Sunday, April 26, 2009

Revanche (Götz Spielmann, 2008)

****
Austria




A credible, consummately crafted Euro art-thriller. Carefully premeditated - and perhaps a little too precisely, since you always know exactly where it's headed. But the scenes retain a charge all the same, largely thanks to writer-director Götz Spielmann's sure and subtle feeling for sound and composition and what they can reveal about things we can't necessarily see or hear.

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Little Man, What Now? (Frank Borzage, 1934)

****
USA



Frank Borzage is saddled with a portentous, awkward mediocrity of a screenplay - about the state of [un]employment in Weimar Germany, no less - and he renders it into something tender and radiant. It's still preachy, to be sure, but rather than delusions of grandeur, there is conviction behind the humanity.

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