Director: Theo Angelopoulos. Starring: Bruno Ganz, Isabelle Renauld, Achileas Skevis. 1999. 137 mins. Greek, English, Italian with English subtitles
A dying author (Ganz) prepares to leave his beloved family home by the sea, and settle things with his daughter; his feelings of despair are interrupted, complicated and finally, to some extent, banished by memories of happier times with his wife (Renauld) and by an encounter with a young Albanian orphan. Angelopoulos' film, a deserving winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes '98, is a characteristically elegant, eloquent and idiosyncratic meditation on the relationships between personal and political histories, and between life and art. More intimate than, say, The Travelling Players or Ulysses' Gaze, the film nevertheless reaches out, as its long, fluid takes escort us through space and time, to universal themes and broader topicalities, effortlessly fending off charges of hermetic aestheticism.
Director: Alain Tanner. Starring: Bruno Ganz, Teresa Madruga, Julia Vonderlinn. Germany 1983. 108 mins. German, English, Portuguese & French with English Subtitles.
Ganz, that great loner of modernist cinema, here plays a Swiss seaman who jumps ship in Lisbon, gets involved with a barmaid, and sends reels of home movies back to his wife. Adrift in the exotic White City, he is robbed and then stabbed, loses the barmaid after a passionate fling, and finally hitting rock bottom he raises the fare home. The home movies, accompanied by Jean-Luc Barbier's beautiful, hard-edged jazz score, terrifyingly reflect the disintegration of a man in flight from himself. But this is no idling tract on alienation, more an intrigue built around silences, blankness, deceptions of space and time. A teasingly simple film that compels and stimulates. TIME OUT
Preceded by short film Nice Time, also by director Alain Tanner