Category: Music Box Films
Taglines: From subject of study to object of desire.
A look at the relationship between pioneering 19th century French neurologist Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot and his star teenage patient, a kitchen maid who is left partially paralyzed after a seizure.
In Belle Epoque Paris, 19-year-old kitchen maid Augustine suffers an inexplicable seizure that leaves her partially paralyzed and is shipped off to an all-female psychiatric hospital specializing in the then-fashionable ailment of ‘hysteria’. Augustine captures the attention of renowned neurologist Dr. Charcot (Vincent Lindon) after she has another attack that appears to give her intense physical pleasure. Intrigued, he begins using her as his principal subject, hypnotizing her in front of his fellow doctors. As Augustine displays her spectacular fits in lecture halls, the lines between doctor and patient become blurred, radically impacting the course of both of their lives.
Directed by: Alice Winocour
Starring: Vincent Lindon, Soko, Chiara Mastroianni, Lise Lamétrie, Olivier Rabourdin, Roxane Duran, Sophie Cattani
Screenplay by: Alice Winocour
Production Design by: Arnaud de Moleron
Cinematography by: Georges Lechaptois
Film Editing by: Julien Lacheray
Costume Design by: Pascaline Chavanne
Art Direction by: Arnaud de Moleron
Music by: Jocelyn Pook
MPAA Rating: None.
Studio: Music Box Films
Release Date: May 17, 2013
The Silence (German: Das letzte Schweigen) is a German thriller film directed by Baran bo Odar, after the German crime fiction novel The Silence (German: Das Schweigen) by Jan Costin Wagner.
The Silence begins 23 years ago on a hot Summer day, when a young girl named Pia is brutally murdered in a field of wheat. Now, on the exact same date in the present, 13-year-old Sinikka is missing, her bicycle abandoned in the same spot. As Krischan, the retired investigator of the unresolved case, and his younger colleague David struggle to solve the mystery of these parallel crimes, Sinikka’s distraught parents are trapped in an agonizing period of waiting and uncertainty.
Meanwhile, their daughter’s fate rips open old wounds in the heart of Pia’s mother, who is visited by an unexpected guest with an eerie connection to her daughter. The unrelenting Summer heat lies over the quaint family homes like a bell jar and behind closed doors, worlds begin to fall apart.
In his strikingly commanding debut feature The Silence, Swiss-born Baran bo Odar adapts Jan Costin Wagner’s bestselling novel with his own unmistakable signature. Mesmerizing performances by top European actors – headed by Ulrich Thomsen (The Celebration, Brothers), Sebastian Blomberg (The Baader Meinhof Complex), Katrin Sass (Good Bye, Lenin!) and Burghart Klaussner (The White Ribbon, The Edukators) – enrich this intense drama far beyond the crime genre.
Directed by: Baran bo Odar
Starring: Ulrich Thomsen, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Katrin Saß, Sebastian Blomberg, Burghart Klaußner
Screenplay by: Baran bo Odar, Jan Costin Wagner
Production Design by: Christian M. Goldbeck, Yesim Zolan
Cinematography by: Nikolaus Summerer
Film Editing by: Robert Rzesacz
Costume Design by: Katharina Ost
Set Decoration by: Sabin Enste
Music by: Michael Kamm, Kris Steininger
MPAA Rating: None.
Studio: Music Box Films
Release Date: March 8, 2013
TaglinesB When your life is a lie, who can you trust?
Left to fend for herself when her SS officer father and mother, a staunch Nazi believer, are captured by the victorious Allies at the end of World War II, Lore, a fourteen-year-old German girl (striking newcomer Saskia Rosendahl,) must lead her four siblings on a harrowing journey across a devastated country. When she meets the charismatic and mysterious young refugee Thomas, (Kai Malina, The White Ribbon,) Lore soon finds her world shattered by feelings of hatred and desire as she must put her trust in the very person she was always taught to hate in order to survive.
