Is there a German compound noun that conveys nostalgia for a city you haven’t left? Watching Roadtrip, a short animated film by Xaver Xylophon, made me pine for Berlin and its summer days.
The clever scripting and framable scenes in this piece are secondary to the way it captures the spirit of the city. Foxes and bottle collectors rummage through orange trash bins, an upholstered couch on a balcony overlooking graffitied walls serves as a forum for unlikely friendships, and the characters say “yes” in Berlin-ese, a drawn-out “y’oooh” with downward intonation.
It’s a pity the English subtitles are sometimes flawed and often miss the nuances of the conversations, but the artwork more than compensates. This 20-minute animation is a sleepless saga turned existential crisis in which the protagonist tries with little success to take a trip around the world — or even out of the city.
If you’d like to escape the punditry on the upcoming Berlinale film festival and get on with your viewing of masterpieces, check out Roadtrip now: