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on January 10, 2012
If you were to take all the stereotypical trappings of pretentious art films and put them in a blender, Bedways is what would very likely come out.

First of all, we have the ever so meta premise of being a movie about the making of a movie. The film opens with the sounds of a woman panting sexually as the opening credits roll. As the credits end, we flash to a close up of her face; she looks into the camera and says "come here" into a cell phone. This vague scene will be repeated at the end of the movie with all the details revealed, showing that it is not quite what you think. It is supposed to be a clever moment, but it comes across as the sexual equivalent of an M.Night Shymalan surprise ending.

We are immediately treated to an explicit scene of two people performing oral sex on each other, then flash to a title screen. I'll go ahead and address the explicit sex here. I'm not against the idea of two actors actually having sex. Done in the right way, it could be a powerful statement. However, this movie lacks subtlety, and it feels like the graphic moments are very in-your-face and unnecessary. Another issue I have is that they went to the lengths of making the actors have sex, but outside of some side penis, there is no actual penetration shown. The whole point of using real sex is the powerful symbolism and intimacy implied in penetration. Otherwise you could have just let them fake it.

From here we get thrown into the story as the director, Nina, discusses the film with her actor. "In that very moment you will fall in love with her, and she will fall in love with you, without you wanting it," she says, as the camera lingers on a close up of her blank stare for several seconds. Cue industrial music and more credits. Ham-fisted moments like this one litter the film, making it seem more like a student project at times.

Next we get another title screen, with huge red letters proclaiming (in German): The First Day. These screens pop up from time to time and seem over the top. You expect this sort of thing in a science fiction or horror film, or perhaps used more subtly in a mystery/drama. They are out of place in this slow paced exploration of sexuality. And as they count up the days, you can only think that the filmmakers must have thought their ending was going to be brilliant. In other places there are just intertitles saying things like "No."

For the next half hour or more, we watch as the Nina throws out ideas and does director things like having her actors lay perfectly still while she re-arranges their arms and legs in bed or reading them directions about facial expressions while sitting spread eagle in a chair in only a pair of thin panties. The chair is conveniently missing a back so that we get full view. She will later strip down in front of a mirror and briefly examine herself.

About midway through the film there is an extended scene with a closeup of the Nina's face as she drives in the rain. This is intercut with clips of the actors making out. It's another of those ham-fisted moments that are not all that original in the first place.

Then there is the big sex scene that the movie has been building up to. The sex is intercut with closeups of the Nina's face as industrial music plays and the lights go on and off behind her. Then we get another title screen - The Fifth Day - followed by an intertitle proclaiming, "Flesh is the Law" in English. It's all just too much, especially when followed by a scene of Nina showering and cutting her foot on a broken bottle. We are later treated to an awkward scene where the Marie, the actress, licks the blood from her foot for a good half a minute.

This is followed by a longer than necessary clip of a really terrible band playing while their singer does some strange interpretive dancing, all of which seems to take place in the same apartment. We soon get a strange sequence in which two characters exchange dialogue; filmed in shot-countershot, the scene changes locations each time it switches actors, so that one moment they are against a wall, and the next in front of a busy street, and so on.

There is an extended scene of explicit masturbation, followed by a long shot of an empty chair with the sounds of sex in the background. Right before the movie ends, we get a couple of minutes of nothing but Nina walking aimlessly. Then there's a quote from Michel Foucault about sex that is displayed on the screen. The last minute of the film is nothing but Nina lying in bed shining a bright light into the screen, followed by a final title screen. After closing credits, there is a long montage of random clips of the characters acting candidly while music plays. It finally, graciously ends with footage of that terrible band again.

