Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Revanche (2008)

WHO: Directed by Götz Spielmann.

WHAT: Austria has been on a relative roll with the Academy Awards lately. In 2008 The Counterfeiters was the winner in the Best Foreign Language Film category, and this year Amour is widely considered the front-runner in that category, and is nominated (although not favored to win) in four other categories. But by my estimate the best recent Oscar nominated film from Fritz Lang's birthplace is the 2009 nominee Revanche. Speilmann is able to make urban and rural spaces equally foreboding and imbued with existential weight, making this crime-gone-awry film one of the best neo-noir films I've seen in years.

WHERE/WHEN: 4:40 and 9:20 today only at the Castro Theatre.

WHY: Lets support foreign-language films at the Castro! For one, there simply aren't enough spaces in San Francisco that show them with regularity. For two, the ones that get theatrically distributed in the US tend to be among the more visually-arresting ones, and therefore benefit from the Castro's large screen. For three, if there's anything that the Castro Theatre isn't consistently wonderful at, it's the sound of dialogue getting swallowed up by the acoustical environment. Watching subtitled films makes this problem (when it occurs, which is certainly not always; it seems to depend on the print) much less of an issue. Other foreign-language films coming to the venue soon include Fellini's February 27th and Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion February 28th (both in Italian), and as learned from the Castro's Coming Soon page, a double-bill of Daisies (in Czech) and Hausu (in Japanese) on March 20th.

HOW: On a 35mm double-bill with the 1942 Ronald Colman/Greer Garson film Random Harvest. I haven't seen the latter, and cannot imagine what the connection between these two films might be, but I trust Castro programmer Keith Arnold that one exists.

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