27 August 2010 | semiotechlab-658-95444
The gentle mountain
Dieter Pfaff was already at an advanced age, when he decided to become an actor instead of concentrating on teaching, producing and directing movies. However, physically as big as in his talents, the roles did not lie on the streets for him. So he wrote roles and financed movies that were tailored for himself. The high audience ratings and the superb critiques, including the several prices that he got for his "psychologically extremely differentiated acting" proved him to be on the right way. Nowadays, Dieter Pfaff is one of the greatest and best-known German character actors. "Beauty is heavy", Ottfried Fischer said once in his role as Father Guido Braun. But it is not primarily beauty that attracts people towards lawyer Gregor Ehrenberg (Pfaff), but his decision that he once made to become out of a successful and rich economy-attorney an ever more successful, yet less rich but much happier low-class-people attorney. And these people are really not only low concerning their budgets, but often they are already lying in the gutter before they get a helping hand from the huge star-attorney. Meanwhile, his bureau looks "a house-corner restaurant" ("Eine Eckkneipe", his later business partner), the only comfortable piece of furniture is his extremely wide upholstered chair, apt to contain this enormous spirit in the enormous body. His partners are not lawyers, but a Turkish-German secretary and her friend, a cleaning-woman. Ehrenberg prefers to discuss his cases and get ideas from them than from his academic colleagues. Unforgettable for every non-native Northern German is Ehrenberg's all-Matutinal ceremony to enjoy a "Franzbrötchen" as he calls what the rest of the world calls Croissant. When his secretary gets pregnant, he Stantepede decides to turn his coffee-kitchen into a children's' station: "Because who, I ask you, seriously needs a coffee-kitchen?". This series is a true highlight and may, by the way, serve as a proof how much higher the intellectual level of today's Germany's TV programs are then average Hollywood productions.