Tag Archives: Bruno Ganz

Bruno Ganz, 1941–2019

The scene above made the Swiss actor Bruno Ganz immortal. After the premiere of the masterful Downfall in 2004, countless YouTube parodies were made of this scene, each one with new, creative subtitles. Hitler’s rage (in a foreign, incomprehensible language, as long as you didn’t speak German) served as a hilarious comment on whatever subject you … Continue reading Bruno Ganz, 1941–2019

In Order of Disappearance

When his son is found dead due to an apparent heroin overdose, snow-plow driver Nils Dickman (Stellan Skarsgård) realizes that he’s actually been killed and exacts revenge. Another darkly comical collaboration between the director and Skarsgård, this one taking excellent advantage of snowy locations in northern Norway. Pretty much a spoof of western movies, featuring … Continue reading In Order of Disappearance

The Party

A COMEDY OF TRAGIC PROPORTIONS.  After being announced as shadow minister for health, Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas) is having a group of friends and allies over to celebrate, but some of them have startling news. A well-received comedy from Sally Potter that satirizes politics by arranging a dinner that turns into a farce even before … Continue reading The Party

Night Train to Lisbon

When a timid Swiss professor (Jeremy Irons) saves a young woman from jumping off a bridge, it leads him on an unpredictable journey to Lisbon and the story of a doctor (Jack Huston) who becomes involved in the resistance movement. Bille August’s take on the critically acclaimed novel is an example of why some books … Continue reading Night Train to Lisbon

The Counselor

At the same time as he asks the woman (Penélope Cruz) he loves to marry him, a counselor (Michael Fassbender) also gets involved in a drug deal with dire consequences. Cormac McCarthy’s first original screenplay combined with Ridley Scott’s considerable filmmaking skills should have been dynamite, especially considering No Country for Old Men (2007). What … Continue reading The Counselor

Baader Meinhof Complex: The Lost Honor of the Left

THE CHILDREN OF THE NAZI GENERATION VOWED FASCISM WOULD NEVER RULE THEIR WORLD AGAIN. When this film premiered, it faced harsh criticism from relatives of Red Army Faction victims. Both Ignes Ponto and Michael Buback, the widow of a banker and the son of a federal prosecutor who lost their loved ones in RAF-staged assassinations … Continue reading Baader Meinhof Complex: The Lost Honor of the Left


TAKE BACK YOUR LIFE.  After waking up from a four-day coma in Berlin, Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) looks up his wife (January Jones) who’s staying at a hotel… but she claims not to know who he is. Another box-office hit in the latter-day career of Neeson as an action star. This time it’s a thriller … Continue reading Unknown

The Reader: Elephant in the Room

HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO PROTECT A SECRET? I was a huge fan of director Stephen Daldry’s The Hours (2002). He knows how to work with the finest screenwriters who in their turn know how to turn difficult novels into coherent scripts. One of them is David Hare who also adapted Michael Cunningham’s “The … Continue reading The Reader: Elephant in the Room

Nosferatu the Vampyre

Jonathan Harker (Bruno Ganz) goes to Transylvania to negotiate a house deal with the mysterious Count Dracula (Klaus Kinski); the anemic gentleman wishes to buy a house close to Harker and his wife (Isabelle Adjani). Director Werner Herzog found a perfect project for himself and his favorite actor/foe, Kinski – a remake of F.W. Murnau’s … Continue reading Nosferatu the Vampyre

Wings of Desire: Angels in Berlin

Whenever art-house film as a concept is spoofed, it tends to be in black-and-white with funny-looking camera angles, rain, misery and incomprehensible dialogue. Pretentious, is the word we’re looking for. A lot of people might even have a specific movie in mind – the slow-moving, German drama Wings of Desire. Not something you’d put on … Continue reading Wings of Desire: Angels in Berlin

The American Friend

Jonathan Zimmermann (Bruno Ganz), a German picture framer who thinks he has very little time left in this world, accepts an offer to kill a criminal for a large sum of money. The second film (following Purple Noon (1960)) to feature the character of Tom Ripley, it also became somewhat of a breakthrough for director Wim Wenders. Ganz … Continue reading The American Friend

Downfall: Blind Patriotism

BERLIN, 1945. A NATION AWAITS ITS DOWNFALL. The man who emerges from a back room to pick his next secretary is a kind, grandfatherly man who treats the young aspirants with respect and warmth. Finally he picks 22-year-old Traudl Junge who is ecstatic about working for the great leader of her country. 1942 was still … Continue reading Downfall: Blind Patriotism

The Manchurian Candidate

THIS SUMMER EVERYTHING IS UNDER CONTROL. We had a right to expect something good when a director of Jonathan Demme’s caliber decided to remake John Frankenheimer’s great political thriller from 1962. The war in Korea has been cleverly updated to the Gulf War, but the main story of the original is intact and still relevant … Continue reading The Manchurian Candidate