Film Bitch History
Oscar History
Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

 

Powered by Squarespace
Don't Miss This!

Review: Ready or Not

Comment Fun

Yes Not Maybe So: Bombshell

" I am not liking this trend of portraits of terrible women, like Meghan and Phyliss Schafly, unless it's camp." - Jane

"Miss Charlize is like, "Do I need to remind you guys again who is the baddest bitch around here?." I just can'ttttt! She looks like Megan Kelly's twin -- that makeup work is insanity!!!" - Jono

"if Nicole doesn't wear a bad wig in a movie.....is it really a must see event?" -Chris

Keep TFE Strong

We're looking for 500... no 461 Patron SaintsIf you read us daily, please be one.  Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

Interviews

Directors of For Sama


recent
Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

What'cha Looking For?
Subscribe

Entries in Paula Beer (6)

Thursday
Feb282019

Interview: Christian Petzold on 'Transit', melodramas and the influence of Fassbinder and Ackerman

by Murtada Elfadl

Transit, opening this weekend in limited release, is the latest from the gifted German director Christian Petzold (Barbara, Phoenix). It is a haunting modern day adaptation of Anna Seghers 1942 novel "Transit Visa". The film stars Franz Rogowski (Happy End) and Paula Beer (Never Look Away, Frantz) as would-be lovers desperate to escape an occupied France. We got a chance to interview Petzold in January when he visited New York for a retrospective of his work by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. When we meet he informs us that he’s been up for more than 24 hours because of a flight delay, so he might struggle to find the words in English. But that's not what happens. There’s a translator but she only chimes in a couple of times in our half hour conversation. Perhaps delirious from no sleep, he’s in the mood to talk.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity...

Murtada Elfadl: How did you come to the decision to clash the contemporary setting with the period story. Can you talk about the choice for that dissonance?

CHRISTIAN PETZOLD: I started to write the script as a typical period picture, everything was set in 1942. I was with my son on a father / son journey through California and the writing was coming easy to me --  everything going well is not a good sign. My Mac notebook was destroyed by the sun when I left in the car. I didn't have any back ups. Actually I was relieved that everything was destroyed. Period pictures are mostly museum pictures as if you are going on a journey to old times, you get to see Sherlock Holmes or Keira Knightley in costume. I thought I’d have to cast Ben Kingsley in my movie...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov282018

Review: Never Look Away

by Murtada Elfadl

Tense apprehension is usually how I approach 3 hour long movies. But I shouldn’t have fretted about Germany's Oscar entry Never Look Away. It was never less than totally engrossing and I was completely riveted throughout. For his third picture, following Oscar foreign-language winner The Lives of Others (2006) and Hollywood turkey The Tourist (2010), director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck was inspired by the life and work of German painter Gerhard Richter. The film tells the story of a 20th century German artist, given the name Kurt Barnert here and played by Tom Schilling as an adult, from his childhood in the 1930s through WWII, growing up in Communist East Germany, then defecting to the West and finding his artistic voice there...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Sep132018

TIFF: Christian Petzold returns with "Transit"

Nathaniel R reporting from the Toronto International Film Festival

Fans of the haunting post-war German drama Phoenix (well loved right here), will want to check out the latest from one of Germany's greatest directors Christian Petzold. Like PhoenixTransit is a story of lives tragically ruined by war and new identities emerging from the rubble. Transit isn't as much of an eery mystery as Phoenix, but it plays with similar themes. Our protagonist Georg played by the arresting, highly watchable Franz Rogowski (Happy End) initially appears to be an opportunist, doing two dangerous jobs for cash involving personal letters or actual transport for desperate people trying to escape attention in Germany on their way out of the country, and stealing another man's identity as his own ticket out. But our first impression is quickly complicated...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun192017

The Furniture: Decorating for a Lost Generation in "Frantz"

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail. Here's Daniel Walber on Frantz, newly available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Sometimes gimmicks work. François Ozon’s Frantz is built up from single stylistic convention, flipped on its head. It’s a black and white drama of Europe in the wake of World War One, but its flashbacks are in color. It’s quite striking, a remarkable collaboration between cinematographer Pascal Marti, production designer Michel Barthélemy and art director Susanne Abel. Even the soggy trenches are more vibrant than the sober landscape of the Armistice.

Frantz begins in 1919, in the small German town of Quedlinburg. Anna (Paula Beer) mourns her fiancé, Frantz, taken from her by the war. She lives with his parents, Hans (Ernst Stötzner) and Magda Hoffmeister (Marie Gruber). Their gloomy lives are shaken by the arrival of a Frenchman, the hesitant Adrien Rivoire (Pierre Niney).

Anna and Magda assume that he must be a friend of Frantz’s from before the war, and invite him into their home...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar072017

Second Take: François Ozon's Ravishing "Frantz"

Editor's Note: Nathaniel previously reviewed Frantz at TIFF. Now with its US release a week away, here's Eric with a second look.

Frantz, director François Ozon’s most recent picture, opens in limited release in one week and is also part of Lincoln Center’s current "Rendezvous with French Cinema" series.  Ozon is one of France’s most profilic filmmakers (he makes a film almost every year), and he’s given us many fine pictures, including the Charlotte Rampling chillers Swimming Pool and Under the Sand, the actressy 8 Women, and his deepest film, Time to Leave.  But Ozon has never made a film as ravishing and complete as Frantz.

This film, which was nominated for 11 César Awards and won the Cinematography prize at the ceremony, contains a simple story which keeps unfolding in complex and surprising ways....

Click to read more ...

Friday
Sep162016

TIFF: François Ozon's Elegant "Frantz"

Nathaniel R reporting from TIFF

Frantz is dead when Frantz begins though everyone who knew him keeps willing him back to life through memories and the general refusal to let go. The movie has a terrifically simple plot generating event which reaps bountiful plot threads and emotions: In 1919 Germany, just after the first World War, a young girl named Anna (Paula Beer, Venice Winner Best Young Actor) repeatedly encounters a Frenchman named Adrien (Pierre Niney) while visiting her dead fiancee Frantz's (Anton von Lucke) grave. Then he comes knocking at her door. Why is he there? What does he want with Anna and Frantz parents? At first she and Frantz's parents (Ernst Stötzner and Marie Gruber, both superb) are wary about him since the wounds between the countries are still fresh. Quickly they warm to him though, much to their town's disapproval, when they realize that he knew their beloved Frantz (who had always loved Paris before the war).

Told in roughly two acts, the first in Germany is superb with a fine curtain closer if it were a play. (In fact, Frantz feels nearly like a full movie right then and there.) The second act in France, is perhaps too much of a good thing as the film suffers from repetition. Still the emotional arcs and tough emotional questions (is it better to lie than to cause more suffering?) are beautifully rendered. Ozon's hand is assured and elegant throughout. In fact, his queer gaze makes Frantz a more complex journey than it would have been with another director. Flashbacks to the young soldiers as friends are highly romanticized, nearly erotic. And this idealization is at fascinating odds with the film's feelings about romanticizing war and what the characters lives otherwise tell us about them. (In black and white with shifts to color a few times, always when Frantz appears in flashbacks, but more mysteriously on two other occassions.)

Grade: First Act: A / Second Act: B
MVP: François Ozon
Oscar Chances: France has four finalists for the Oscar submission this year. We're rooting for Elle but I think either that film or Frantz is likely to make the finals (9 films) at least with Oscar's foreign committee should it be the one that's selected.
Distribution: Music Box Films will release Frantz in the US. No dates have been announced yet but I suspect first quarter of 2017.