Issue 24 | March 2009


I never thought that one day I’d have to pin my hopes on Hitler

By Elke De Wit

A plethora of German films was evident in all sections of the Berlinale this year. Many were co-productions, several had really glossy production values with an obvious eye on the international market and there was a noticeable move toward topics not solely related to the Germans and Germany. The two films that did have a World War II theme, tackled aspects of it that were novel and shone a new light on events. Anonyma – Eine Frau In Berlin and John Rabe. Both are unusual scenarios set during and just after wartime respectively. Anonyma shows Anonyma (played by Nina Hoss) finding herself a Russian officer who in return for sex will protect her from being raped by others. The abuse of German women (the conquered people) by the occupying forces (the victors) is a phenomenon often alluded to but rarely seen in such stark pictures.
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This Spring, Leaves May Be Banned‏

By Rosy Rockets

On the Russian-German front in 1944, there thrust through the mud encrusted snow not crocus buds but the stiff leather fingers of the December dead. In Berlin, the bombs forced cherry trees into early blossom. These pink petals bob over the opening titles of Douglas Sirk’s A Time To Love And A Time To Die...

The Dance Macabre of Tony Manero

By Lee Hill

Anyone with even a glancing familiarity with TS Eliot will not be able to watch Tony Manero without thinking of the St. Louis native’s line about mankind not being able to bear too much reality. When the film begins, we are immediately introduced to the title character, Raul Peralta...

Writing Red Riding

By Tony Grisoni

In early February 2006 Andrew Eaton made me an offer to which I could not say no. He asked me to take a look at The Red Riding Quartet of novels by David Peace with a view to adapting them. I started reading ‘1974’ and from the first unsettling parody of a fallen angel to the final Jacobean shoot-out I did not stop to take breath.

Creative Capacities of Developing Countries

By Alessandra Meleiro

In sub-Saharan Africa – with the possible exception of South Africa – the prohibitive cost to produce films, the poor state of cinema houses, the absence of governmental support for filmmaking, and the large offer of foreign films have tied many filmmakers to foreign funding, equipment, expertise, and audiences.

Four Nights with Jerzy

By John Riley

After writing for Wajda and co-writing Knife in the Water Jerzy Skolimowski moved into directing. Identification Marks: None (1964), Walkover (1965) and Barrier (1966) formed a loosely autobiographical trilogy whose hero, Andrzej, is played by Skolimowski himself.

Phonography and the Drift

By Owen Armstrong

From its opening moments – the shadow play of passing traffic on the walls of a peaceful night time interior – In the City of Sylvia is a markedly refreshing piece of visceral cinema. Guerin’s arrangement of sounds and images recalls the compelling simplicity of Philip Groning’s Into Great Silence.