We may not be clear on who’s governing us at the moment, but at least the cinematic release schedule continues as normal. So if you need a break from the electoral calculus, or you were never interested in the first place, there’s plenty to keep you occupied this week.
Over the past 70 years, Germany has proved exemplary in its open approach to the atrocities of the recent past. Phoenix, the sixth collaboration between filmmaker Christian Petzold and actor Nina Hoss, starts in the immediate aftermath of World War II. An atmospheric mystery then unfolds as Hoss’ holocaust survivor, complete with an only partially recognisable face after reconstructive surgery due to injuries received in Auschwitz, seeks out the man who may have betrayed her. Tense and compelling, the film soars off the back of a brilliant lead performance. Make sure to put this on your list.
Clearly Samuel L. Jackson is a man for the flamboyant concept. After famously falling for Snakes on a Plane off the back of the title, he appears in the only slightly less ludicrous Finnish action film Big Game. Jackson is the US President who crash lands in the wilderness after an assassination attempt. Teaming up with a 13-year old Finnish hunter, the bizarre duo must fight their way to safety. Yes, it sounds mad. That’s probably why you should see it.
Over a year after premiering at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival, Brazilian drama Futuro Beach finally makes it into UK cinemas. Karim Aïnouz’s film follows a lifeguard’s journey from sparse and sunny Brazil to wintry Berlin. Experimental in its approach to narrative, the story doesn’t entirely work but it’s a fascinating effort, not to mention a stunningly beautiful one. If you’re tired of explosions and trite plotting, this offers something different.
DVD pick of the week also returns to World War II, this time in the Pacific theatre. In Unbroken, Angelina Jolie’s second film as director, Jack O’Connell plays US aviator Louis Zamperini who’s captured by the Japanese after surviving for 47 days in a raft when his plane went down. A little too keen to stick to conventions, it’s still a stirring tale of heroism and survival against the odds.
That should be plenty to enjoy. See you next week when Tom Hardy takes to the Fury Road.