1. Sign-up to become a member, and most of the ads you see will disappear. It only takes 30 seconds to sign up, so join the discussion today!
    Dismiss Notice

Transit  (2018)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Jake Lipson, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    6,544
    Likes Received:
    3,895
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Jake Lipson
    [​IMG]
    Title: Transit

    Genre: Drama

    Director: Christian Petzold

    Cast: Franz Rogowski, Paula Beer, Godehard Giese, Lilien Batman, Barbara Auer, Matthias Brandt, Sebastian Hülk, Àlex Brendemühl, Ronald Kukulies, Maryam Zaree, Emilie de Preissac, Antoine Oppenheim, Louison Tresallet, Justus von Dohnányi, Trystan Pütter

    Release Date:

    Runtime: 101

    Plot: The German troops are just outside Paris. Georg escapes to Marseille at the last moment. His luggage contains the legacy of a writer named Weidel, who took his own life out of fear of persecution. This legacy comprises a manuscript, some letters and the Mexican Embassy’s assurance of a visa. Only those who can prove that they will leave are allowed in this port town, and this means you need an entry permit from a potential host country. Assuming the identity of Weidel, Georg tries to obtain one of the few scarce passages on a ship.
     
  2. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    6,544
    Likes Received:
    3,895
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Jake Lipson
    Transit is the new film from director Christian Petzold. You might know his previous film, Phoenix, from 2014, which made it into The Criterion Collection (spine #809 for the Blu-ray.) I absolutely loved that movie, so I was really excited when I found out my arthouse was going to screen his next one.

    Although the novel upon which it is based (which, for the record, I haven't yet read) is set in WWII, the movie transposes it to a nonspecific time period and war which resembles the present day.

    Our protagonist is Georg, who agrees at the beginning of the film to deliver a pair of letters to a prominent writer, Wendel, in the city. However, Wendel has taken his own life, so Georg ends up assuming his identity in the hopes of getting a visa which had been promised to Wendel. As Georg tries to arrange passage for himself he meets Wendel's estranged wife, who is unaware of the suicide and thinks her husband has abandoned her. Things between them get complicated.

    What I've said here is the essential setup for the movie, but I don't want to say anything else because it gets twisty, and I don't want to give anything away. If you saw and liked Phoenix, you'll like this one too. If you didn't see Phoenix, see that, and then see this too.

    Franz Rogowski, who plays Georg, is in pretty much every scene of the movie so far as I can remember, and he gives the kind of performance that would be a shoo-in to win an Oscar if the movie were in English and from a major studio. It does not meet any of those two "ifs," so he won't get in, but he would if it did.

    The final thing I want to say is that I looked up the trailer out of curiosity when I got home from seeing the movie, and I'm so glad I hadn't seen it ahead of going into the film itself. Although it won't look like a spoiler out of context, the first shot of the trailer is actually the final shot of the movie, which is a really stupid move by whoever cut the trailer together. It also gives away more than I would want to know going in, so I strongly recommend not looking it up if you can help it. Avoiding it in theaters might be harder if you have a theater that will screen the movie, but hopefully you get lucky.

    The sold-out audience I saw it with today was absolutely rapt with attention the whole time. There's a certain shocking thing that happens in the final five minutes which caused a simultaneous collective audible gasp from everyone in the room, and it's a testament to how engrossing the film is that we were all really invested in it together as a communal experience. At the end, when it cut to black, somebody whispered, "Wow," and then everybody burst into applause. It's a really terrific film which couldn't come any more highly recommended by me -- but stay away from that trailer!
     
  3. bujaki

    bujaki Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    3,247
    Likes Received:
    2,669
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    Richardson, TX
    Real Name:
    Jose Ortiz-Marrero
    Phoenix left me gasping at the end, so this bodes well.
     
    Jake Lipson likes this.
  4. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    6,544
    Likes Received:
    3,895
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Jake Lipson
    I just looked this up on Box Office Mojo and it is scheduled for release in 2019, but undated at the present time. Music Box Films is the distributor, which I already knew because they had their logo in front of it yesterday. I'm very glad I got to see it early and will happily go again during its general release if it comes back here. Meanwhile, it seems to be touring festivals, so if you have one by you and it pops up, I would highly reccomend it.
     
