5 Films Portraying the Fall of 20th-century Empires and Dictatorships

This list deals with two Asian emperors who lost their empire in the course of their lives, the Chinese Emperor Puyi and the Japanese Emperor Hirohito, and two totalitarian leades Hitler and Stalin. The first lost his totalitarian empire before he died, while the second died of natural causes and his legacy was swiftly replaced, … Continue reading 5 Films Portraying the Fall of 20th-century Empires and Dictatorships

Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2013) “Paradoxes of Humanity”

  Pawlikowski once said that “Ida doesn’t set out to explain history. That’s not what it’s about. The story is focused on very concrete and complex characters who are full of humanity with all its paradoxes. They’re not pawns used to illustrate some version of history or an ideology.” I find this to be immensely … Continue reading Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2013) “Paradoxes of Humanity”

The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke, 2009) “Iniquities of the Fathers”

The White Ribbon is, as it is proclaimed at the beginning of the film: “A German’s Children Story”. It is narrated by the School Teacher who is now in his late years, and has presumably survived two World Wars. He says “I don’t know if the story I am about to tell you is entirely … Continue reading The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke, 2009) “Iniquities of the Fathers”

Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, 2000) “A Mortal God”

Valuska, a dreamy, and intellectually “slow” postman, with a poetic understanding of his surroundings, stages a little scene with a bunch of weary drunkards, in a bar, at the very beginning of the film. He arranges the drunkards to act the roles of the the Moon and the Earth, as they revolve around the Sun. … Continue reading Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, 2000) “A Mortal God”

In Béla Tarr’s Words “Evolution in Understanding of Art, Life and Cinema”

“At the beginning of my career, I had a lot of social anger. I just wanted to tell you how fucked up the society is. This was the beginning. Afterwards, I began to understand that the problems were not only social; they are deeper. I thought they were only ontological and when I understood more … Continue reading In Béla Tarr’s Words “Evolution in Understanding of Art, Life and Cinema”

Never Let Me Go (Mark Romanek, 2010) “Path to Completion”

  Title card: The breakthrough in medical science came in 1952. Doctors could now cure the previously incurable. By 1967, life expectancy passed 100 years. Never Let Me Go is based on a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro; the film describes the dystopian reality which takes place more than 50 years before the film was made. … Continue reading Never Let Me Go (Mark Romanek, 2010) “Path to Completion”

Lion King (Disney Animations, 1994) “Circle of Life and the Other”

  And all through the house we hear the hyena’s hymns Nick Cave Lion King opens with a song accompanied by beautiful scenery, showing the animals ranging from ants to elephants living in perfect harmony and joy: But the sun rolling high/through the sapphire sky/keeps great and small on the endless round/It’s the circle of … Continue reading Lion King (Disney Animations, 1994) “Circle of Life and the Other”