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In Ludo Vici’s No Goodbye, Sandra Steffl plays a cabaret star with the prickly attitude of a seasoned performer. Two parts bitterness to one part glamour. It is aesthetically pleasing to watch, as light catches motes of dust while the lead performs onstage, adding to the stylish 60s vibe. Although beyond this it is not really tied to a particular decade as this story is meant to be timeless.
The action takes place for the most part backstage, where Steffl (who has made regular appearances in German TV and film since the mid 90s) is joined by the lesser known Thomas Peters, all moody and mysterious. The dialogue between them is thick with subtext, the main topic of conversation being first love, lost. The noir-ish soundtrack only adding to the intrigue.
No Goodbye examines the idea of performance and detachment: Concealing real emotions and putting on a mask for the sake of the show. Nifty camerawork and editing keep things interesting enough for the film to avoid collapsing under the weight of cliché. Take a look at David Bowie’s The Mask (A mime) for similar themes.
No Goodbye is a neat little number. It is good as a standalone film, but would certainly play well alongside other shorts – vignettes put together to create a bigger picture, along the lines of Paris je t’aime (2006).