More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look100%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 0 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Shirley by Peter Sobczynski

Dreamland (2019) by Peter Sobczynski

Lucky Grandma by Jay Seaver

Vast of Night, The by Peter Sobczynski

High Note, The by Peter Sobczynski

Taking of Tiger Mountain, The by Jay Seaver

Trip to Greece, The by Peter Sobczynski

Night God by Jay Seaver

Alice (2019) by Jay Seaver

On a Magical Night (Chambre 212) by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

[] Buy posters from this movie
by brianorndorf

"'Carnival of Souls' gets a German makeover"
4 stars

An unofficial remake of the 1962 film “Carnival of Souls,” “Yella” transports the action to modern day Germany, taking a fresh approach on a tattered story of guilt, hostility, and the nightmares the follow us to the very end, and even beyond.

Finding an opportunity to prove her worth, Yella (Nina Hoss) is ready to move away from her glum Eastern neighborhood and the abuse of her husband Ben (Hinnerk Schonemann) to the West, where a job offer might bring her a sense of peace. With trouble shadowing her every footstep, Yella arrives at her destination only to find the job revoked, leaving her open to the charms of a solitary businessman named Philipp (Devid Striesow). Joining Philipp as he assembles shady business meetings, Yella becomes entwined in his life, finding the personal value she so desperately craves. However, with Ben reappearing ready to reclaim his lost bride, Yella is disturbed by her actions, leading to the ultimate question of self.

Directed by Christian Petzold, “Yella” clamps down on the viewer with a psychological hold that doesn’t immediately reveal itself. For classification purposes, it’s a mystery, sending the title character down a dark path of introspection and unbelievably bad luck, bearing silent witness to the manipulation that claws at her from all sides. Petzold maintain a bleak air of unease around the feature, slowly portioning out clues to Yella’s state of mind while rooting the film in German social symbolism, crafting a film that traces lightly instead of asserting itself through plastic thrills and spills.

It’s an interesting directorial effort, almost entirely hinged on Hoss’s lead work as Yella. Portraying the wide-eyed lady in question, Hoss doesn’t make Yella a quivering victim, preferring to stay inside a biological state of red alert. While the dialogue is kept at a minimum, the body language is deafening, with Hoss throwing herself into the spare role with a memorable display of suspicion and, ultimately, complacency. Hoss even manages to overcome the less structurally sound ideas from the screenplay, including a romantic interlude with Philipp that holds purpose inside the plot, but retains a nagging artificiality through Petzold’s direction, leaving Hoss alone to sell the emotional breakthrough. It’s a wonderful performance.

As matter start to unravel for the characters, Petzold introduces dark, forbidding tones, recalling early David Lynch efforts. With special attention paid to a dense sound design and shadowy articulation, “Yella” hits a few chilling notes of confusion before the end sorts matters out with unequivocal finality. It’s a not groundbreaking fate that Yella chooses for herself by the film’s conclusion, but it remains unsettling and appropriate, leaving the audience with an odd sense of peace after a solid, wholehearted serving of distress.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 09/20/08 00:46:17
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 Chicago International Film Festival For more in the 2007 Chicago International Film Festival series, click here.

Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  DVD: 10-Feb-2009


  DVD: 10-Feb-2009

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast