To ease the tension, we turned to Jackson Tegu’s Kaleidoscope hack of Microscope to create a German action film about teenage angst. Our friend pitched it to us as “like Die Hard with haute couture added but directed by John Hughes”.
First we explored the story of Clarissa Cabbage, a fourteen year-old Asian-German about to celebrate her quinceañera. She started as part of the tailoring training montage and the party dress montage but the bulk of her story was revealed during the extended quinceañera party itself, during which a police car careered through the backyard fence, the party court whipped out automatic weapons from under their dresses and engaged the cops, Jason Statham showed up on a moped to help Clarissa escape, and it was revealed that he was her long-lost twin from the future.
Next we learned more about this twin, Jack Froot, who had been sent back in time at the age of five in order to be the right age to help her at her quinceañera. He reveals his backstory though monologue and flashbacks, how he had sent himself back in time and was the tailoring master who was training Clarissa earlier in the film. The two of them sat in the clinic for what seemed like hours waiting for the DNA tests to come back confirming that “now they are family,” and Statham attempts to sell being emotionally touched by the reunion discredits the movies attempt at ending with an uplifting life lesson. But who is that mysterious man in the fedora watching them in those montages?
Turns out he is the films villain, Hans Selengretl. At first it seemed like he was a hat fiend determined to make the world shabby by putting fedoras on everyone, even if they are already wearing other headgear! But slowly it became clear that Hans was also a time traveller who came to the past to enact revenge against Jack for the death of his beloved Clarissa. He and Jack exchange banter over the radio while Jack was waiting on the DNA results, he shows up at the party and fights alongside the police, and he faces Jack in a showdown near the end of the film.
Strangely, the fourth character, Sew Tantie, was completely overshadowed despite being played by Meryl Streep. Sew died mowing down Hans’s horde of minions with her sewing machine gun to clear a path for Jack to take down Hans in that epic finale.
The film was called “A Stitch in Time” in the original German but is known more popularly as “Fifteen Timelines” or “Tailor Krauts” by the fans.