9 items from 2012
December is Tarantino Month here at Sos, and in the weeks leading up to the Christmas release of Django Unchained, we’ll be tackling the man’s entire career. Love him or hate him, the American film director, screenwriter, producer, and actor has created some of the most iconic and memorable movie moments since he burst into the scene in 1992 with the Sundance hit Reservoir Dogs. Site contributors Tressa Eckermann, Edgar Chaput and Editor-in-Chief Ricky D have decided to put together a list of his greatest moments as both a screenwriter and director.
#30: Inglorious Basterds: Once Upon a Time in Nazi occupied France
Not since Vic Vega slashed his way into becoming one of the best movie villains of all time has Tarantino introduced such an effectively terrifying and charming character. The scene is really a testament to what happens when you combine brilliant dialogue and a gifted actor like Christoph Waltz. »
Back in the Gdr: Hebbeln’s Debut Feature Revisits Political Turmoil of East Germany
Writer/director Toke Constantin Hebbeln follows up his 2006 short film Nevermore with this Stasi inspired period piece, Shores of Hope (aka No Man’s Land). A tale of the East vs. West struggle disguised in a drama concerning the separation of two best friends as they try to attain their goals as dock workers in 1982 Rostock, Hebbeln manages to conjure up some minor dramatic tension with this witch hunt scenario, but ultimately, ends up failing us with a by-the-numbers narrative arc.
Conny (Alexander Fehling) and Andreas (August Diehl) are two wannabe dock workers in Rostock, having a dream to get out of the rigid political climate of East Germany and work out on the sea. But soon after being hired, they realize that getting off the docks and on a ship out to sea requires more »
- Nicholas Bell
It’s East Berlin, 1984—an entire nation under the Stasi’s watchful eye. Freedom is near impossible without risk of arrest or bullet courtesy of a botched escape west, the life of a sailor a young man’s one legitimate avenue out. With destination an afterthought, the open sea becomes every lucky appointee’s gateway to the world and a future. But like all oppressive regimes, false hope keeps the unhappy rabble in line. If workers strive to please, the promise of reward succeeds despite its empty, manipulative lie. Unable to risk defection via a one-way ticket to anywhere, the Germans only send those with family to leave behind as collateral. Those without must remain trapped in their cage on the docks, receiving instead ‘an opportunity’ to turn snitch and gain the responsibility and power necessary to transform into the very thing they hate.
Director Toke Constantin Hebbeln and co-writer »
- email@example.com (thefilmstage.com)
While Russia and Hollywood both want a piece of the other's box office pie, they are more likely to come out ahead by working together on big commercial projects than emerging indie pictures. One movie that various Hollywood distributors are eyeing with interest is rising actor-director Fedor Bondarchuk's "Stalingrad." What does it have going for it? Well, it's a 3-D epic romance set against a famous and pivotal World War II battle between the Russians and the Germans. August Diehl ("Inglourious Basterds") and Thomas Kretschmann ("Resident Evil") lead the international cast. While we were in St. Petersburg, the Roskino bus took a detour to a wet and muddy movie set commandeered by Bondarchuk, who had starred in two of the Roskino selection, the commercial comedy "Spy" and the romance "Two Days." Charismatic and well-muscled, Bondarchuk seemed full of energy mid-way through a wearying fifteen-week shoot. He »
- Anne Thompson
Long considered one of the most talented actors in cinema, it’s very strange that his outstanding acting as the younger brother of Ed Harris’ local crime boss in this underrated film doesn’t get talked about nearly enough when discussing Oldman’s body of work. This is a must-see performance for all Oldman fans. For the record, State Of Grace is a far better Irish mob film than The Departed (Martin Scorsese, 2006, USA), primarily because it contains much better acting across the board. Oldman was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Tomas Alfredson, 2011, UK/France).
Other notable Gary Oldman performances: Prick Up Your Ears (Stephen Frears, 1987, USA), Dracula (Francis Ford Coppola, 1992, USA), True Romance (Tony Scott, 1993, USA), Leon: The Professional (Luc Besson, 1994, France), Air Force One (Wolfgang Petersen, 1997, USA), The Contender (Rod Lurie, »
- Terek Puckett
Salt (2010) Film Review, a movie directed by Phillip Noyce and starring Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Daniel Olbrychski, August Diehl, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Daniel Pearce, Andre Braugher, Olek Krupa, Cassidy Hinkle, Corey Stoll, Olya Zueva, Kevin O’Donnell, and Gaius Charles. Salt is a film at odds with itself: on one hand it wants to be a [...]
- Rollo Tomasi
The Josef Fritzl affair and similar cases of horrendous incarceration revealed in its wake have now produced a sizable body of documentaries, feature films and fiction too, of which Michael is a minor, rather puzzling addition. The 40-year-old Austrian film-maker Markus Schleinzer, whose first feature film this is, has worked as a casting director on over 60 films, among them Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher, Time of the Wolf and, most significantly, The White Ribbon, on which he coached the child actors.
The eponymous Michael (Michael Fuith) is a 35-year-old minor official with an Austrian insurance company, who keeps the 10-year-old Wolfgang (David Rauchenberger) a prisoner in the soundproofed basement of his suburban home. Michael is a bespectacled, nondescript loner with a brother and sister both married with children. He largely keeps to himself, rejecting the advances of a female colleague, whom he physically throws out of his house when she intrudes. »
- Philip French
The daily routine of an Austrian paedophile who keeps a young boy locked in his cellar was hardly something anyone was queuing up to see, but this challenges us, and itself, to take a look. At the same time, it thankfully averts its gaze from scenes of actual abuse. There are keen observations on parenting, privacy, power relations and more, but the flat, factual approach verges on dull, and the absence of empathy ultimately just leaves you feeling grubby. So get in line for the grimmest movie of the year!
This Means War (12A)
Two suspiciously close CIA buddies fall out when they discover they're dating the same woman – cue the misuse of government equipment and their own combat skills for one-upmanship. The romcom high concept is novel for a good reason: it's completely ridiculous. »
- Steve Rose
There's not much insight into the figures behind Germany's Red Army Faction from this flavourless movie
This is a severe, opaque, episodic movie from writer-director Andres Veiel about key players in Germany's terrorist group, the Red Army Faction, from the early 60s to its flame-out in the 70s; the film has the same slightly flavourless character as Uli Edel's 2008 film The Baader Meinhof Complex. The 29-year-old actor Lena Lauzemis brings her distinctively mannish, androgynous presence to the role of Gudrun Ennslin, the student-teacher-turned-radical who became the lover of Andreas Baader and was imprisoned for her role in fire-bomb attacks. August Diehl plays Bernward Vesper, the radical publisher who like the rest of his generation was grappling with rage and guilt about his forebears. (Vesper's father, the poet and author Will Vesper, was a Hitler loyalist, and in a scene from Bernward's childhood, we see Vesper Sr explain how cats »
- Peter Bradshaw
9 items from 2012
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