Film premiere: The Hour of Gray Shoes – Munich

If you are planning the big entrance, you first need shoes. That’s clear, you rarely go out of the house barefoot. But these shoes can’t be colorful under any circumstances. The people in the Mathäser Filmpalast seem to know this, at least those on the red carpet: At the premiere of the movie “Wochenendrebellen” you can see black ballerinas, brown boots, gray sandals and lots of white sneakers. Anything else would probably be an exclusion criterion for Jason von Juterczenka. And this premiere evening will also be about him and his father Mirco.

18-year-old Jason is autistic, his life consists of daily routines and many fixed rules. One of them is that he categorically rejects colorful shoes, at least on the football field. And the Germans’ favorite hobby is also the subject of the successful film adaptation of the book that he and his father wrote and in which they talk about their not always easy everyday life, the problems at school and the joint search for a favorite football club for Jason. The book was published in 2019 and the Munich director Marc Rothemund made a film of it. The film opens in cinemas this week and expectations are high: “We’re hoping for an audience of millions,” says producer Quirin Berg (black leather shoes) on the sidelines of the red carpet.

While the main actors Cecilio Andresen, Florian David Fitz and Aylin Tezel are being photographed, Mirco von Juterczenka briefly ties the laces of his son’s white sneakers. The two appear in partner looks, at least down below, they have interrupted their weekend ritual for the cinema premiere tour: They have been traveling to German and European football stadiums for years and inspecting them according to Jason’s list of rules: It starts with the color of the sports shoes and It doesn’t stop with the club mascots, the spotlights and the clubs’ sustainability management.

For Jason, who wears an FFP2 mask and turquoise nail polish on the opening night, football games and film premieres aren’t all that different: “The crowds, the volume and the clapping are very similar.” In real life and in the film, father and son travel by climate-friendly train, and long journeys don’t put them off: “I would like to watch games in Japan,” says Jason. When asked whether this was even possible by train, he answered in the affirmative. “I researched that, you don’t have to go through Russia either.”

Actor Florian David Fitz notices the smell in football stadiums

But back to Germany: “We filmed in large stadiums and were there at seven live games,” says producer Justyna Muesch on the Munich premiere evening. The film is not a football film, despite some ball scenes – more of a father-son story. That suits the main character: “Zero,” replies Florian David Fitz when asked how many football arenas he has visited before. “As a child, I went to the Munich Olympic Stadium with my father, but I didn’t see anything.” He admits that ball sports aren’t really his thing, but he still learned a lot while filming. For example, about fan groups in football temples, which, according to Fitz, behaved like competing tribes.

A visit to the stadium is also quite interesting from an olfactory point of view: the actor doesn’t want to talk about beer, sausage or sweat fumes, nor about the question of whether he smelled different aromas in Gelsenkirchen than in Berlin or Dortmund. Only in the Allianz Arena does it smell very special: “Like Sagrotan,” claims Fitz, alluding to the cliché that FC Bayern plays in its own wipe-and-go world. And then there’s the matter with the DFB: The film was presented to football officials in Frankfurt, he says, on the very day that national coach Hansi Flick was fired. Did he sniff something there too? Fitz nods and answers with a wide grin: “Sweat.”

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