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Michelangelo Antonioni

For me the greatest Italian film director  in the 20th century. My favorite film of his always has been ”Il Deserto Rosso”. The film operates on so many levels that it requires multiple viewing. I always felt the literary equivalent of Antonioni was Cesare Pavese, whose books also are multi layered affairs. Antonioni’s ”Le Amiche” was […]

Ken Russell

Ken Russell ( 1927 -2011 ) was an English film maker, who is particularly interesting for his eccentric portraits of composers, amongst them Mahler, Elgar, Tschaikowsky, Liszt and Delius. The Delius film is enchanting, full of quirkyness and a must for admirers of this great English composer. The DVD’s with these films are now available, but also […]

Aufschneider

For German speaking folks : the great Austrian cabarettist Josef Hader  has produced a 2 part dark black comedy about hospitals. He plays a pathologist and it is the usual wild Austrian scenario that goes with it: eccentric characters, death,love, misery,cranky women,useless men… A great achievement and once more: for top quality TV one has […]

Trautmann

The Austrians have not only some of the best European contemporary Art Cinema ( Ulrich Seidl , Michael Haneke ), but also produce superb TV series over the last decades. When compared with the many  flat and ‘safe’ German TV productions , which often are poor in originality, low on acting talent and relying on the lowest […]

Fargo

It is decidedly rare that a spin-off series of a truly excellent  and deservedly highly successful movie works, but the talent pool behind the Series “Fargo” managed exactly that. It is somewhat difficult to praise all the qualities of this astounding series. The currently transmitted series 2 combines ravishingly aesthetic visual imagery with a nightmarish […]

Yan Svankmejer

Far from being just some ‘Klamauk’ Yan Svankmejer’s surrealist films are very well thought out statements about the human condition and its prevalent absurdities and perversions. Here is a short film that shows in an exemplary way what Svankmejer is all about:  

“Let’s talk about the rain”

Some  of the most amusing comedies in recent years have been directed and acted by Agnes Jaoui. “Let’s talk about the rain” is one of them, a fantastically entertaining movie, intelligent and witty, a real delight. As always with her films some discreetly placed  exquisite music is to be heard ( here some subtle choral music […]

“God’s pocket”

One of the last films of the great Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died 2 weeks after its premiere. A dark comedy drama with Hofmann in top form, acting with his irresistible integrity. The film didn’t get rave reviews, but I consider it a masterstroke creating  a credible balance between comedy and drama. American film at its […]

Night on Earth

My favorite film so far and Jarmusch’ greatest work, no doubt. And the Helsinki episode always struck me as a genial hommage to Kaurismaki… but see for yourself… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh9Cwj8CJ-A

Sátántangó

For those who have 7 hours to spare and have never seen a film by the Hungarian director Bela Tarr :  it is time to go for ‘Satantango’, the longest and most accomplished film of Tarr.  I personally rank it together with Sergei Bondarchuk’s  “War and Piece”  and Jaques Rivette’s  “Out1 : Noli me tangere” as […]