THE BATTLE OF STALINGRAD, PART I (Vladimir Petrov, 1949)

Although the second part (1950) is thinner and somewhat mechanical, even stilted at points, Vladimir Petrov’s Stalingradskaya bitva I is tremendous, full of dark, turbulent poetry as a nation’s survival, according to recent history, hangs in the balance. Perhaps this pressing danger helps explain why the first part is superior to the second, where the […]

BROTHER OF SLEEP (Josef Vilsmaier, 1995)

Schlafes Bruder is a fatuous, though weirdly entertaining pseudo-mystical German movie. It’s from a novel whose author, Robert Schneider, wrote the script. Josef Vilsmaier, who had made Stalingrad (1993), directed and cinematographed. The star is the same exquisite young actor who played Kaspar Hauser two years earlier in Peter Sehr’s film: André Eisermann.      The protagonist, […]