Toni Erdmann blends comedy and pathos, and is surreal in circumstance, yet realist in performance. Inventive filmmaking that sets out to confound expectations, and works most of the time.
Featuring: Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld, Nina Kunzendorf
Director: Christian Petzold
Screenwriters: Christian Petzold, Harun Farocki; adapted from Hubert Monteilhet’s novel Le Retour des Cendres
Movie Website: www.phoenix-der-film.de/
Verdict: Some obvious credibility issues, but the film amounts to much more than the narrative, culminating in an emotional and dramatic powerhouse of a conclusion.
Phoenix director Christian Petzold’s previous film Barbara, set in pre-unification East Germany, was one of the best movies of the 2013-14 Perth International Film Festival. Phoenix is atmospherically and thematically similar, featuring a grim setting – in this case, a decimated post-war Berlin – and a female lead character (again played by the superb Nina Hoss) who finds a way to transcend her bleak circumstances by reclaiming her dignity and humanity against oppressive odds. Continue reading Phoenix movie review
Featuring: Fred Jaggi, John Miller, Heidrun Singer, Liane Singer, Randolf Menzel
Director: Markus Imhoof
Directors of Photography: Attila Boa, Jörg Jeshel
One-word summation: enthralling
More Than Honey was one of the most popular films featured at Cinema Paradiso’s recent German Film Festival, and for good reason. This is an extraordinary documentary from Oscar-nominated director Markus Imhoof that drops the viewer into the bee universe via some truly spectacular micro-photography, revealing some astonishing and sometimes profoundly disturbing details about these intriguing and vitally important insects. Continue reading More Than Honey Movie Review