Adrian Martin and Cristina Álvarez López reflect on the art of filmmaking in monthly video essays.
In Ulli Lommel’s The Tenderness of Wolves (1973) – based the same real-life story as Fritz Lang’s M – the narrow, slanted apartment where the protagonist lures and kills his victims plays a crucial role. Despite the limited possibilities that the space offers, Lommel finds a great array of inventive solutions to portray it. The framing of Fritz’s apartment is built on a double principle of repetition and variation; confinement and claustrophobia reign. By reworking footage from eleven different scenes, our audiovisual essay traces various parameters: elaborate camera movements; precise reframings; extended shot lengths; actions and displacements of bodies; conscious or accidental interactions between actors and props; fixtures that either reveal or block and divide the space; concentration on different zones of the apartment; staging based on height or depth.