Little Dieter Needs To Fly (1997)

WERNER HERZOG Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. Germany/United Kingdom/France, 1997.  Werner Herzog Filmproduktion, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, ZDF Enterprises, British Broadcasting Corporation, Arte, Media Ventures, Outpost Studios.  Screenplay by Werner Herzog.  Cinematography by Peter Zeitlinger.  Produced by Lucki Stipetic.  Film Editing by Joe Bini, Glen Scantlebury, Rainer Standke.   Werner Herzog investigates the life of Dieter Dengler, shot down over Laos…

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Bread And Roses (2000)

KEN LOACH Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.  United Kingdom/France/Germany/Spain/Italy/Switzerland, 2000.  Parallax Pictures, Alta Films, Alta Produccion, ARTE, BIM Distribuzione, Bac Films, British Screen Productions, British Sky Broadcasting, Cinart, Degeto Film, FilmFour, Filmcoopi Zürich, Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen, La Sept-Arte, , Road Movies Filmproduktion, Tornasol Films, Westdeutscher Rundfunk.  Screenplay by Paul Laverty.  Cinematography by Barry Ackroyd.  Produced by Rebecca O’Brien.  Music by George Fenton.  Production Design by Martin Johnson.  Costume Design…

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A Fantastic Woman (Una Mujer Fantastica) (2017)

SEBASTIAN LELIO Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  Chile/Germany/Spain/USA, 2017.  Participant Media, Fabula, Komplizen Film, Muchas Gracias, Setembro Cine, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, ARTE.  Screenplay by Sebastián Lelio, Gonzalo Maza.  Cinematography by Benjamin Echazarreta.  Produced by Juan de Dios Larrain, Pablo Larrain, Sebastián Lelio, Gonzalo Maza.  Music by Nani García, Matthew Herbert.  Production Design by Estefania Larrain.  Costume Design by Muriel Parra.  Film Editing by Soledad Salfate.  Academy…

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A Coffee In Berlin (Oh Boy) (2012)

JAN OLE GERSTER Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  Germany, 2012.   Schiwago Film, Chromosom Filmproduktion, Hessischer Rundfunk, ARTE.   Screenplay by Jan Ole Gerster.   Cinematography by Philipp Kirsamer.   Produced by Jorg Himstedt, Marcos Kantis, Birgit Kamper, Martin Lehwald, Michael Pokorny, Alexander Wadouh.   Music by Cherilyn MacNeil, The Major Minors.   Production Design by Juliane Friedrich.   Costume Design by Benedikt…

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Center of My World (Die Mitte der Welt) (2016)

JAKOB M. ERWA Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  Germany/Austria, 2016.  Neue Schonhauser Filmproduktion, Prisma Film, Universum Film, mojo:pictures, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Bayerischer Rundfunk, ARTE, Osterreichischer Rundfunk.  Screenplay by Jakob M. Erwa, based on the novel by Andreas Steinhofel.  Cinematography by The Chau Ngo.  Produced by Boris Schonfelder.  Music by Paul Gallister.  Production Design by Veronika Merlin.  Costume Design by Peri de Braganca.  Film Editing by…

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Trouble Every Day (2001)

CLAIRE DENIS Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB.5.  France/Germany/Japan, 2001.  Arte France Cinema, ARTE, Canal+, Centre National De La Cinematographie, Dacia Films, Kinetique, Messaouda Films, Rézo Films, Rezo Productions, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen.  Screenplay by Claire Denis, Jean-Pol Fargeau.  Cinematography by Agnes Godard.  Produced by Georges Benayoun, Philippe Liegeois, Jean-Michel Rey.  Music by Tindersticks.  Production Design by Arnaud de Moleron.  Costume Design by Judy…

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Manderlay

BB (out of 5) Lars von Trier’s proposed trilogy of observations of American society starts out strong with Dogville but moves on to a much less interesting second chapter (the third has yet to be produced at the time of this review).  Forced to drop out of the project because of conflicting commitments, Nicole Kidman is replaced…

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Toni Erdmann

BBBBB (out of 5) A magnificent example of deeply humorous observation combined with overwhelmingly impressive restraint, Maren Ade’s masterpiece is a nearly three hour film whose length is never in the least bit felt.  It focuses on the relationship between a father and daughter, he a practical joker with a cynical appreciation for the ridiculous…

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Ajami

BBBB (out of 5) The Israel/Palestine conflict is distilled down to a handful of violent interactions on the streets of Tel Aviv that are all connected in the fascinating epic drama, directed without a script and with non-professional actors who were mostly improvising (neither of which are apparent).  A downward spiral begins when a Bedouin…

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Phoenix (2014)

BBBB (out of 5) Nina Hoss barely emerges alive from a concentration camp at the end of World War II, her face horrifically mutilated before she is taken to a clinic and given a new life thanks to reconstructive surgery.  Her friend Nina Kunzendorf, who is working on recovering evidence of war crimes, informs her that…

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Plato’s Academy (Akadimia Platonos)

BBBB (out of 5) Stavros runs his tiny Athenian shop on a roundabout where two other companions run theirs, the three of them (along with a fourth friend) spending their days snoozing in their chairs in this straggly part of the city where customers rarely occur and no work needs to be done.  They also…

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The Wonders (Le Meraviglie)

BBBB (out of 5) A family of Tuscan honey producers live a life of routine and hard work, lorded over by their gruff father who relies most on his eldest daughter Gelsomina to keep things running smoothly.  A young teenager, she’s the eldest of four girls who take part in the family business, the rest…

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