One day Rainer said to me, after some conversation I had had with him, ‘Never, never, Dirk, ask anybody of your age-group here in Germany – what they did in the war.’ He loathed the Germans, vehemently. I had a room in the Bauscherhof hotel in Munich, and Rainer came around one night for a script conference or something. He was appalled when he got off the elevator; he was shaking – well, he often was shaking. He’d have taken a little white pill or whatever, and I said, ‘What’s the matter? Sit down.’ So he sat down and said, ‘I’ve just seen the elevator doors. Have you seen them, the gold doors in the elevator? They’ve all got swastikas scratched on them from somebody’s key.’ He couldn’t believe it. He said, ‘You see, we’ll never eradicate it.’ And he was beginning to get weepy. I said, ‘Come on, let’s pull ourselves together.’ And I gave him a huge… well, half a bottle of brandy, I think, and he staggered out into the night.
From a Dirk Bogarde’s interview with Gary Indiana

Hermann and Lydia

When a man is reasonably rich but bored because his wit and sarcasm situates him ahead of most others, while his wife being more than attractive – for him her body came to be something of a refuge from boredom.

Hermann’s little Disappointment

Hermann’s attractive wife suddenly presented him a little surprise – her painter cousin who quite rarely visits the couple was taking a bath in their elegant bathroom. Of course, Hermann was slightly shocked but couldn’t allow himself to “publicly express” his disappointment, especially since Lydia tries to seduce him with her irresistible gesture of blowing him with her tender sweet kissing exhale. Of course, Hermann being a strong male in the house felt obliged to tolerate his wife’s relative’s unwanted presence. Sure, our spouses’ life was prosperously continues. Except…

Hermann’s Obsession

Hermann developed a strange obsessive habit – waiting till his wife fell sleep after they made love and then from the distance facing their bedroom imagines himself making love to her. Why was he doing it? May be, because he feels shame? Look at his eyes. It is, as if, he couldn’t imagine that while many people are greedily going about their sexual intercourse and private money the lives of too many is filled with poverty, hate and violence, with suffering destruction of life outside and in one another. But what does it mean? Is loving one another sexually or being financially successful a crime? Of course, not. But to do it and to go about satisfying many other pleasures in spite of all the catastrophes around us which we ignore postponing the future starts to bother Hermann more and more. That is the crime, at least according to the strange mood enveloped by the hero of the film Hermann Hermann. Let’s look again at his eyes. Can it be the gaze of God or an angel? A gaze of someone who appeared inside him?

Hermann’s Twisted Obsession

Hermann’s recent mood has started to bother him not only after making love to his sexually irresistible wife Lydia. And eventually it started jump at him when he and Lydia were right in the midst of their sexual embrace. At whom is Hermann looking at in this very moment? At himself sitting at the distant chair and looking at himself and Lydia making love. And again and again – Hermann either is sitting and looking at himself and Lydia making love or instead – making love with Lydia while simultaneously looking at himself in the distant chair! And in both situations he is filled by… shame – he is not only ashamed for living prosperously – for living mechanically, meaninglessly, absurdly, impossibly, like a miserable philistine, but he is shamed by continue to live shamefully. Yes, he painfully, tormentingly feels ashamed, but… in spite of it he will… carry on living the same shameful life and expect the same from his wife.

Hermann Sees His Own Face in Felix’s

Hermann’s mistake as a happy hope – his delirium as an attempt for happiness

Hermann is Preparing Felix to Look like he, Hermann, himself

Felix who doesn’t possess anything and has nobody is ready for everything, like a slave, like a recruit ready to die, as a hungry pauper. His end is already near, without much of a choice, only a tiny hope, which will soon die out and disappear.

Hermann, and Felix’s Death

For some time Hermann was psychologically preparing himself to take Felix’s place. Exchanging his “identity” with Felix, Hermann exchanged with him clothes and is ready to completely get rid of this tramp/vagabond. Felix is so poor and so desperate that he even agreed to be killed – although Hermann didn’t name what will happened, although Felix was in Hermann’s suit while Hermann in Felix’s. Look at Felix-Hermann “joyful” mask-like facial expression! It is his eternal life mask!

Hermann and Felix’s passport

After killing Felix and starting to deliriously feel himself as Felix – a person with a pure soul, Hermann didn’t get Felix’ soul, but has his passport and soon will be arrested for murder.

Hermann and Lydia’s Cousin-painter Ardallion

When Ardallion, the cousin of Hermann’s wife suddenly noticed Hermann through the window of old hotel room, he rushed to the police, because he already knew from Lydia about Hermann’s murder. And he hated Hermann for being rich. Pay attention to his eyes that of a predatory animal who has spotted his prey. He keeps the paint brush in between his teeth as if, it’s not a brush but Hermann’s life caught in his mouth.

Ardallion Triumphantly Betrays His Cousin’s Husband to the Police

Instead of just being a painter Ardallion becomes a secret informant

Felix’s Passport Inside Hermann’s Dreams

After we saw Hermann obsessively looking at Felix’s passport (third picture above this one) we can’t forget Hermann’s face because he already for months thinks and believes that what in Felix’s passport is his own, Hermann’s photo. But he glued to Felix’s passport photograph not because he really thinks that it is his, Hermann face. He understands that Felix’s face is Felix’s, not his own, but he… disagrees with it, with the fact that Felix’s face is really Felix’s, and not Hermann’s. He is suggesting to himself and to the world that it is him, Hermann who has Felix’s face, not Felix. He suggesting this idea to the universe much like when Donald Trump suggests that the “bad democrats” stole the election from him – criminally appropriated what should be his, belongs to him – eternal ownership of the American election. The mistake is not that Hermann thinks that Felix’s face is in reality his own, Hermann’s face, but the fact that it is not so – that it is unjust, that it is unjust that this Felix’s face belongs to Felix and not him, Hermann. And this cosmic, universal, absolute injustice must be corrected by Hermann, if we want to live in a just universe! The mistake is that Felix’s face belongs to Felix’s passport photograph and Felix’s physiognomy instead of Hermann’s! In short, Felix’s face and soul belongs to Hermann, like election belongs to Trump. “I like my Felix’s face like I like my election!”