Today the moving feature film “Second Thoughts” (German title: “Ich Ich Ich”) by director Zora Rux on the Darling Berlin label distributed by UCM.ONE opens in cinemas nationwide. The premiere took place yesterday at the KuturBrauerei in Berlin. What would happen if you showed each other your thoughts? How much honesty can a relationship take?…
In her first feature film “Second Thoughts” (German title: “Ich Ich Ich“), director Zora Rux, a long-time collaborator of Swedish filmmaker Roy Andersson, tells a surrealistic-comic story about the search for the true self in poetic tableaux.
Marie (Elisa Plüss) is blindsided by her boyfriend Julian (Thomas Fränzel) with a marriage proposal at his brother’s wedding in front of the assembled family. Marie has no clue how to react to this. She piles into the countryside to think about herself, her life and her relationship alone. Alone?
In her mother’s vacation home, things soon become increasingly cramped and absurd: because Marie’s thoughts suddenly take shape, her thought people become more numerous and penetrating. They force possible baby names on her, an ex-boyfriend climbs down from trees, and a “lyrical me” in a sari proclaims Marie’s inner world in verse. Finally, her would-be fiancé arrives for real in the deceptive loneliness of the Uckermark, bringing with him a whole busload of his own thought people….
What would happen if you showed your thoughts to each other? How much honesty can a relationship take? In her first feature film, director Zora Rux, a longtime collaborator of Swedish filmmaker Roy Andersson, uses poetic tableaux to tell a surrealistic, comic story about the search for the true self.
About director Zora Rux
Zora Rux, born in 1988, studied directing at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin from 2011. In 2015, she received a scholarship to Columbia University in New York.
Her first short film “Protected Space” (2014) addressed the rights of refugees. The film screened at over 100 film festivals around the world and won numerous awards. Her short film “What happens in your brain if you see a german word like…?” (2015) won the “Short Tiger” short film award of the German Federal Film Board (FFA).
Alongside her studies, she has already worked as casting director for Roy Andersson‘s film “En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron” (Englisch title: “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence“), 2014. In 2021, her first feature-length film “Second Thoughts” was screened at various film festivals, including Zurich, Taipei and São Paulo.
In 2022, the film received an invitation to the Max Ophüls Preis Film Festival, where it competed in the Feature Film Competition.
|Geschützter Raum | Safe Space – Short movie
|What happens in your brain if you see a german word like…? – Short movie
|Ich Ich Ich | Second Thoughts – Feature
Original title: Ich Ich Ich
Written & directed by: Zora Rux
Cast: Elisa Plüss, Thomas Fränzel, Lola Klamroth, Sebastian Schneider, Judith van der Werff, Henriette Confurius, Wenka von Mikulicz, Paul Lux, Pablo Grant
Producers: Leonie Minor, Roxana Richters, Fred Burle
Camera: Jesse Mazuch
Editing: Zora Rux, Kalle Boman, Martin Herold, Henning Stöve
Sound: Robert Hefter
Music: Ben Rössler, Jonathan Ritzel, Mister Milano
Production: German Film and Television Academy Berlin GmbH
Co-Production: Zora Rux, Fred Burle
Production Year: 2021
Length: 85 Min
Aspect ratio: 1:1,85
Sound: Dolby Surround 5.1
English: Second Thoughts
Filmlabel: Darling Berlin
Theatrical release: December 01, 2022
DVD & VoD: tba.
Director’s commentary by Zora Rux
“When two people have sex, there are at least four others involved. And those four are their parents.” I read that once in a psychology book. And I thought: Only four? That was the idea for “Second Thoughts,” a film in which we see all thoughts as actual beings. We’re never really in the moment, we’re always thinking about the past or dreaming about the future. I wanted to explore this simultaneity of actions and thoughts in the feature film “Second Thoughts.” I find it exciting to create a new film universe that functions according to its own rules, and I am always amazed at how quickly I, as a viewer, can find my way around unfamiliar film universes. In order to find one’s way in our film, it was important to me that there are clear rules: The world looks naturalistic, the absurdity only arises from the thought beings. These thought beings had a handful of rules about who they could see, who they could react to. Precisely because it has become common to capture moments with a cell phone and show them to others, because the supposedly naturalistic has become ubiquitous, it is important to go beyond that and try to depict the impossible, that which we cannot see with the naked eye or through the camera lens: It is important to me to question the patriarchal male gaze, which also applies to me as a woman, and which is so firmly anchored in our viewing habits that we all have to examine whether we are serving film or patriarchy in every image we make.
