Coup de Grâce (German: Der Fangschuß, French: Le Coup de grâce) is a 1976 West German film directed by Volker Schlöndorff. It was adapted from the novel by the same name by the French author Marguerite Yourcenar. The title comes from the French expression, meaning “finishing blow”.
Synopsis: A countess’ unrequited love for an army officer leads to disaster. Latvia, 1919: the end of the Russian Civil War. An aristocratic young woman (brilliantly played by Margarethe von Trotta) becomes involved with a sexually repressed Prussian soldier. When she is rejected by her love, the young woman is sent into a downward spiral of psychosexual depression, promiscuity, and revolutionary collaboration. A startling tale of heartbreak and violence set against the backdrop of bloody revolution, Volker Schlöndorff’s Coup de grâce is a powerful film that explores the interrelation of private passion and political commitment.
A woman’s life is destroyed when she discovers that her husband has another family.
Marie accidentally discovers that her husband and the father of her two children is leading a double life. He has two of everything: two wives, two homes and two families. As soon as night falls, Marie leaves her home and secretly follows her husband to a masked ball. She is looking for consolation, for explanations. After daybreak, she will know whether she can face this new reality and return to her children…
The lead actors from Yella reunite in a movie that Variety’s Derek Elley says (in a not so positive review) that it “plays like Alain Robbe-Grillet met “Eyes Wide Shut.”
In the post-screening Q&A on Saturday, at a packed Luxor, director Krebitz commented on the symbol of the forest that is so deeply ingrained in the German spirit. “You have to find your way through the forest to reach a conclusion,” she said. Leaving that conclusion out would be robbing Medea of her essence. Continue reading
Consul Werle holds a reception in honour of the homecoming of his son Gregers. At the
reception, Gregers meets his childhood friend, Hjalmar Ekdal, who is married to Gina, a former maid of the Werle family. Hjalmar is unaware that Werle had an affair with Gina and that their 14-year-old daughter Hedwig is not his child. Gregers moves in with the Ekdals with the intention of allowing unsuspecting Hjalmar and his family to share in the “happiness of truth”.
Hedwig is entirely devoted to a wild duck, which lives on a pond outside their house.
When Hjalmar learns the truth about his daughter, he wants to leave his family. Gregers advises Hedwig to kill the wild duck so that her father, impressed by this sacrifice, will return home. On the following day, Hedwig’s birthday, she doesn’t shoot the duck, but shoots herself instead. Continue reading
After spending three years doing field installation work in West Africa, Fred returns home to his old neighbourhood, an industrial region on the outskirts of a major city. He is filled with confidence and optimism for a new start. He has brought home with him a pile of money that he made in Africa. But he never wrote to his wife Rita. He only wired her a money transfer every month. In the meantime, Rita has a new life that she now shares with a GI. Fred rents a room in the “Royal”, a sleazy hotel. There, he meets Alma, who takes care of the rooms and the guests and who is being kept by her sugar daddy – the aging hotel director. A passionate encounter with his old girlfriend Vera, who had high hopes for the two of them at some earlier time, dissipates into a brief carnal episode. For the old work buddies in the steel mill, Fred’s return is just an excuse to get drunk one night. Only Alma, the girl from the “Royal”, shows interest in Fred. For her, he personifies a bit of yearning, faraway places and the chance to get herself out of her little rat-hole. Together they set out on a journey, wandering aimlessly through Germany. . .
Here’s the debut feature film by director Uwe Schrader, who’s still a well-kept secret of german cinema. I first read about him in the most recent issue of Cargo. His realistic “Milieu” films recall the works of Klaus Lemke, Roland Klick or the austro-canadian filmmaker John Cook. Kanakerbraut is only one hour long, and it is about the dull life of Paul (Peter Franke) and his encounters with similar characters in Berlin Kreuzberg. Continue reading
Synopsis: The gritty, kinetic, visionary cinema of Roland Klick is ripe for rediscovery. After shooting with international stars, such as Mario Adorf and Dennis Hopper, Klick celebrated international success and achieved cult status. Yet after making only six features, he disappeared from the scene in a rather mysterious way. The story of an uncompromising film maniac. Continue reading
Here’s the final film of Uwe Schrader’s proletarian trilogy, following White Trash AKA Kanakerbraut [Germany] and Sierra Leone [Germany] . Without a straight narrative, a couple of stories revolve around the last days of a stripclub called ‘Mau Mau’.
MAU MAU is located right in the middle of the red light district. When night falls on the city, the joint starts jumping in MAU MAU. Stripping, pimping, ripping off and grifting are the order of the day. Sometimes it’s all very agreeable and sometimes all hell breaks loose. Celebrations and snivelling go hand in hand here. In this world of the marooned, the stumbling and those who have gotten back on their feet, the film traces the lifelines of Inge and Heinz, of Rosa and Doris and of Ferdi and Ali on their search for love, happiness and life. “If I had the choice of filming in heaven or hell,” says Uwe Schrader, “then I’d choose hell”. Continue reading