This all takes place in a 74 minute movie. The extreme pretentiousness, wandering plot elements, and amateurish editing and directing make this a film I would recommend one to avoid. It is masturbatory material of the highest level, ranking dangerously close to Vincent Gallo's "look at me" effort, The Brown Bunny. Were it not for the brief scenes of explicit sex that generated publicity, I'm sure that no one would be talking about this film at all.
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on July 4, 2011
Yes, I'm a fan of this movie! It's really a brilliant film about sex, love and desire. With great music, located in Berlin and yes, with graphic sex scenes, but no porn! I've seen this film at cinema, also on the German DVD (with interesting bonus material. It's shot in an unusual ratio, in 4 : 3. But I think, it works, because it looks like a portrait of the 3 heroes, because of this format. It's German, but I think, this is of course not a normal German movie. Bedways is much more international, really! Some words about the actors: The performance of the lead actress Miriam Mayet is awesome! She has a remarkable presence, not only at the great masturbation scene in one take, without a cut for around 10 minutes! BEDWAYS is for me a fascinating film project and real independent cinema from a wild brand new director from Berlin/ Germany, called RP Kahl! May be in some areas you will see this movie only in a "soft" version. So take care of it ore check out the original DVD ore the original festival print from Germany!
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on October 17, 2014
ok the reason I give this movie a 4 and not a 5 is because It's story and acting sucks badly....well no...its awful....but the sex is full hardcore porn and is worth watching and pushs this to a 4 this only for the porn.....
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on June 28, 2015
This is a pointless, badly-written piece of junk. The worst is how pretentious it is: it pretends to be profound, when it's just unorganized thinking; the soundtrack is ridiculous - the bad-quality Euro-rock the Germans seem to wallow in; the acting is over-the-top, the actors taking themselves way too seriously. The entire film has a trying-to-hard-to-be-oh-so-hip feel that wants to be cool enough for the plot not to matter, but it isn't. I should mention the sets - which always seem to feel dusty and dingy, and not in an artistic, meaningful way - more in a "dirty is cool" way. It isn't even sexy - both actresses not only have the bodies of twelve-year-old boys, but even walk like men. I will say that the actress playing Marie was the saving grace - she has an intensely expressive face, and knows how to use it. She was at least interesting to watch. The rest was a yawn. The film takes itself too seriously, and the filmmakers do too. It ends up being a film that is as incompetent, self-absorbed, and amateurish as the protagonist filmmaker it is about. Oh - and one more thing.... the translation for subtitles is awful - often bewildering (not that I cared much what they were saying) and occasionally unintentionally hilarious (my favorite: "she is fond of herself in the shower, and later in front of the mirror" LOL). I generally try to find something good to say about a project, and rarely ever give a one star - but this is a real stinker. Save your 3 bucks and rent something else.
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on November 27, 2011
For me, this is a clever movie, subtle and dry, hard to believe it's German. It is for all those people who have seen all the deep French films about sex. The story concerns a woman who wants to make a film about sex which is not pornographic but explicit, trying to reveal the 'secret' of sex. Really, a fitting commentary. Can't say anything more without ruining it.
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on October 20, 2013
I really felt sorry for this poor young lady. A perfect portrayal of amorality in action trying to find something, anything to fill a wasted, empty life. Sex almost an afterthought rather than a fulfillment of a relationship. My thought at the end, "get a life!".
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on October 28, 2012
I wasn't expecting much from this German Indie film, but I was pleasantly suprised. I agree with another reviewer that this film has a more internation feel to it. I especially loved the masterbation scene, as well as the overall theme.
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on September 30, 2013
The idea that you can stand aside an watch other people make love through art is hard for the art to be true you must life your to had experienced the true emotions of the moment to have that personal knowledge.
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on December 16, 2014
Interesting, but sometimes depressing, much like life itself. Kind of reminds me of my college days and shortly after. There are erotic scenes but not overbearing.
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on March 30, 2013
As a nonlinear, anti-constistent, move-as-slowly-as-you-can-without-standing-still German art film, this was a pretty good effort. The actors, without having any discernible plot to work with, all still manage an engaging screen presence, and the women manage to be sexy without resort to implants, airbrushes, or kitten impersonations. Gotta give 'em credit for that.
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