The Lives of Others (2006)

At the movies, transformations are the norm. Men become monsters and beasts are transformed by beauties on a regular basis. The formula is so familiar that storytellers and artists face a tremendous challenge if they hope to capture audiences with a sense of something new.Remember Schindler's List? In Steven Spielberg's beloved Holocaust film, we watched Oskar Schindler begin to question himself and his superiors. He gradually mustered the courage to take a small step in the right direction. … [Read more...]

In memory of Ulrich Mühe… and Andrei Tarkovsky

Farewell to Ulrich Mühe, a talented actor whose excellent lead performance in last year's Oscar-winning The Lives of Others made me aware of his talent for the first time. He was 54. BBC reports that he had been struggling with stomach cancer. (Thanks to Chattaway for the alert.) … [Read more...]

Film Forum: The Lives of Others, Reign Over Me, Pride, Shooter, TMNT, The Last Mimzy

By the beard of Zeus, it's... Looking Closer's Film Forum!REVIEW OF THE WEEK: Nothing makes me sit up and pay attention the way I do when a film critic I admire and respect publishes a review in stark disagreement with my own feelings about a particular film. A couple of weeks ago, I posted my admiration for The Lives of Others. This week, J. Robert Parks really, really disagrees. And it's the kind of review that stirs things up. It's the kind of review that makes me want to go back, see … [Read more...]