It is one of the commonplaces in modern human resources that people consist of potentials that can be released in suitable work contexts in such a way that the company has more than just a occupied position.

The individual potential is the little brother of the imagination, with which business ideas are promoted to IPOs - or careers become adventures.

In Jöns Jönsson's film "Axiom" a small dialogue passage about potentials - half garbage, half attempt at self-understanding - is one of many offers for an enigmatic main character.

For Julius, a tall, slender, boyish-looking man, has an unusual dominant trait: he's always fibbing, almost letting his lies grow into performances, then a bunch of people trudge with him through a forest in search of his family's sailboat on which an excursion is to be undertaken, of which only Julius knows that all the prerequisites are missing.

When the matter can only be exposed, Julius ups the ante, now he has to make a dramatic appearance to get out of trouble (and temporarily into the hospital).

He avoided the qualifying route

Most of what he tells is harmlessly fascinating: that once on a bus full of schoolgirls somewhere between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, he soiled his forehead with a raw egg, which he thought was a boiled one (which hotel buffet lays eggs just like that aus?), could even be taken, with a little daring, as an allusion to the fact that it is contemporary mythologica to which Julius feels inspired.

Jöns Jönsson certainly doesn't need Lévi-Strauss to be inspired for a story that consists entirely of stories and of this movement between stories that we hardly notice in everyday life: At a party in Cologne, where the film probably plays - that one might consider it elegant not to ask the expected question "And, what do you do?".

Or, like Julius, to answer them with a bluff without being asked.

In order to substantiate his claim that he is an architect, he then accepts being rudely turned out of the house by an assistant, after he had only just managed to break into a company area and had a makeshift smoking conversation there on a terrace to establish with a person who can rightly say that he is an architect, at least professionally.

Julius is an architect in a different way.

He only avoided the qualification path and took the fictional path to the guild.

Skillfully vibrated

"Axiom" is undoubtedly a comedy at its core, but it is populated by serious characters and with whom Jönsson does not want to make us laugh too much.

For example, it's not really about Julius (greatly cast: Moritz von Treuenfels) finally being exposed.

On the contrary, Julius is constantly on a tightrope walk from which he can't really fall - except into an alienation from normality, to which he seems to be reacting all the time anyway.

Jönsson, who was born in Sweden and who found an artistic home in German film after studying at the HFF Potsdam-Babelsberg, does not rely on a dramaturgy of escalation, but lets his protagonists and their stories circulate.

Rarely has one been able to see sociality at work as in this film, which is great on all levels: camera,

Music (there's a fantastic number by Yung Lean in the end credits), sound, acting, it all comes together naturally, nothing ever deterministic.

In 1986, the literary scholar Gert Mattenklott recalled with his Physiognomische Essais that it was once part of the storytelling repertoire to treat characters like characters.

A miser was still completely plastic for Molière.

But how would you catch an insincere in today's world?

“Axiom” starts, as always consciously, with these characterological narrative models of the Enlightenment, but leads them to a point where they have to lose everything didactic.

Behind the character of Julius there is no longer an in-the-know, but an authority of today: a film artist and screenwriter who can make his characters vibrate so skillfully that we eagerly await which facets will emerge next.

Julius consistently remains what one could describe with the term that Mattenklott gave his collection at the time: a dud.