Max is gay and as such is sent to Dachau concentration camp under the Nazi regime. He tries to deny he is gay and gets a yellow label (the one for Jews) instead of pink (the one for gays). ... See full summary »
Berlin 1943/44 ("The Battle of Berlin"). Felice, an intelligent and courageous Jewish woman who lives under a false name, belongs to an underground organization. Lilly, a devoted mother of ... See full summary »
HEAD IN THE CLOUDS is a sweeping romantic drama set in 1930's England, Paris, and Spain. Gilda Bessé shares her Paris apartment with an Irish schoolteacher, Guy Malyon, and Mia, a refugee ... See full summary »
The film is set during the late 1930s: the occasion is the first meeting between Mussolini and Hitler. Left alone in her tenement home when her fascist husband runs off to attend the ... See full summary »
Max is gay and as such is sent to Dachau concentration camp under the Nazi regime. He tries to deny he is gay and gets a yellow label (the one for Jews) instead of pink (the one for gays). In camp he falls in love with his fellow prisoner Horst, who wears his pink label with pride. Written by
Ian McKellen, who appears as Uncle Freddie in the film, starred in the role of Max in the original London West End theatre production in 1979. See more »
We had a boy like that in school. Used to lead us in silences.
Ok. I'll explain. Ok. We have to move rocks.
You move one rock at a time.
You take it over there.
When that pile is complete, you take one rock at a time and move it back.
You move it back? You move rocks from there to there and then from there to back again?
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The film opens with the main credits revealing like a searchlight. See more »
When Martin Sherman's play first appeared (with Ian McKellen as Max and Tom Bell as Horst) it caused outrage and much discussion with its sympathetic and frank treatment of forbidden love in the age of the SS.
Here it has undergone a few changes but retains its stark power. Clive Owen (probably not my first choice for the role) plays Max, the homosexual who pretends to be a Jew so he is not at the bottom of the pecking order of prisoners. The way the SS force him to prove his sexuality is shocking whether on the printed page, in a theatre, or up on the big screen. Brian Webber plays his intellectual lover Rudy with some class and it is a brief but touching performance.
Lothaire Bluteau, who I had only seen before in 'Jesus of Montreal', was brilliant in the role of Horst, the prisoner with the pink triangle who awakens Max again from his imprisoned desires. There are quiet and intense scenes between the two that are almost unbearably moving to watch, and are done within this film extremely well.
Elsewhere in the cast, Ian McKellen himself plays Uncle Freddie (but those of us who saw him as Max would love to have seen that portrayal immortalised on screen), while Mick Jagger is surprisingly good as Greta (a role which could easily be played wrong but he's spot on).
This play/film is intended to make its audience confront their prejudices, to shock, move, and inspire them. I think it is an unmissable experience - a difficult one, but worthwhile.
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