Yella (12A)

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The Independent Culture

Yella, by the German director Christian Petzold, is a little easier to pigeonhole as a chilly European drama, but it's also distinctively uncanny. Its accountant heroine, fleeing a nasty encounter with her ex-husband, teams up with a bullish speculator who enlists her help in playing psychological games at business meetings. Stranded in a claustrophobic nowhere-zone of business parks and autobahn hotels, the couple bond over spreadsheets. But behind these sleekly soulless manoeuvres, something creepily metaphysical is stirring.

Yella plays like a German take on Antonioni, infused with the taciturn toughness of a David Mamet con-game story – but ultimately it's far weirder. Its star Nina Hoss is charismatically scary, in turns icy, simmering and glassily inscrutable. Not exactly box-office, perhaps, but if you relish the rare thrill of cinema striking out into the unknown, then Yella and Syndromes are films you shouldn't miss. And neither should Paxman.

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