The trailer (below) has debuted for Lukas Nathrath’s “One Last Evening,” which has its world premiere in the Tiger Competition of International Film Festival Rotterdam. The film was the winner of the First Look Award, part of the industry section of the Locarno Film Festival. Beta Cinema is handling international sales.
The film is set during the pandemic, and centers on a young couple who want a fresh start, moving from Hanover to Berlin. Lisa is an on-the-rise doctor bracing herself for a new position; Clemens is a talented but unsuccessful singer-songwriter crippled by self-doubt.
To say goodbye, they host a dinner party in their now empty flat. But good friends cancel — and uninvited guests show up. As the attendees start eyeing each other’s achievements, the evening slowly escalates, leading to an emotional crash that uncovers misunderstandings, rivalries, animosities and anxieties.
Sebastian Jakob Doppelbauer stars in the film, and co-wrote the screenplay with Nathrath, and is a producer alongside Nathrath and Linus Günther. The production company is Klinkerfilm.
The ensemble cast includes Pauline Werner, Susanne Dorothea Schneider, Nikolai Gemel and Isabelle von Stauffenberg.
In his production notes, Nathrath says the characters “crave for adventures and distractions after social distancing.”
He adds: “Although they don’t suffer materially, they fear inadequacy in a success-based society. All of them are unhappy and lonely in their own way — yet they desperately want to appear cheerful and strong.
“For me, this divergence between facade and emotion provides a lot of tragicomic potential for conflicts and awkwardness. I am interested in portraying characters with hopes and self-delusions, who try to save face but eventually lose their composure.”
Among the films that inspired Nathrath and Doppelbauer were Maren Ade’s “Everyone Else,” Jan-Ole Gerster’s “Oh Boy,” Damián Szifron’s “Wild Tales,” Woody Allen’s “Husbands and Wives” and Thomas Vinterberg’s “The Celebration.” These were films in which “civilized behavior starts to crack and everyday situations escalate in often bourgeois settings,” Nathrath says.
Another influence were the plays of Anton Chekhov, “in which people living in a backwater long for a new existence in Moscow but are destined to never arrive.”