In the middle of Vienna stands an old tenement building, and time has left its mark both on the house and its inhabitants. Here, time passes at a strange pace. Floor by floor, the visitor can discover small self-contained worlds: grousers, collectors, the forgotten, people with obsessions, concealed and exposed passions. Behind securely locked doors, each prepares his own heady brew. Then, however, death makes its entrance for the first time, sweeping through the stairwell. The owner of the house, a resident himself, dies. His nephew, an entrepreneur, inherits the building and acts immediately. He moves out, takes up lodgings, hands out notice to quit, renovates and devastates. One goal hovers before his eyes; to get rid of the tenants and make money out of the property. Gradually, the closed doors begin to open, and with each outrage committed by the new owner, the residents are drawn closer together. What comes to light thereby is an anthill full of life, and once it opens up, a flood of comical individuals streams out of it, all fighting for their own living space. A minor official, plagued by persecution mania, fears a dreadful end to the matter. Though the signs he sees of this are all wrong, nevertheless, in a furious finale, the outside world descends upon the house and his inhabitants. Read More »
This documentary deals with work, poverty, violence, love and sex. A film about human beauty in twelve chapters which tells the tales of people from Bombay, Mexico City, Moscow and New York, who are all struggling for survival, with ingenuity, intelligence and dignity. They all share the dream of a better life. Written by L.H. Wong Read More »
This is one of the best opera films ever, one of the few to intelligently juxtapose image and music. S and H’s minimal visual style allows Schoenberg’s maximal musical style to flourish, and there are even spots where we have a black screen, with music only. Filmed outdoors, in natural locations.
Schoenberg’s opera is one of the landmarks of 20th century music, and is heard and seen at its best in this performance.
‘With Moses und Aron, I have tried to destroy Stravinsky’s quote
saying that music was powerless to express the most abstract, the
most ordinary, the most concrete things.’ (Jean-Marie Straub) Read More »
Roman, played by Thomas Schubert, is a 19-year-old man who has known little else than prison walls. He is serving time for murder, but is at the end of his sentence. Parole may be offered if he can hold down a job in the real world. He has tried many different vocations, but has never lasted longer than a day. With one last attempt before his hearing Roman takes on a job at an undertakers. Could this be the one that helps him find his place in society? Read More »
Wer war Edgar Allan? (Who Was Edgar Allan?). 1984. Austria/West Germany. Directed by Michael Haneke. With Paulus Manker, Rolf Hoppe. Based on the novel by noted Austrian writer Peter Rosei, who draws on Poe’s themes of doubling, shadowing, and the uncanny, this atmospheric mystery, set in Venice over four distinct seasons, follows a German art student suffering from some unnamed illness, existential or otherwise. He is befriended by a shady and secretive German American gentleman, “Edgar Allan,” who seems intent on driving him mad by dogging his every move. Haneke’s Venice is a figment of the (paranoid) imagination, where strange characters make unwanted intrusions and clues are laid out like pieces of an incomplete jigsaw puzzle. In German; 83 min Read More »
Haneke depicts the emotional story of an adulterous relationship between a journalist and a teacher. The film poignantly explores the difficult dynamics between people who love one another but still can’t keep from hurting one another. Variation has been described by its director as being closer to John Cassavetes than to Hollywood melodrama. Read More »
Description from the University of Massachussetts website:
This two-part drama examines the fate of Haneke’s own generation which came of age after World War II. The first part depicts the generational gap between 1950s teenagers and their parents while the second shows this same group of characters twenty years later as they have grown up to be dysfunctional and suicidal adults. Regarded as the most significant of Haneke’s early works, Lemmings contains incipient treatments of many of the themes he would later elaborate on in his theatrical features. Read More »