Tag Archives: Hanna Schygulla

Hans Steinbichler – Winterreise AKA Winter Journey (2006)

Synopsis:
A diagnosed manic-depressive whose impulsive behavior only serves to further isolate him from his increasingly irritated family and friends, Franz Brenninger (Josef Bierbichler) is a once-wealthy businessman who has since fallen on hard times. When Franz receives letter promising a healthy payoff if he simply allows millions of dollars to be transferred through his German bank account, he enlists the aid of Kurdish translator Leyla (Sibel Kekilli) and secures the 50,000 Euros needed to seal the deal, telling his trusting son Xaver (Philipp Hochmair) that he is going to use the cash to pay for his ailing wife Martha (Hanna Schygulla)’s much-needed eye surgery. Upon realizing that he has been scammed and has nothing left to lose, Franz quickly scrounges whatever funds he can gather and travels to Nairobi with Leyla in hopes of confronting the elusive con artist and getting the money back. Read More »

Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Die Niklashauser Fart aka Niklashuasen Journey (1970)

In the 15th century, Hans Bohm, a shepherd, claimed to have been visited by the Virgin Mary. He began preaching and gathered around him thousands of disciples who believed him to be the New Messiah. He was arrested and burned at the stake by the church. Fassbinder uses this true story to reflect the sexual and political upheaval in Germany, showing how and why revolution fails. Read More »

Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Das Kaffeehaus AKA The Coffeehouse (1970)

KAFFEEHAUS, DAS
(nach Carlo Goldoni)

“In Ridolfo’s coffeehouse, citizens meet to talk about money, friendship, love, and honor. This is a modernistic staging for television of a play by Carlo Goldoni (1707-1793), the Venetian playwright whose many works preserve in scripted form the improvisational productions of the Italian commedia dell’arte.” Read More »

Ivan Fíla – Lea (1996)

51-year-old Herbert Strehlow, a furniture restorer, falls in love with 21-year-old Lea, who has not spoken a word since childhood when her father killed her mother. She bears a striking resemblance to Herbert’s dead wife. They get married, but their relationship seems doomed, until gradually each one manages to penetrate the mysterious world of the other, and they begin to realize that they are bound by a kind of spiritual relationship. For Lea it is the death of her mother, for Herbert it is the death of his first wife. His hard exterior slowly beings to thaw, and he starts to show feelings and responses that soften Lea’s initial hatred and fear of him, and which put their relationship in a more positive light. Read More »

Vojtech Jasný – Ansichten eines Clowns AKA The Clown (1976)

Hans Schnier has earned his living as a clown, though he is in fact a very covert sort of social critic. After enduring a difficult childhood in Bonn during the Second World War, including his mother’s fanatic Nazism, he is appalled to discover many of the people he knows and loves swept deeply into involvement in the Catholic Church. Read More »

Jean-Luc Godard – Passion (1982)

Quote:
On a movie set, in a factory, and at a hotel, Godard explores the nature of work, love and film making. While Solidarity takes on the Polish government, a Polish film director, Jerzy, is stuck in France making a film for TV. He’s over budget and uninspired; the film, called “Passion,” seems static and bloodless. Hanna owns the hotel where the film crew stays. She lives with Michel, who runs a factory where he’s fired Isabelle, a floor worker. Hanna and Isabelle are drawn to Jerzy, hotel maids quit to be movie extras, people ask Jerzy where the story is in his film, women disrobe, extras grope each other off camera, and Jerzy wonders why there must always be a story. Read More »

Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Katzelmacher (1969)

Quote:
Katzelmacher was a revelation. One of only a handful of Fassbinder films which I had not seen before, it seems among his best, and most challenging, works.

Fassbinder’s second feature film, Katzelmacher (1969) is a tour de force of stark visual beauty and ambiguous but riveting characters. Fassbinder adapted his own original play, of the same title, which he had also starred in on stage. (The theatrical script is included in the anthology Fassbinder’s Plays.) Read More »