Archive of films Grill Point / Halbe Treppe

2001, 105 min

Section: Horizons - Awarded Films
Year: 2002

The story of two couples for whom the romance of marriage long ago burned dangerously low – so now it’s time for a bit of partner swapping. This documentary-style movie was shot with a skeleton crew, no script, and the acting was exclusively improvised. Grill Point was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Berlinale.


Two forty-something married couples living in Frankfurt lead lives of utter boredom, and romance is but a thing of the past. Even the couples’ friendship has become routine, and evenings spent together are livened up by looking at each others’ vacation slides. Chris works as a radio announcer but these days he and his wife Katrin have almost nothing to say to each other. Uwe spends nearly every moment in his snack bar, neglecting his wife Ellen and their kids. It is no surprise then that a chance meeting between Ellen and Chris, two lonely and emotionally destitute people, develops into a romantic adventure. Their love affair, however, is very soon discovered. Now it’s Katrin and Uwe’s turn... This documentary-style tragicomedy drawn from everyday life was shot with a skeleton crew, no script, and the acting was exclusively improvised. Grill Point was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.

About the director

Andreas Dresen (b. 1963, Gera, Germany) began making amateur movies at the end of the seventies, and later worked as a theatre sound engineer before training at DEFA film studios (1985-86), where he assisted Günter Reisch with direction. He later studied at the Konrad Wolf College of Film and Television in Babelsberg. Beginning in 1992 he began his professional film career as a writer-director. His shorts include The Small Clown (Der kleine Clown, 1985), Train to Far Away (Zug in die Ferne, 1989) and It Goes So Fast to Istanbul (So schnell geht es nach Istanbul, 1990). Dresen has made several TV films and documentaries, and his second feature, Night Shapes (Nachtgestalten, 1998) was awarded at the Berlinale. Grill Point (Halbe Treppe), his latest effort, was also received very warmly in the German capital.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Horizons - Awarded Films
Director: Andreas Dresen
Screenplay: Andreas Dresen
Dir. of Photography: Michael Hammon
Music: 17 Hippies
Editor: Jörg Hauschild
Producer: Peter Rommel
Production: Peter Rommel Filmproduction
Cast: Steffi Kühnert, Gabriela Maria Schmeide, Thorsten Merten, Axel Prahl, Julia Ziesche, Jens Grassmehl, Mascha Rommel, Gregor Ziesche, Christine Schorn, Miro De Vittoris, Eberhard Urban

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