The celebrated young German filmmaker (Men) offers slim second collection of 16 stories (Love, Pain and the Whole Damn Thing, 1989)sardonic glimpses of life in New York, Germany, and California. In the title story, a German woman, a receptionist who measures out her drab little life in coffee spoons, has a fantasy about a tall, dark stranger she often passes during her evening walk. She imagines him breaking into her apartment, terrifying her with his strangely confident behavior (he drinks all the milk). Yet, she reflects that the silence in her pretty little apartment is worse than the threat he represents. In contract, ``Lies'' is almost like a parable. A young photographer teaching a course must confront a hideously deformed giant of a mana monster with a wonderful sweetness about him. In an epiphany about confronting personal fear, she suddenly sees that he has beautiful shell-shaped ears. In ``Hollywood,'' the most predictable story here, all the characters are tan and beautiful and monstrously banal within. True to the image of a young wannabe producer who will do anything to succeed, a young shark- in-training falls into a sordid mÇnage Ö trois at a cocktail partyand charges admission. In ``Los Angeles,'' one of the collection's most overtly pathetic stories, a young German woman flies to L.A. to surprise her vacation lover, only to be told that he's too busy to see her. In a dozen other pieces, Dorrie tracks lonely modern waifs, many of them German. Adrift in a guilt-darkened Germany or a cruel and vapid California, they maintain a deadpan dignity and idealism that lift these slight tales a notch above standard fare. Warmhearted, well-detailed little stories that will appeal to the urban contemporary set.
Read full book review >