Drama

Fritz Lang – Das wandernde Bild aka The Wandering Image (1920)

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Quote:
The tangled story that unfolds in the torrid melodrama The Wandering Shadow centers around the character of Irmgard (played by actress Mia May), a virtuous woman who, like many such heroines past and present, gets involved with the wrong kind of man. As the film opens, she is seen fussing on a train headed for the picturesque mountains of Germany, fleeing an unidentified gentleman. Through flashbacks, we learn that Irmgard once found employment with a wealthy free-love advocate (Hans Marr). The two have an affair and, with Irmgard pregnant and desperate, she schemes to secretly marry the man’s brother (also played by Hans Marr) so it at least appears that the child is being raised properly. The confusing story eventually has Irmgard trudging through the mountainous terrain to come across a generous monk who offers her a chance at the redemption she so desperately desires. Read More »

    Stanley Kubrick – Paths of Glory (1957)

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    Quote:
    In Stanley Kubrick’s “Paths of Glory” war is viewed in terms of power. This mesmerizing, urgent film about a true episode in World War I combines the idea that class differences are more important than national differences with the cannon-fodder theory of war, the theory that soldiers are merely pawns in the hands of generals who play at war is if it were a game of chess. The result of this amazing film has been the emergence of one of the great talents in contemporary cinema, the master whose greatest work was yet to come. Read More »

      Antony Cordier – Douches froides aka Cold Showers (2005)

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      Quote:
      Cold Showers is a coming of age story about Mickael (Johan Libereau), a high school student who is captain of the Judo team and who lives with his low-income family. His mother is a janitor/groundskeeper at a gymnasium and his father is a long-time taxi driver and drunkard. Both are struggling to pay for services and amenities for their apartment. He also has a girlfriend named Vanessa (Salome Stevenin) and the two of them befriend Clement (Pierre Perrier) a rich student who becomes his Judo teammate. A sex triad is formed, and drama ensues. Read More »

        Béla Tarr – Öszi almanach aka Almanac of the Fall (1984)

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        From New York Times Magazine:
        Possibly inspired by the existential play No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre, this story about five people living in close quarters in a small apartment conveys the same angst as Sartre’s well-known story about the nature of hell. Like the 1962 movie version of the play, Oszi Almanach is also garishly lighted, with scenes red-tinted on one side and blue-tinted on the other. Close-ups show a dermatologist’s interest in skin, an example of the kind of bizarre abstraction that underscores the alienation in this film. A single, older mother owns the apartment, where she is tended by a nurse who has brought along a presumed lover. The sick woman’s son lives there too, constantly thinking about how to get his hands on his mother’s money. The last member of this unhappy family is a former teacher now down on his luck and out of work. The three men and the nurse are dependent on the sick woman, on her money and her apartment, just as she is dependent on them. Yet these individuals are two-faced, scheming, and prone to anger. Unable to break away and leave, at the same time they find no solace in staying — making a difficult two hours of misery for the average viewer to take on without a therapist.
        by Eleanor Mannikka Read More »

          Aleksandr Sokurov – Chitayem Blokadnuyu Knigu AKA Reading Book Of Blockade (2009)

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          The lengthy siege of Leningrad during World War II cost a million civilian lives. In Alexander Sokurov’s documentary, various people – actors, journalists, students, soldiers – read eyewitness accounts about this ‘historic and cultural disaster’, to use Sokurovr’s words. Read More »

            Ingmar Bergman – Musik i mörker AKA Music in Darkness (1948)

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            Bergman writing on the genesis of the film in Images: My Life in Film:
            ‘In spite of all that happened, Lorens Marmstedt did not throw me out. With great diplomacy he pointed out that now would be the perfect time for at least one modest audience success. Otherwise my days as a movie director migth be numbered. A Ship Bound for India as well as It Rains on our Love had been made for Sweden’s Folkbiografer. Now Marmstedt suggested that I make a film for his own company, Terrafilm. It must be noted that Lorens was a passionate gambler, able to put his money on the same number a whole evening. Read More »

              Ruben Östlund – Turist AKA Force Majeure (2014) (HD)

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              Quote:
              A family on a ski holiday in the French Alps find themselves staring down an avalanche during lunch one day; in the aftermath, their dynamic has been shaken to its core, with a question mark hanging over their patriarch in particular. Read More »