A German stage actor finds unexpected success and mixed blessings in the popularity of his performance in a Faustian play as the Nazis take power in pre-WWII Germany. As his associates and ... See full summary »
A man's story parallels Hitler's rise. Austrian Klaus Schneider, wounded in World War I, recovers in the care of Dr. Emil Bettleheim. Bettleheim discovers that Schneider possesses powers of... See full summary »
Klaus Maria Brandauer,
A tale based on the life of Wilhelm Furtwangler, the controversial conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic whose tenure coincided with the controversial Nazi era. One of the most spectacular ... See full summary »
A deliciously biting satire about both the world of Grand Opera and United Europe. A Hungarian conductor (Arestrup) attempts to mount a bold new production of Richard Wagner's "Tannhäuser" ... See full summary »
Kiri Te Kanawa
Young honest public official is sworn in after his predecessor had to leave due to a corruption scandal. Soon, the young idealist discovers just how far-reaching the corruption is in his town and how easy it is to become corrupt yourself.
Auf einem Arztekongress in Wien lerne sie sich kennen: Renate, eine junge deutsche Aerztin und Jan, ein Kollege aus Warschau. Es ist Liebe auf den ersten Blick. Jan jedoch ist verheiratet ... See full summary »
During WW2 Hungarian resistance hides a married couple from the officials. The woman is sent to act as the wife of one of the resistance members who is also in hiding and pretending to be somebody else. They slowly begin to fall in love.
The story shows Emma's and Böbe's fight for survival, for keeping their position in society which they achieved with hard work in the previous regime. They don't want to lose their place and become village girls again.
Johanna ter Steege,
A German stage actor finds unexpected success and mixed blessings in the popularity of his performance in a Faustian play as the Nazis take power in pre-WWII Germany. As his associates and friends flee or are ground under by the Nazi terror, the popularity of his character supercedes his own existence until he finds that his best performance is keeping up appearances for his Nazi patrons. Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
This is not as deeply felt as Tarkovsky, nor as ambiguously sketched as Resnais. It works from a 'real world', a historic one at that. But it's a good film because it's committed to clearly spin and align the different layers of self.
The story is Faust, both the film and the play-within. Our film is about an actor who sells his soul for a gilded life on the stage, the play is where he is Mephisto - not Faust - and tries to reason with his decision to be Faust, and a third layer is about an era, Nazi Germany in the early years that was also about a Faustian bargain and staged images of power. The protagonist is an actor from the German stage and plays one. It has a Hungarian filmmaker at the helm who knows probably too well the type of life from the Eastern Bloc.
So this succeeds where Hollywood's Cabaret felt contrived and false, because everyone is a step closer to the nervous soul of that world.
Something is quite brilliantly handled here, and I believe it's this; one of the conceits of our actor, a leftist in the early days, is for a Peoples Theater that directly involves and agitates into action. Of course that's all gone when the Nazis come into power, with their Wagnerian notions on the ideal and the pure. He has to do Hamlet, the ambition however is still the same, a play that involves the audience, but in this environment seems ludicrous and hypocritical. It's a state-sponsored event after all.
Now we see several excerpts of Faust, and more shots of our man backstage in pale Mephisto make-up acting the role in real life, but we never see Hamlet. We never see just how he intended this Peoples Theater. We skip to the curtain call and rapturous audience applause.
But of course, the main thrust of the film is that of a man, and later society, that simply doesn't know where the stage ends and life begins. His way of involving the people, in a broad sense, is acting out in this world that is all about posturing and pretending, but doing so in a way that actually saves lives.
The man can thrive in this world, because the world has shifted to align with what he was all along. He doesn't become true, the world becomes as false as he is. It's the stage and lights that shift, so when the narrative planes align for us, we understand that all along he was a decent human being. The chilling finale has him on that stage that is the yawning void where the machinery of self is decided.
Just who controls the lights that he acts to?
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