NTSC/Region 0 pressing. South Korean pressing. Includes English sub-titles.
Out-of-print in the US.
Tom Tykwer, writer-director of the international hit Run Lola Run, shows a more pensive side with Winter Sleepers. The film examines the lives of five characters in the aftermath of an auto accident. As with Run Lola Run, Tykwer's main concern is with chance and coincidence, and the ways people unwittingly influence the course of each other's lives. Theo, a farmer, sets off to take his horse to the vet, unaware that his daughter is hidden in the trailer. Momentarily distracted, Theo swerves to avoid a sports car coming the other way and crashes into a mountain slope, critically injuring his daughter. The sports car is covered by snow, and René, the driver, digs his way out and leaves the scene. Meanwhile translator Rebecca negotiates a stormy-but-sexy relationship with loutish ski instructor Marco, both of them unaware that Marco's stolen car was involved in the crash, and Rebecca's roommate Laura nurses the young accident victim by day and begins a tentative relationship with René by night. While Winter Sleepers doesn't have the same manic pace as Lola, Tykwer's visual style is very much in evidence--he makes beautiful images of everything from the snow-covered Bavarian mountains to a cut finger. As it moves through a series of tiny but crucial events to a truly haunting ending, Winter Sleepers is in many ways reminiscent of Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter, both in its central plot device and in its melancholy atmosphere of fatal inevitability. --Ali Davis - Amazon.com
Tom Tykwer wrote and directed this film before his hit "Run Lola Run," and it shares a similar obsession with chance happenings and coincidence. Rene, a young outcast who has lost his short-term memory, steals a sports coupe on a whim. Travelling up an icy mountain road, he swerves to avoid a farmer's station wagon, plunges off an embankment, and walks away from the scene, forgetting everything. The farmer is not so lucky; his daughter is gravely injured. Uncovering the identity of the "other driver" propels the film and eventually connects Rene with three other twentysomethings in the German alpine village: Marco, a blank, womanizing ski instructor; Rebecca, a blond temptress; and Laura, a local nurse. Tykwer displays mesmerizing skill with the camera-it zooms over mountaintops, slinks around corners, and spies from the ceiling. At surprising moments, the action spirals into an all-white screen, and whiteness becomes a recurring motif, a symbol of death and life. The stylistic brilliance is almost enough to distract you from the film's essential flatness. When played lightly, this kind of interconnected plot can build wonderful suspense, but when it's overplayed, as it is here, the story's greater resonance gets lost in all the machinations. In German with English sub-titles. --Michael Agger - The New Yorker