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Fabian - Dominik Graf

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2020: #83. Fabian – Dominik Graf

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2020: #83. Fabian – Dominik Graf


German director Dominik Graf ends a six year hiatus next year with Fabian, a period piece produced by Felix von Boehm of Lupa Film and Daniel Blum of ZDF. Graf lands Tom Schilling (of Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s Never Look Away, 2018) in the lead, with a supporting cast of Saskia Rosendahl. Albrecht Schuch, Eva Medusa Gühne and Meret Becker. Revered for his detective and police television dramas, Graf has twice competed for the Golden Bear in Berlin, with 2002’s A Map of the Heart and his last feature, 2014’s Beloved Sisters. Notably, his participation in the trilogy omnibus Dreileben premiered in Berlin (which included two other segments directed by Christoph Hochhausler and Christian Petzold). Much earlier in his career, Graf competed in Venice with 1990’s The Gamblers.

MUBI World Cinema

Gist: Based on Erich Kastner’s 1931 novel of the same name, in 1920s Berlin, Dr. Jakob Fabian, who works by day in advertising for a cigarette company and by night wanders the streets of the city, falls in love with an actress. As her career begins to blossom, prospects for his future begin to wane. The novel was previously adapted by Wolf Gremm in 1980 and was Kastner’s only noted adult novel (a children’s author of great renown, Kastner’s 1949 Lottie and Lisa was the basis for what would become the revered Disney film(s), The Parent Trap).

Release Date/Prediction: Filmed from July to September of 2019, Graf seems poised to compete for this third Golden Bear in Berlin should his post-production be completed in time.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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