By Cornelis Hähnel. „Quelle heure est-il?”, a woman's voice asks. A red flokati rug, a pair of sunglasses, a video cassette. REPULSION by Roman Polanski. It's seven o'clock, the man answers. His voices sounds tinny, coming from the television screen. A young woman lies on the couch, loosing herself in the world of films, in the world of cinema. She celebrates the passion for the flickering, for all things analogue. Everything around her seems anachronistic, as if she had fallen out of of her time and at the same time out of her reality.
When she answers a friend's question not with words but by acting out a death struggle, he asks her, if she would like to see someone dying in reality. The two of them set out on their adventure, but life is no feature film and no game, either.
DEAD TIMES, on the other hand, does play cleverly with different realities, with quotations and cinemania. The film does it in the name of cinemania, too. Director Övünc Güvenisic obviously enjoys to layer his narration with a thick rug of allusions and scenes from independent world cinema. Everywhere set-pieces from or homages to milestones of cinema history can be glimpsed, a sparkling kaleidoscope of genres and directors. The anachronistic, flickering look mends together visual and acoustic excerpts with the framework of the story, which in itself becomes a reference neatly fitting in with the overall concept. The diegesis transforms into the foundation on which the stones from former times are arranged into a new picture. The feedback of the action into the referential realm, the commentary function that the different layers provide for each other and the relevance of all the inserts for the narrative all combine to a logical course of things, that can only work in this concentrated interplay of elements. The editing relinquishes any strict demarcation between the different layers and even links sender to recipient. It references back to the melting pot, where all the narrative paths meet: to the audience. DEAD TIMES is a film about the love for cinema, but also about the joy of narration, of narrative theory and the lust for inspiration. But it's also about love and life, about fugaciousness and longing, about loss and a new beginning. And about how we must experience some things in life several times. Not in the same way, but close enough.