“An Austrian videogame designer (Helmut Köpping) who has turned his pathological hatred for his politician father into a life’s mission to create a father-killing videogame, ends-up, through a set of curious circumstances, renovating the basement hideout in Long Island of a Lithuanian Nazi. ” Read More »
A blind pianist living in 18th-century Vienna forms an extraordinary relationship with the physician who is trying to restore her sight. Read More »
Michael Haneke’s masterful first film The Seventh Continent/Der Siebente Kontinent introduced concerns basic to the director’s art, principal among them the notion that the “death of affect”, a key fixation of postmodernity, should not be a subject of cynical concelebration (as it seems to be for many artists of the moment). Rather, Haneke views the end of affect, which is to say the acceptance of alienation as an inevitable and rather “hip” state of being, as a profound sickness that serious art no longer interrogates, the standard postmodern view being that its study is a naïve and dated preoccupation. As a consequence, Haneke is often associated with cinema’s great modernists, with Antonioni frequently cited as the kinsman of closest sensibility. Read More »
Flesh of the Void is a terribly disturbing experimental horror film about what it could feel like if death truly were the most horrible thing one could ever experience. It is intended as a trip through the deepest fears of human beings, exploring its subject in a highly grotesque, violent and extreme manner. Read More »
Michael Haneke’s latest torture mechanism is less funny game than daunting debasement ritual. Isabelle Huppert stars as Erika Kohut, an icy piano teacher who goes masochistic when handsome young Walter Klemmer (Benoit Magimel) wants to play with her cold ivory. Huppert responds to Haneke with such straight-faced precision that you might just buy into the director’s seemingly shallow provocations. Spousal punishment in Bergman’s Cries & Whispers came in the form of self-mutilation. Haneke, though, has Huppert paint a more squeamish picture of self-love that also contemplates the possibility of pleasure in pain. The director has an uncanny ability to force the spectator’s gaze and takes his time revealing Erika’s many fetishes. Though all-powerful in the classroom, Erika is slapped around by her busybody mother as if she were a constantly misbehaving child. Read More »
After you see this film, you’ll never complain about your job again. Subtitled something like “Five Portraits of Work in the Twenty-First Century,” Glawogger’s documentary features some of the most dangerous, difficult, or just plain unpleasant work in the world.
Each segment except the last one is about twenty-five minutes long, and is shot without any voice-over narration and very little editorializing. We are simply presented with people working and talking about their work. The director possesses a very painterly sense of composition, and we’re often presented with shots of workers posing as if they were in front of a still camera. The camera-work is even more impressive when it is moving, and I often found myself wondering how they were able to film in some of these conditions. Read More »
The siblings Bebe and Mikhail leave their country Moldova to apply for asylum in Germany. Their flight turns into a modern odyssey.
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