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3 items from 2011

Venice Film Festival 2011: Aleksandr Sokurov's 'Faust' wins Golden Lion

11 September 2011 8:52 AM, PDT | CineVue | See recent CineVue news »

The gongs have been distributed at this year's Venice Film Festival and the winner of the coveted Golden Lion is Aleksandr Sokurov's Faust, starring Hanna Schygulla, Isolda Dychauk, Georg Friedrich and Maxim Mehmet. The film looks remarkable, with cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel employing all sorts of distortion from fairground mirrors to fuzzy lenses, creating a world which is credibly off-kilter. In other news, Shangjun Cai was awarded the Silver Lion (Best Director) and Michael Fassbender won Best Actor for his role in Steve McQueen's Shame.

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- Daniel Green

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Shanghai International Film Festival: ‘The Good Neighbour’

21 June 2011 2:46 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

The Good Neighbour

Directed by Stephan Rick

Germany 2011

Falling somewhere between cold psychodrama and deliberate thriller, Stephan Rick’s The Good Neighbour is a slick, cyclical drama filled with moral anxieties and suburban violence.

David (Maxim Mehmet) moves next door to Robert (Charly Hübner).  David is good-looking, young and ambitious.  Robert is the opposite, yet the two form a friendship based on, if nothing else, proximity.  On the drive home from a bar, David strikes a young woman with his car and kills her.  Robert convinces him to leave the scene of the crime, but soon David falls for the victim’s sister Vanessa (Petra Schmidt-Schaller).  Robert begins to feel left out…and doesn’t take it very well.

Director Rick maintains a fairly minimal style throughout, though his is far from the sparse, grief-stricken narratives of many of his German contemporaries.  Preferring to stay mostly in medium shots, Rick »

- Neal Dhand

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Top 100 Most Anticipated Films of 2011: Aleksandr Sokurov's Faust

12 January 2011 12:00 PM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

#63. Faust Director: Aleksandr SokurovProducers: Andrey SigleDistributor: Rights Available. The Gist: This is the fourth and final film in the corrupting effects of power after Hitler ("Moloch," 1999), Vladimir Lenin ("Taurus," 2000) and Japanese emperor Hirohito ("The Sun," 2004). Inspired by the German legend of a man who makes a pact with the devil in return for knowledge, and drawing on works by Goethe and Thomas Mann, Sokurov's "Faust" aims to draw together the themes of his earlier three films....(more) Cast: Hanna Schygulla, Maxim Mehmet and Antoine Monot Jr. List Worthy Reasons...: I had this listed on last year's Top 100, and the extra wait can only mean the auteur is fine-tuning the project. Here is what I wrote one year back: not a remake of Murnau's 1926 film, but the closing chapter in Sokurov's grouping of four films under the theme of corruption is an absolute must for film snobs. Having only seen three of his works, »

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