13 February 2012 11:34 AM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Of all directors working in Germany today, Christian Petzold has the surest hand and, while, after just one viewing, it's too early to stake a claim for Barbara as his best film yet, it is, in many ways, a culmination of his stylistic progression towards a classic yet vividly contemporary cinematic language. Referencing influences in interviews — like many directors who can afford the time, Petzold likes to screen films for his cast in the weeks of rehearsal before shooting begins — he's been citing quite a few of late from both Golden Age and New Hollywood. The ghost of Marnie moves through Yella (2007) in the way a camera follows a woman up a set of stairs. Jerichow (2008) transposes The Postman Always Rings Twice from the oppressive shadows of film noir to a sun-drenched summer in present-day Germany. Of the three films that comprise Dreileben (2011), Petzold's Beats Being Dead is the one »

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