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THE UNIVERSAL THEORY

[DIE THEORIE VON ALLEM]
In 1974, author Johannes Leinert (Jan Bülow) appears on a German talk show to promote his sci-fi novel "Die Theorie von Allem," in which Cold War intrigue melds with alternate realities of the multiverse. But Leinert claims his book is fact, not fiction, based on his unpublished doctoral thesis and his own experiences. Cut to 1962, and Leinert's fantastical tale plays in flashback, beginning with a train journey to Switzerland to attend a physics conference with his stern mentor, Dr. Strathen (Hanns Zischler). En route to the mountain resort, they are joined by Prof. Blumberg (Gottfried Breitfuss), an eminent physicist against whom Strathen seems to bear a grudge. The conference proves to be a dud, but strange goings-on in the hotel intrigue Leinert: a mysterious young woman who knows things about his past; a bellboy with information about secret tunnels and strange doings in the town; and soon, several grisly murders on the ski slopes and the mountain roads. Timm Kröger's visionary, noirish, retro-futurist fable recalls classic suspense films by Alfred Hitchcock and Carol Reed, crossed with the reality-rupturing thrillers of David Lynch and Christopher Nolan. Roland Stuprich's widescreen, black-and-white cinematography captures the fearsome beauty and sublime otherworldliness of the Swiss Alps; its dreamscape imagery lingers long after this marvelous, mind-bending movie ends. Official Selection, 2023 AFI FEST and Venice film festivals. DIR/SCR/PROD Timm Kröger; SCR Roderick Warich; PROD David Bohun, Sarah Born, Tina Börner, Heino Deckert, Lixi Frank, Rajko Jazbec, Dario Schoch, Viktoria Stolpe. Germany/Austria/Switzlerand, 2023, b&w, 118 min. In German with English subtitles. NOT RATED

No AFI Member passes accepted.

118 Minutes
Thriller

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