  5. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    6,544
    Likes Received:
    3,895
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Jake Lipson
    I wanted to bump this thread that I started back in November because Transit is now entering its general (non-festival) release period.

    It opened in two theaters in New York this weekend and will continue a deliberately-paced rollout adding new engagements weekly between now and May 3.

    Go here and click on "Theatrical Engagements" to find out when it will be coming to you. Most of the dates are later in March or in early April.

    https://www.musicboxfilms.com/film/transit/

    If a theater close to you is on the list, I highly recommend seeking out the film. I can't wait until it reopens here so I can see it again.

    Also, if any of you saw Germany's recent Oscar nominee Never Look Away, which is also in release now, the female lead of that film, Paula Beer, also features in an extensive role in Transit too. She is wonderful in both.
     
  6. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    6,544
    Likes Received:
    3,895
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Jake Lipson
    Transit opens here this weekend for a regular run following its festival screening back in November, which is when I started this thread. I am very much looking forward to seeing it again tomorrow and comparing it to the novel, which I've read in the interim between first seeing the film and now.

    I'd like to correct my earlier post. The name of the author who Georg takes the letter to in the beginning of the film is not Wendel but actually Weidel. I didn't notice in November when I wrote the post, but Weidel is not in my computer's dictionary, so AutoCorrect must have changed it to Wendel. (I just right-clicked to add Weidel to the dictionary, and the first suggestion that popped up as a correction is Wendel, so I'm pretty sure that's what happened.)

    Also, the name "Georg" is invented for the film, as the narrator in the book (who assumes Weidel's identity) never actually gives his own real name. The book is written in first-person prose so he refers to himself as "I."

    Anyway, if the film hasn't played near you yet, it is continuing to expand to new markets through June 1. If you don't get it theatrically, Amazon has the Blu-ray up for pre-order with a release date of June 25, so it should be available to rent by then too.
     
    Jeff Adkins likes this.
  7. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    6,544
    Likes Received:
    3,895
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Jake Lipson
    I'm just back from my rewatch and again loved the film, but it was really interesting to see it with the perspective of the novel, which I hadn't had before.

    The novel was written in 1942 and is set in then-present World War II. The movie modernizes it and references a war, but not a specific one; rather than being 2018 exactly, it's more like a perpetual present day without a specific time attached to it.

    The novel also takes place over the course of several months, while the movie compresses the action to about three weeks. Several of the peripheral characters in the novel have their roles shortened or cut. Some of the movie's characters are composites of multiple characters from the book and details of their stories are changed. It's a really effective adaptation, because although the minutia of certain things is altered, the through-line is the same, and it's really effective.

    The biggest change is that the surprise at the end -- which I mentioned causing my initial audience to gasp collectively last November -- is actually told to you right at the beginning of the novel, in the first sentence. Because you know in the novel what is going to happen, it completely re-frames the experience versus if you don't know and it's a surprise, which is how the movie played it.

    I'm not going to say what I'm referring to in this thread because this thread is about the movie, where it would be considered a spoiler, but if anyone else has seen it, I'd love to talk about it.

    The film is fantastic. And the book is also fantastic. They are both rich and involving experiences. And I would once again highly recommend them both to those interested.
     
  8. bujaki

    bujaki Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    3,247
    Likes Received:
    2,669
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    Richardson, TX
    Real Name:
    Jose Ortiz-Marrero
    I too recommend it highly. Shocker of an ending.
     
    Jake Lipson likes this.
  9. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    6,544
    Likes Received:
    3,895
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Jake Lipson
    What you're thinking of is exactly what the book tells you in the first sentence. Knowing that information ahead of time colors the entire story differently than having it kept as a surprise. I just find the change of approach for the film to be fascinating. Both are effective, but it's a shift of how you look at everything.
     

Share This Page

Movie information in first post provided by The Movie Database