While this summer will bring Barbies, nuclear explosions, and the return of both Ethan Hunt and our favorite professor of archaeology, our most-anticipated cinematic experience is certainly the latest work from German auteur Christian Petzold. Forgoing his standard fall film-festival run, following a Berlinale premiere (this time where he picked up the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize), Afire will arrive in theaters sooner than expected, specifically this July from Sideshow and Janus Films. Ahead of its release, the first U.S. trailer has now arrived.
Here’s the synopsis: “While vacationing by the Baltic Sea, writer Leon (Thomas Schubert) and photographer Felix (Langston Uibel) are surprised by the presence of Nadja (Paula Beer), a mysterious young woman staying as a guest at Felix’s family’s holiday home. Nadja distracts Leon from finishing his latest novel and with brutal honesty, forces him to confront his caustic temperament and self-absorption. As Nadja and Leon grow closer, an encroaching forest fire threatens the group and tensions escalate when a handsome lifeguard and Leon’s tight-lipped book editor also arrive.”
Rory O’Connor said in his review, “Writing recently about the introduction of video umpires in baseball, of all things, Zach Helfand was skeptical: ‘accuracy is not the same as enjoyment,’ he wrote, ‘baseball is meant to kill time, not maximize it.’ The best films of German director Christian Petzold do both, though you sense his heart might belong to the latter. Petzold’s latest, Afire, unfurls with all the page-turning seduction of a gripping novella. It stars Thomas Schubert as a struggling writer who travels with a friend to a secluded house near the Baltic Sea. Their car breaks down. They encounter a beautiful woman. Somewhere in the distance, a forest fire rages. Soon, inevitably, another burns inside.”
See the trailer below.
Afire opens on July 14.