Aus dem Nichts

How do you make Nazis going for a morning jog NOT funny?

It's like watching the beginning five minutes of The Fugitive take place over a hundred minutes and then end right away.
Reported on 24th of January, 2018

All the lessons of what not to do when making films in 2017 seem to coalesce in Aus dem Nichts, or In the Fade as the ‘You made a pretty shit translation of ‘From Nothing’ from German to English so we’ll just leave it in English’ French would have it. I saw it largely because there was a warning of excessive violence not to see in the lobby of the Gaumont Opéra (Premier side). I’m off in forty minutes for a no doubt punishing experience at All the Money in the World for exactly the same warning in exactly the same place.

Pray for me.

Aus dem Nichts

22 January 2018 @ The Gaumont Opéra

-$6.00 or, if one must be prosaic, and one must... 
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆


Standing on the toenails of genre

This is my new title for this – the image of artsy filmmakers mistaking a bird’s eye view for a worm’s.

Here’s the short version of what I have to say about the latest Star Wars, and maybe I didn’t say despite going on and on: it’s a bad movie. That’s it. Whether or not it’s canon, or it violates the characters spirits or is or isn’t force-tastical, it’s just shit.

Likewise, whether or not Aus dem Nichts has a good rôle for a woman, or presents the tired old enemy of Nazis or positively shows Turks in Germany, the movie is bad. It is made by someone with something (irrelevant) to say, but not by someone who even has the basic grasp of how crime/trial films work, and how much plot, choice and individual characters can actually make whatever point you have to say stronger, and yes, more emotional.

We’re story junkies, not junkies, no, native story speakers. Get it right and it’s poetry.

Incidentally, Hr. Fatih Akin, you didn’t. Get it right. Watch a movie sometime. You might like it. If you do like it, get suspicious of the pleasure, and make another art film. You’ll make so many people unhappy and therefore pleased at all the pleasure they don’t have to experience.

no one not even the rain can get away with using fucking title cards

Very pleased with the new title for this rule as well, for the two people who get it, and the one who’s reading it. Me. I’m reading it. Right now.

Vis-à-vis Aus dem Nichts, I should have known from the very beginning. Seeing a title card is a reason for a normal viewer to simply leave/think they’re getting into something meaningful.

In this case, Hr. Akin seems not to understand the tragirony that titling the second card ‘Justice’ is both lazy and a spoiler. Pre-figuring that the baddies would be – very slowly – acquitted was almost too much to bear.

Behind the Backstory

Comes up a lot. The first 80 minutes of the 100 minute film is exposition until we get to the will she or won’t she of the last title card. It’s like watching the beginning five minutes of The Fugitive take place over a hundred minutes and then end right away.

The The Killing/John Wick Spectrum

Also a new one, and no it’s not a typo. It’s your job to look for those for me. I won’t point them out to you.

I have crossed the threshold when I’ve seen a German film with French subtitles. I understood enough to write this.

The US translation of Denmark’s The Killing (and likewise Broadchurch, etc. Kidnapped children are all the rage! I mean, who would watch that junk? I would, because I have to find out if the child makes it! The child dies? Well now, I have to keep watching…) was a borefest for a very particular reason – it focused, well, not focused. Exploited. There we are. Exploited a family’s grief for screen time.

Families are terrified/secretly desirous of the death of their children. Fine. But grief is a cinematic and dramatic challenge as it involves little choice, and only internal struggle. Some films are successful with this; Three Billboards and Manchester by the Sea come to mind, but both involve guilt, which is a vital distinction that this film wouldn’t have the ability to comprehend.

Instead, we want/couldn’t possibly want the death of a loved one for the same reason John Wick does: revenge. It’s why the second Wick is such a dud – it’s about honor or having to do something to get a medal. I don’t know, care or remember, and that’s the point. Grief/Revenge easy to play. Also a better title for this rule, but then I wouldn’t have the typo.

It’s not a typo!

Though there is some moderate revenge in this film – very eventually, and spoiled, and no, I’m not kidding, because Fr. Kruger saw a little birdy – it is too little and too stupid, which leads us to…


Yeah. There are so many interesting ways to do a revenge film with female lead, to bring a kind of practicality or humanity to that part. Instead, it seems that woman do stuff like ask – in person – if their intended target is home. And then happen upon the truck she saw on the street a year before in Germany, and follow it to the exact location of the Nazis because she’s not smart enough to figure out how to do stuff.

This is because women are stupid. They’re only good for one thing: reproduction. How do we know this? Because when she’s decided not to get revenge (below), she gets her period. At last, she is able to reproduce and thus a woman again!


Suicide by Cop Out

…until she re-decides to get revenge, I guess because when she bought some cigarettes, there wasn’t a birdy.

You know, I feel like you’re not getting that this was an actual scene in an actual movie, so let me describe it to you. Nazis hiding in a camper-van. Fr. Kruger, having built a bomb exactly like the one used to kill her family (sigh) lies in wait. Nazis go for a jog. In another movie, this would be sidesplittingly awesome, but here it’s just lazy we-need-them-to-be-out-of-the-camper screenwriting.

Fr. Kruger places the bomb and waits. Then, well…then, she sees a bird. There’s no bird in the movie before this, but I guess we’re supposed to think that birds symbolize life, so she changes her mind, and retrieves the bomb and gets her period, above.

There was a bird. That’s why.

Sans birdy, later, she goes back with the bomb and kills herself and the two Nazis. Suicide, so dramatically boring and film school, is the way you end a film so you know that there was an ending.

And now there is.

The Take

At some point, she walks into the camera. There’s nothing more needs saying.
Total Losses


Thoughts on Aus dem Nichts

  1. Sarah Sullivan says:

    Did you get my message about the typo yesterday? Are you sad? Sorry.

  2. Scott Scott says:

    I did get it – what happened ? I thought it was here, but it was in my inbox. I’m confused by what is public and what isn’t. Though this is basically private, isn’t it? Thank you for the correction. And I apologize that I couldn’t make it ‘no one, not even Scott, can get away without using commas stealing from Woody Allen, stealing from e.e. cummings’ because the mySQL database won’t allow commas in meta tags. cummings would understand; Allen would not.

  3. Scott Scott says:

    Thank you, by the way.

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