Lore tells a bleak, uncommon, and harrowing tale of a Nazi siblings traverse across war-ravaged Germany in search of their grandmother’s home following the imprisonment of their parents. Directed by Australian director Cate Shortland (AFI winner for Somersault), and written by Shortland and Robin Mukherjee, this international co-production screened at the Sydney Film Festival as part of the Official Competition. Recently Lore won the Audience Award at the Locarno Film Festival, and is set to screen at this month’s Toronto International Film Festival. Featuring a breakthrough role from Saskia Rosendahl, this is a stirring and emotionally resonating war drama that comes highly recommended.
Lore is set during 1945 and the fall of the German resistance. With their SS father (Hans-Jochen Wagner) and mother (Ursina Lardi) imprisoned by American and Russian forces, and abandoned to face an uncertain fate, Hannelore (Saskia Rosendahl) takes charge of the rest of her family – her younger sister Liesel (Nele Trebs), twins Jurgen (Mika Seidel) and Gunther (Andrei Frid) and baby brother, Peter – guiding them across the perilous countryside towards their grandmother’s house in Hamburg. On the road the children face the punishing conditions, experience distressing sights and find their health suffer, and along the way Hannelore begins to better understand the consequences of her parents’ actions, come of age, and accept responsibility for her family.
Lore tells an uncommon tale set during an accurately recreated historical period. At the centre of this tale is Lore, our complex heroine. Having been raised in privilege and taught that Jews are not to be trusted and an enemy to her family, she is reluctant to allow Thomas (Kai-Peter Malina), a young man they discover hiding out in an abandoned house, to become their traveling companion. Initially, when he follows the group from a distance, Lore resists his attempts to reach out to her, but ultimately becomes drawn to him out of comfort and sexual desire and he assists them on several occasions; most importantly passing through patrols.
Lore begins to understand what is required for her family to make it, offering up scraps of jewellery and even sexual favors. Thomas aids them without any expected compensation, but his Jewish papers present a challenge to Lore’s morality. Her innocence is almost completely lost over the course of the journey, as her confusing adolescent emotions begin to influence her decisions. Sympathising with these characters could have been difficult, but it remains emotionally involving because we understand that the children are innocent and have been raised to accept their parents’ political affiliations. Understanding that the children need to have some hope, Lore doesn’t reveal their parents’ fates, and as a result they are so confused by the situation that they believe they will again be united with their parents at their grandmother’s house.
The tense atmosphere – which captures a reality as grim as they come and offers up a suffocating level of foreboding – is beautifully conveyed in the stunning photography courtesy of Adam Arkapaw (Snowtown and Animal Kingdom), one of Australia’s best DP’s. You feel every step the children make through the mud, and can almost smell the stench of death surrounding them. Lore is also very effectively scored by Max Richter, and the young actors all deliver mature performances. Rosendahl, especially, is outstanding. She is a young actress to watch after this career-defining role.
The conclusion is powerful because it is evident how much Lore has changed – coming to terms with her family’s accountability and adjusting her own prejudices having learned that they never would have made it without the aid of Thomas, considered a friendly to the American forces. The emotions that weigh on her having turned Thomas away, knowing that he would not be welcomed to her grandmother’s house, involves heartbreaking revelation. This is a satisfying and very well crafted film from Cate Shortland, and having not seen Somersault, I’d now like to see from where her vision has evolved.
Directed by: Cate Shortland
Starring: Saskia Rosendahl, Nele Trebs, André Frid, Mika Seidel, Kai-Peter Malina
Screenplay by: Cate Shortland, Robin Mukherjee, Rachel Seiffert
Production Design by: Silke Fischer, Jochen Dehn
Cinematography by: Adam Arkapaw
Film Editing by: Veronika Jenet
Costume Design by: Stefanie Bieker
Art Direction by: Jochen Dehn
Music by: Max Richter
MPAA Rating: None.
Studio: Music Box Films
Release Date: February 8, 2013