VOD film review: Tripping with Nils Frahm
James R | On 23, Feb 2021
Director: Benoit Toulemonde
Cast: Nils Frahm
In 2015, German crime thriller Victoria dazzled with its one-take thriller about a night in Berlin that spins out of control. While the visuals, and Laia Costa’s lead performance, were the star attraction, the shifting, gripping tones were made possible by the soundtrack subtly playing out underneath the action. That music was composed by Nils Frahm, and Tripping gives you a chance to appreciate his work on its own terms, without any distractions.
The composer and record producer is formidable talent, sitting between classic and electronic music. As comfortable with a drum machine and synthesiser as he is with a conventional set of keys, he fuses sounds, beats and melodies with mellifluous structures and gorgeous ambience. The fact that he does all this while casually moving about a stage in flat cap only adds to the vibe.
The film, directed by collaborator Benoit Toulemonde, records a set of four shows at Funkhaus Berlin. It’s immediately clear why the pair chose those gigs to capture on film – a small set-up, performed in the round, it’s a beautifully intimate space that soaks up the resonating echoes of the intricate ostinatoes. Benoit’s handheld visuals drift from the stage to the audience and back again, cut energetically and gently to move in time with Frahm’s switch-flipping and string-hammering.
The result is as immersive as concert movies get – and worth soaking up at the end of a long, stressful day.