THE SHOP ON MAIN STREET (Ján Kádar, Elmar Klos, 1965)

Wearyingly slack, aurally bedecked with bursts of heavenly choir, Obchod na korze provides a sentimental anecdote touching on the Holocaust. It was co-directed by Ján Kádar and Elmar Klos, the latter of whom, a Czech, allowed his partner free rein. Born in Budapest, Kádar spent the Second World War in a labor camp, losing both […]

THE DEBT COLLECTOR (Feliks Falk, 2005)

After enduring the punishing experience of his gorgeously photographed Komornik, I am not likely ever to try watching another film by Poland’s Feliks Falk. There’s one lovely scene where the cold-hearted debt collector, whose tireless job dedication triggers in others rage, hate, heartbreak, even suicide, comes across his first girlfriend, now married, and they go […]

ADRIFT (Ján Kadár, Elmar Klos, 1969)

From Hungarian novelist Lajos Zilahy’s 1928 Valamit visz a víz (Something Is Adrift in the Water), Ján Kadár and Elmar Klos’s Hrst plná vody had a difficult birth. The 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia interrupted its filming, requiring relocation and re-shooting; the language shifted from Czech to Slovak, retitling it: Touha zvaná Anada—Desire Called Anada. […]

Z (Costa-Gavras, 1969)

From the novel by Vassili Vassilikos, based on the 1963 murder of opposition party deputy Gregorios Lambrakis, a liberal, that led to the military overthrow of democracy in Greece, Z—in ancient Greek, “He lives”—won a plethora of prizes, including the foreign-language Oscar and “best film” from the National Society of Film Critics and New York […]