Friday, March 28, 2014

Barbara (Christian Petzold, 2012)

"The heavens are what split first", wrote Christa Wolf in her 1963 novel Divided Heaven in the aftermath of the construction of the Berlin Wall. Even if a quarter of a century has passed since the heavens reconciled (the Wall fell in 1989) apparently that chapter in German history still proves an inexhaustible source of inspiration for contemporary German cinema, see for example Sonnenallee (1999), Goodbye Lenin (2003) and the Academy Award winner The Lives Of The Others (2006). But when is the former East Germany backdrop motivated by the urgence of filmmakers to grapple with a recent past that still hurts, and when is it more an exploitative choice, of the sort made by Liliana Cavani with The Night Porter?

Friday, March 14, 2014

La Moustache (Emmanuel Carrère, 2005)

Don't be fooled by the apparently innocuous title. Written and directed by first and foremost writer Emmanuel Carrère and based on his own novel, La Moustache is a powerful, unsettling film that will make you feel uneasy long after the end credits have rolled.