Mord und Totschlag (A Degree of Murder / Murder by Degree, 1967)

German Subkultur 2019 Blu-ray edition


Early Volker Schlöndorff artmovie crime drama seemingly inspired of the French Nouvelle Vague of filmmaking.
But a film without any political message or any message at all, which was something that irritated the critics at the time, says
Schlöndorff in the extras interview. The film seems almost improvised at the spot and it tells the story as from a distance,
without any emotions as if an objective automated camera followed the proceedings .... with that exception that the absolute
STAR of the film (even though it was her debut, i think, i'm too lazy to even click on wiki to check) is the gorgeous Anita
Pallenberg, she just sparkles with charisma and the films trio sometimes seems to be intensely alive and happily youthful, and
the "objective" camera captures all that.

Anita Pallenberg (1942-2017) italian-german photo model, actress, designer and the Muse of the Rolling Stones is magnetic
indeed and who can forget her Evil Sexy Queen in Roger Vadim's 1968 Barbarella. When Schlöndorff made this film in 1967
Pallenberg was the girlfriend of Brian Jones, and he offered to make the soundtrack to the film.
In the interview Schlöndorff tell us the tragic story about Brian Jones problems, but even though the soundtrack to this film
has a troubled history - i really like it. It's beautiful and different and in some way filled with joy mirroring the youth of the
actors, up-tempo and folky. Really only some fragments but these tunes got stuck in my head after watching the film.

In the intro credits we see how Marie Graf (Pallenberg) and her boyfriend Hans (Werner Enke) hikes a lift to München to start
their new life. Marie gets a job at a café and their relation turns sour. When having a fight in a small apartment Marie shares
with another girl she accidently shoots him to death after grabbing his gun.
She goes to a bar and offers a man, Guenther (Hans Peter Hallwachs) 500 deutsche marks to help her get rid of the body.
Guenther calls on a friend (Manfred Fischbeck) to help him carry the body out of the apartment and into a car, then they go
out in the country to find a place where to dump the body.

This German New Wave movie has No heroes, No suspense, No story, and No message says Schlöndorff in the interview
and the film was lost and obscure for many years.

The Blu-ray presents the film in a 1.66:1 ratio with german DTS-HD MA mono audio with english subtitles, region ALL
Extras: An interview with director Volker Schlöndorff - "Fuck the Message" (39 minutes, in german with english subs) where
he describes the troubled soul Brian Jones as "a musical Klaus Kinski",
an interview with actor Hans Peter Hallwachs (13 minutes in german with english subs) and a picture gallery


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