Casting

A female filmmaker prepares to shoot a remake of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s classic The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant with the title character’s younger lover now male rather than female. Filming is only a week away, but the director hasn’t cast the lead role yet and tests one actress after another, losing focus with each successive audition. This tedious German drama won’t make much sense if you’re unfamiliar with Petra von Kant and will seem maddeningly trivial if you are; cowriter-director Nicolas Wacker has nothing to say about relationships or the art-making process that Fassbinder didn’t say already. The auditions are presented in thorough, painstaking detail, with lots of inside-baseball talk about the nature of acting; if you’re into that sort of thing, I recommend Chantal Akerman’s Les Années 80 (1983). In German with subtitles.