little gem in Casting, with which a TV production of a reworking of German auteur’s Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s The Bitter Tear’s of Petra Von Kant, is vastly behind schedule as the director, Vera, has not been able to cast her chosen leads and cannot decide upon their replacements. Drafted in to read lines with the potential cast is Kostja, a retired actor who is doing a favour, but is asked to go above and beyond in assisting the preproduction. As the production descends into more chaos, with conflict and tensions rising between the producer and the director, Kostja is asked to save the day and land a role he never envisaged, but begins to overstep the mark. But the further down the rabbit hole Kostja is led, the more demons come to the surface that reveal some bitter truths as to why his career never launched.

Surprisingly placed in the dare section, Casting is a delightful little farce that builds and builds with an endearing lead who gives a very sharp performance as someone who is initially humble to an uncontrollable premadonna. Wackerbarth has crafted a well balanced farce with a sense of tragedy, sharp dialogue, on point performances all in a minimalist setting. Curiously placed in the Dare category when it should have been in the Laugh category of the LFF. Casting was made for a TV broadcast in Germany, it would be a real shame if it doesn’t reach wider audiences on the film festival circuits or art house chains.

★★★

Chris Aitken