Stars are born
:“Stage fright” tells of realized dreams
The Friedrichstadt-Palast advertises on billboards with a Las Vegas comparison and boasts with each new staging that it has become even more expensive and expensive than the previous one. Now comes a documentary about the Berlin show stage in the cinemas, which has little to do with this higher-fast-Next. He draws his eye to the 280-member young ensemble. This is also interesting for people who do not feel like glittering shows. The palace is only the framework for stories from the lives of children and young people today.
Alice Agneskirchner and Jakob Stark accompanied the Junge Ensemble for almost a year
Alice Agneskirchner and her second cameraman Jakob Stark come so close to the girls and boys, that not only facial expressions and gestures are to be studied exactly (the fright at the splits, the wobbler in the jump), but also statements without shyness. For almost a year they accompanied the young ensemble from the admission of new members to the premiere of the show “Spiel mit Zeit”. It starts with a fussy voice that invites you to the casting, for which rather sobering pictures of the first inspection are shown. “So, dear ones, you did not make it”, smashes the director Christina Tarelkin towards a group of little girls, two of whom immediately weep in tears. Failure is hard.
But from the crowd in the ballet hall and in the hallways gradually emerge a few protagonists. Nick dreams of a big gig since he was four years old. In the first tests, the voice teacher wants to believe that the eleven-year-old has such a high voice. Later, his mother asks him if he is afraid he will not succeed. How big his desire for confirmation really is, you can soon feel. And also, what his closeness to his mother, who is fighting against an illness, means to him. Maya, who came from Syria with her family, makes her parents happy and would like to share her joy with her grandmother – which can only be seen via Skype. One day we experience her and her parents in conversation with the director of the young ensemble and the drama teacher. Maya was not self-confident enough. “Where do you see yourself in two years,” asks the boss as in professional coaching.
Oskar vom Jungen Ensemble: “It’s important to me to be different because I do not want to be normal”
The film follows his young hero in peace, whose teachers are inevitably like impellers. You have to keep to the schedule, because the children’s revue is performed on the big stage – the biggest theater stage in the world. The technical and creative effort is high. The children need to repeat to exhaustion steps, increase speed, negligent spoken text with more expression. The scene, with many hopeful boys and girls taking part in the casting, being sorted out, may quickly be forgotten by the viewer. But the trainers know that only the best of them make it to the premiere. To do this, they have to go to the dance, acting and singing rehearsals in Friedrichstrasse two, three times a week after school.
Shrapnel snapshots of Berlin should perhaps show the passing of time, but remain touristy blank. Agneskirchner does not even attempt experiments in image design, sequence or editing. One might find this boring from a film-critical point of view, but speaks in favor of the director’s attitude towards the protagonists, as if only they were to make a name for themselves. Oskar, for example, is almost reaching its limits. The 13-year-old also regularly has his YouTube channel filled with make-up and fashion tips, and his followers are expecting that. “There are two types of people in the world,” he says, “not girls and boys, but characters and copies. “Or:” It’s important to me to be different because I do not want to be normal. “This slender boy, who sometimes dyes his hair purple, sometimes light blue, is also a product of his time, in which everyone without stage becomes a star can. With him one wonders quite where he is in two years.
“Stage fright” is exciting and makes happy
Alex, already 16 years old, says herself that she is curious what will become of her. Two years ago, her mother died. You can see from the pictures taken at her home, how much the loss still hurts, also sees how good her relationship with her father is. Both are very close to the spectators. The music, the dancing, that has always been connected with her mother, says Alex. Actually, she also goes on stage for her.
Fifteen years ago, a documentary film about the Berlin Philharmonic’s collaboration with children and young people from different countries came out: “Rhythm Is It!” It showed the effect of so-called high culture on young people without corresponding experience: art as an educational experience. “Stage fright” is far from it. The Friedrichstadt-Palast wants to satisfy the dreams of masses, create a pleasure that the audience does not have to work out. The children in this film are not part of a grand educational project, but have opted for some kind of leisure time with their parents. And yet this too is serious child and youth promotion. Entertainment can touch, for Nick, for example, it’s all “magical”. The mixture of discipline and fun, the feeling of being beyond yourself, brings the hero of this film many happy moments. They also become certain of themselves in the realization of their dreams. That’s exciting and makes happy.
Stage Fright.Germany 2019. Director and book: Alice Agneskirchner. Documentary, 92 minutes, FSK from 0