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Buster Keaton was undoubtedly one of the greatest of all American comedians. His stone faced appearance and the unforgiving obstacles which nearly ruin his life are beyond sheer comedy. We are fortunate in having pristine restorations of his films. Here is a superb example: “Cops” from 1922. As always his aspirations meet many adverse circumstances…

Grigori Chukhray ( 1921-2001 )

One of the many great directors in Russian cinema. His most famous film is ”Ballad of a soldier ” ( 1959 ). A romantic war time story, filmed in a very melodramatic way, but — abstaining from Soviet propaganda– this film goes way beyond the obvious. But see for yourself…

You, the Living

A very funny and sardonic comedy by Roy Andersson, the cover states: “Monty Python meets Ingmar Bergman”, I would add: plus Aki Kaurismaki. In our clearly pre WWIII times this is probably a fitting and thankfully ironic description of what the human race has come to. There is a key scene in the film where […]

Opening and Closing Scene

From “The Third Man”, directed by by Carol Reed, one of the classics of cinema here a re-visit to the opening and closing scenes. Cinema does not get more atmospheric than that. The menacing opening theme and the improvisational ending, both set the tone and evoke Vienna in all its glorious and sinister facets.

The Coen Brothers meet Our Father

A highly surprising find during the very last 2 minutes of the running credits of the latest Coen Brother’s Film “Hail Caesar” ( far from their best unfortunately ): suddenly there was this mesmerising singing to be heard. I searched for the piece as such, but other ensembles didn’t come near this particular version. Finally […]


The great Austrian filmmaker Ulrich Seidl has done it again: a new film is hitting the screens in September: SAFARI. Of course the viewer is in for some of the seemingly endless perversities of the human mind, here the shooting of wild animals in parks in Africa and Asia. And Seidl doesn’t hold back when […]

Ulrich Seidl 1994

For all of those whose stomach isn’t strong enough to take the most recent  film ” Im Keller “of Austrian filmmaker Ulrich Seidl  here an older,quite amusing shorter work: “Die letzten Maenner” ( The last men ), filmed in 1994 . ( German with some English.)

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 […]


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 […]