21st Century Cinema
Directed by Christian Petzold • 2014 • Germany
Starring Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld, Nina Kunzendorf
This evocative and haunting drama, set in rubble-strewn Berlin in 1945, is like no other film about post-World War II Jewish-German identity. After surviving Auschwitz, a former cabaret singer (Nina Hoss, in a dazzling, multilayered performance) has her disfigured face reconstructed and returns to her war-ravaged hometown to seek out her gentile husband, who may or may not have betrayed her to the Nazis. Without recognizing her, he enlists her to play his wife in a bizarre hall-of-shattered-mirrors story that is as richly metaphorical as it is preposterously engrossing. Revenge film or tale of romantic reconciliation? One doesn't know until the superb closing scene of this marvel from Christian Petzold, one of the most important figures in contemporary German cinema.
Up Next in 21st Century Cinema
A Master Builder
Directed by Jonathan Demme • 2014 • United States
Starring Wallace Shawn, Julie Hagerty, Lisa Joyce
Twenty years after their brilliant cinema-theater experiment VANYA ON 42ND STREET, Wallace Shawn and André Gregory reunited to produce another idiosyncratic film version of a classic play, this t...
Directed by Jacques Audiard • 2015 • France
Starring Antonythasan Jesuthasan, Kalieaswari Srinivasan, Claudine Vinasithamby
With this Palme d’Or–winning drama, which deftly combines seemingly disparate genres, French filmmaker Jacques Audiard cemented his status as a titan of contemporary world ...
Directed by Kelly Reichardt • 2016 • United States
Starring Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams
The expanses of the American West take center stage in this intimately observed triptych from Kelly Reichardt. Adapted from three short stories by Maile Meloy and unfolding in self-containe...