Till Death Unites Us

FILM: Jessica Hausner's Amour Fou depicting an infamous suicide pact between Heinrich von Kleist (Friedel) and Henrietta Vogel (Schnöink) in Berlin is currently playing at the Film Forum in New York City.

A young mother is diffidently courted by the restless, morbid young poet Kleist, who hopes to tempt her from her wealthy, pallid life – cold young daughter, severe mother, starched husband – not to live but rather to die with him in a romantic double suicide. A polar opposite of the bodice-ripper, this gorgeous, episodic, claustrophobic and exceedingly deliberate narrative eschews carnality or real tenderness in favour of brutally dark humour. Kleist devotees hoping for something starry-eyed should probably steel themselves.

Amour fou | Directed by Jessica Hausner (Germany, Austria, Luxembourg 2014) with Christian Friedel, Birte Schnöink. Flm Forum. Through March 24