Love steaks

A shy trainee massage therapist at a luxury hotel on the German coast strikes up a very unusual friendship with a loud, no-nonsense apprentice from the kitchen in Love Steaks, the second feature of precocious filmmaker Jakob Lass (the film school he attends, Konrad Wolf, produced this low-budget project). The first film of what could potentially become a new filmmaking movement called Fogma, with a clear wink to Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg’s Dogme 95 manifesto that kicked off a renaissance in Danish cinema. Love Steaks combines improvisation in scenes with a planned overall narrative structure and introduces two professional actors into an actual hotel environment, with the establishment’s real personnel in all the supporting roles. This combination of planning and reliance on experience on the one hand and provoked spontaneity on the other infuses the entire project with a remarkable energy that suggests anything could happen while ensuring the entire enterprise doesn’t derail. The film won awards at the recent Slamdance, Max Ophuls and Saas-Fee film festivals, was a surprise best film nominee at the Lolas, the German Oscars, and opened commercially in Germany on March.

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