My film was not made with the female gaze, I rather propose the term “honest gaze”: the honest gaze looks for the honest image, the image that serves the film and the character. The gaze treats all genders as subjects and, depending on the situation, can perceive a man as an object and even a woman. An honest gaze can be had by anyone, not just women. It always serves the film and never the patriarchy.”
Elisa Plüss as Marie
Elisa Plüss was born in Zurich in 1989 and completed her acting training at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg. In 2010/11 she completed a practical year in acting at the Burgtheater in Vienna and performed in Mogens Rukov‘s and Thomas Vinterberg‘s “Die Kommune“.
In 2012, she appeared on stage at the Munich Residenztheater in Martin Kušej’s “Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant” by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and made her debuat the Salzburg Festival in 2014 in Andreas Kriegenburg‘s production of “Don Juan kommt aus dem Krieg” by Ödön von Horváth. From 2015 – 2019 Elisa Plüss was a permanent ensemble member at the Schauspielhaus Zurich and is a Migros-Kulturprozent study and sponsorship award winner. In 2015 she appeared again at the Salzburg Festival in Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors“.
In the 2019/20 season, Elisa Plüss was, among others, a guest at the Volksbühne Berlin and performed in “Legende” by Stefan Pucher. Elisa Plüss also worked regularly with Christoph Marthaler (Schauspielhaus Zürich, Kampnagel, Ruhrtriennale). She has been part of the ensemble of the Vienna Burgtheater since December 2021.
Thomas Fränzel as Julian
The son of a jazz saxophonist first worked in film and theater after graduating from high school in Erfurt and completing a traineeship in radio. From 2002 to 2006 he studied acting at the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst “Ernst Busch” Berlin. While still a student, he was given the lead role in Vanessa van Houten‘s debut feature film “Haus der Wünsche“.
The short film “Das Mädchen mit den gelben Strümpfen” starring Thomas Fränzel and Rosalie Thomass won the German Short Film Award in gold in 2008. In the 2008 Tatort episode “Bluthochzeit,” Fränzel had a major role alongside Peter Kremer, Eva Mattes and Petra Schmidt–Schaller. Thomas Fränzel played the lead role of an idealistic young teacher in the graduation film “Ausreichend“, which was screened at numerous international festivals and received the First Steps Award 2012 in the category “feature film up to 60 minutes“. In the same year, he appeared in a major supporting role in the feature film “Offroad” alongside Nora Tschirner and Elyas M’Barek.
In 2013, Thomas Fränzel starred with Maria Schrader and Ursula Werner in the feature film “Schwestern” by Anne Wild. In the improv film “Alki, Alki” by director Axel Ranisch, he filmed in 2014 in the role of a psychotherapist with Oliver Korittke and Iris Berben. The freelance actor has also appeared in theater, for example as a guest at Berlin’s Maxim Gorki Theater. He also works as a narrator for radio play productions, features and commercials in cinema and TV.
Second Thoughts | Trailer (German with English Subs) ᴴᴰ
“In her feature-length debut, Zora Rux shows a life world so alienated that it seems to belong to everyone else rather than to the protagonist’s “I”.” (FAZ)
“About the search for a we. In her film, Zora Rux takes the viewer into the surreal world of visualized thoughts.” (Schwäbische Zeitung)
“Directed by Zora Rux as originally as it is aptly.” (Tagesspiegel)
“Director Zora Rux finds convincing and surprising and overwhelming moments in her feature-length debut Ich Ich. Incredible images, psychologically accurate and playfully light. It’s funny and profound and exciting throughout.” (Cinema Times)
“This imaginative feature debut is in the tradition of Swedish surrealist Roy Andersson. With poetic imagery, the film explores the search for one’s own path in life through the introspection of the main characters.” (Fimdienst)