While the bar for German workplace comedy was recently set high by the recent discovery and release of the late Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s “Eight Hours Don’t Make A Day,” (1972/2018), Thomas Stuber’s big-box-store night-shift-set “In The Aisles” (In den Gängen) wafts through moods in an agreeable manner, suggestive of its origin in short stories by locally popular author Clemens Meyer. As in Kaurismäki, progress is made through calculated attention to process. (The interiors of the store are all cruel yet beguilingly geometric.) Through tenuous romance and observant details, which the film’s producer nods to as “poetic realism,” Stuber offers a showcase for the charm and emotional range of his actors, including Franz Rogowski (“Transit”) and Sandra Hüller (“Toni Erdmann”) whose flirtations start and stop and perhaps start again. The fragrance of the everyday rises without perfume. With Peter Kurth. 125m. (Ray Pride)
“In The Aisles” is at the Music Box.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.