Closed Circuit (System Without Shadows) | Chicago Reader

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Berlin undergrounder Rudolf Thome hedges into conventional narrative with this philosophical thriller about a computer expert (Bruno Ganz) who allows a professional gambler (Hanns Fischler, of Kings of the Road) and his actress girlfriend (Dominique Laffin) to lure him into an electronic bank-robbery scheme. The thematic oppositions built into the characters (planning versus chance, control versus impulse) are perhaps a little schematic, and Thome's decision to use a Laurie Anderson piece to underline the moral doesn't help. But the performances are all of such a remarkably high caliber, and Thome's camera placement so consistently intelligent and provocative, that the film penetrates well beyond its abstract premise (1983).

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