Friday, August 14, 2015

Volker Schlöndorff's 'Der Fangschuß' / 'Coup de grâce' (1976): Take I

Volker Schlöndorff's 1976 film Der Fangschuß / Coup de grâce (1976) is outstanding, a solid A bit of work. I just saw a crisp Criterion Collection DVD version of this great movie. Yes, there are subtitles -- the language spoken is mostly German, with some French tossed in. Learn something new -- not a big deal (especially if you're already German).

Take five other similarly-themed films, mix them together in a black & white cocktail and boom, there you have an idea of Schlöndorff's vision. The other films?

Jean-Luc Godard's Les carabiniers (1963).

David Lean's Doctor Zhivago (1965).  

Aleksandr Askoldov's Комиссар / Komissar / Commissar / The Commissar (1967/1988). 

Luchino Victoni's La caduta deglis dei / The Damned (1969).

Olivier Hisschbregel's Der Untergand / Downfall (2004).

Come on, now: how many films are you going to get to see that deal with the Latvian Wars of Independence, or any of the wars that convulsed the Baltic States after the Great War of 1914-1918? Bolsheviks! Germans! Latvians! 

(It could just as easily stand in for the Syrian Civil War today, or the nasty bit of business going in in Ukraine as of this post, or Somalia and Yemen). 

And there are strong women characters! 
But what could be more (almost comically) serious and stern as these two German officers? 

What a film! More details to follow.

Today's Rune: Initiation. 


Charles Gramlich said...

Since we cancelled most of our TV and are now just doing dvds from the library, I'm branching out in what I'm watching. I doubt I'll ever be as eclectic as you but maybe I'll expand my experiences.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I love me a good German film! I can generally fool myself into believing that my German is far better than it really is. Thank you, subtitles!