A Short Story on Film


2-27-09, 9:24 am

Movie Review: Auf der Strecke [On The Line] Directed by Reto Caffi, 2009

Rolf is a Swiss-born security guard in a German department story. He becomes totally infatuated with Sarah, the store's book seller. The problem is that she doesn’t know it. He just follows her every movement on the store's security cameras.

Rolf resolves shop-lifting issues at the store with a gentler touch than his colleague and seems generally not very happy with his job. He is often distracted by Sarah, and he actually becomes her stalker.

Rolf as constructed an imaginary world in which he “arranges” to see Sarah. He knows precisely when she will leave the store and always makes sure to get on the same train going home. He is hopeful that on the next “rendezvous” on the Metro train after work that something real may happen between them, but this time she enters the train with another guy.

What comes after that is a quick turn of events that have you glued to the screen.

Auf der Strecke (On the Line) is Philippe Zweifel's and Reto Caffi's masterful screenplay, the latter of whom also directs the film.

Roeland Wiesnekker plays Rolf. He has a familiar face, but his many film credits show that none of the films he has worked on have been released in the US. New actor Catherine Janke plays Sarah. Both Wiesnekker and Janke deliver excellent portrayals of this unlikely couple.

This critically acclaimed, 30-minute movie earned an Academy Award nomination for “Short Live Action Film.” While it didn’t win, it probably will join all of the other short films in the unfortunate world of not being seeing in major distribution areas.

This prestigious Oscar nomination is the climax in the impressive life of the short film Auf der Strecke. It has been honored with 50 awards, including the Swiss Film Prize 2008 (Quartz for Best Short Film), the Grand Prix 2008 at the International Short Film Festival in Clermont-Ferrand, the Lutin 2008 Best European Short Film [A French Award] and the Student Oscar (Honorary Foreign Film Student Award).

The 37 year-old director Reto Caffi is a graduate of the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne, Germany, which produced the film with co-producers Blush Films (in Zurich) and Swiss Television. This was Caffi’s graduation film.

View the film's trailer and learn more about it here: