Fantasia 2017: Fritz Lang ( Germany – 2016)



With Fritz Lang, Gordian Maugg directed a risky fantasized story about the famous German director set at the beginning of the 1930’s. Lang had yet to direct his first talkie, Germany was on the verge of disasters to come with the rise of the Nazi party, a series of gruesome murders, by serial killers, was terrorized the German public.

Fritz Lang & wife/ screenwriter Thea von Harbou, for their first sound film, that would become the celebrated M (1931), draw inspirations from serial killer Peter Kürten, dubbed the “Vampire of Düsseldorf “, but also from the Fritz Haarmann and Carl Grobmann cases.

Fritz Lang is not your typical biopic. It approaches its subject as if Continue reading


Fantasia 2017 : The MAN WHO LAUGHS – the Gabriel Thibaudeau Score


Concert time at Fantasia tonight!

German film maker Paul Leni shot Victor Hugo’s The Man who Laughs (1928), starring Conrad Veidt (WAXWORKS,THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI), in America. Seventy years later, this silent classic had a score commissioned to amazingly gifted specialist of the genre (live accompaniment for live silent films that is), Gabriel Thibaudeau that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998.

While the first incarnations for concert Hall purpose were performed by the Octuor de France, under the direction of Maestro Thibaudeau, a nine-piece orchestra (featuring the exquisite Quatuor Molinari), under the direction of the composer, will be on duty tonight.

Don’t miss this Gem!

July 20 • 8:00 PM Théâtre D.B. Clarke

Fantasia 2017 : ANIMALS (Tiere) – Poland/ Austria/ Germany 2017



In Greg Zglinski’s unsettling and complex film, Animals (Tiere), Anna and Nick’s couple is on the rocks because the latter has an affair with a neighbor. A strange accident, during a trip in the Switzerland Alps, in hopes to fix things, leads to a series of even stranger events and distortion of reality.

Animals plays like a nightmarish mystery thriller in chronicling a couple’s disintegration. It has a disconcerting complexity at times, with its multiple takes on the same ideas, time and place. It is a Continue reading

MANIFESTO (2015 – Germany-Australia)



Contemporary artist Julian Rosefeldt’s Manifesto, in which Cate Blanchett, playing multiple characters, is the main attraction, gets a theatrical release in a feature format.

Originally, Manifesto is a video installation. It introduces thirteen different characters, all portrayed by Blanchett. They are to be played simultaneously in the exhibit form. All characters are on a mission statement about Art and freedom. We get some beautiful shot with a sense for motion. We get Cate Blanchett times thirteen. We get the timeless, endless debates about Art and its purpose in society.

In the feature mode (sitting in a theatre for 90 minutes with the editing mainly on the narrative mode), Manifesto if far from being convincing. The conversion of Blanchett into various characters may be Continue reading

A Women Warriors Film Event


Some directors are as fascinating as their film. Zaynê Akyol and Gulîstan – Land of Roses, her film about a group of all female Warriors of the PKK (the Kurdistan Workers’ Party) fighting ISIS, fall into that category. Both are impressive.

** (You can see our Fest screening short review of the film here:

The meeting with Zaynê Akyol was set right toward the end of a promotional tour for Gulîstan. The tour seemed more intimidating to her than all her trips into real life combat zone. Her press agent with the National Film Board of Canada, a gold medalist in efficiency, obviously briefed her about the media circus even going through her wardrobe (she had some TV promo prior to our meeting). And classy she was. But there is more than meets the eye. She is a class act.

We talked about her childhood in Turkey at the end of the 1980’s:  the crushing of her culture by the Turkish state Continue reading