Da 5 Bloods
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I May Destroy You
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This really struck a personal, compelling blow for me. I completely understood von Trotta's performance of a person who will do anything, no matter how devastating to whom, in order to be noticed, and loved. This film should be much better known, and watched.
A German army unit fighting Bolshevik guerillas find themselves stationed at the chateau of one of their officer. While there, the sister of the officer falls in love with another officer who refuses to return her affections. Unrequited love at the backdrop of war is nothing new. Though it's extremely well-crafted and acted, I thought the first two acts come off as a bit cold to me because the characters were unpleasant and I thought I've seen better films. But then the third act twists came up and it lifts up the entire film and makes EVERYTHING make sense all the way to the haunting ending. It's overall very, very good.
Gorgeously shot with a haunting score.
Increases in depth as its characters' personal lives, in particular the unrequited love story, enter the political story.
"Coup de Grace" starts with the return of Konrad(Rudiger Kirschstein) to his ancestral home in the Baltic states in the winter of 1919, after many years fighting in The Great War, with his friend Erich(Matthias Habich). This instantly invigorates the spirits of Konrad's sister Sophie(Margarethe von Trotta, who also co-wrote with Jutta Bruckner and Genevieve Dormann), who had been recovering from having been raped. Even as she is feeling better, everything else is going to hell around them as the country is in the midst of a civil war where the army is not only shooting Bolsheviks, but anybody who does not inform on them. With time possibly running out for everybody, Sophie declares her love for Erich...
"Coup de Grace" is a haunting movie that could have devolved into a silly soap opera, if not for Volker Schlondorff's restrained direction. What the movie is mostly concerned with is the possibility of free will in times of war. Erich is a professional soldier who feels useless unless he has a battle to wage, as he could have just easily gone to live in Paris or Berlin. I thought at first maybe he turned down Sophie's proposal because his feelings were for Konrad instead but they do exist for Sophie. He just does not want to have to worry about her in a war zone where the lines between friend and foe are nonexistent. However, she does not need taking care of, even with supplies running out and typhus rampant, as she publicly sides with the Bolsheviks.
an amazingly shot film from schlondorff, my favorite of his films that i have yet seen. margarethe von trotta is incredible in her role and it is all perfectly complemented by the incredible cinematography of igor luther. a rumination of sexuality and political commitment.
Nicely done black & white cinematography, and the actors were all pretty good. But oh my lord, this movie was dull. I think there were maybe 4 minutes total where I wasn't bored to tears. I didn't care about the emotional content (which felt rather inauthentic to me). I didn't care about the historical context. I didn't care about the political subtext. I didn't care about any of it, and in a way I kind of hate myself for sitting through the whole thing.
a war that is losing it's meaning, cast in a befiitingly stark baltic landscape, is juxtaposed against an ambiguous and ambivalent relationship. some well-shot scenes evoking sophie's many psychological states. unforgettable finale.
Like many great films, this is about alibis, both false and real and the difference, if any, between the two. Well observed and performed marriage of geo-political and psycho-sexual. The old aunt steals the show with a screen presence which dictates to the director, rather than the other way round, or as the director says, pushed him to adapt the role to the actor. Centred around a mystery of forces keeping the protagonists apart rather than the forces driving them together