Glückstadt, in Northern Germany; Bonn; a palace along the Rhine; a housing project on the outskirts of Frankfurt; and finally the Zugspitze—these are the stations of the journey that the young Wilhelm Meister (Rüdiger Vogler) hopes will save him from the gloomy irritability and despondency that plague him in his hometown. In unfamiliar places, he thinks that he will be able to do what he has always had an uncontrollable drive to do—to write. He wants to become an author. With the journey, which his mother (Marianne Hoppe) gives him permission to make, he hopes to broaden his horizons and, above all, to find himself. In Goethe’s novel Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, which provided the source material for Peter Handke’s script, a journey of this kind was still a “genuine movement.” In the literature of the nineteenth century, particularly the German bildungsroman, the topos of the journey is always linked to lasting significant changes and experiences. Traveling is synonymous with the successful search for one’s own identity. But the Wilhelm of Wrong Move must arrive at the painful recognition that today a journey alone no longer leads to the desired goal. His path leads him into an unbroken series of failures, through his own fault and that of all the people he meets on his way: the street singer Laertes (Hans Christian Blech), struggling with his Nazi past; the mute girl Mignon (Nastassja Kinski, in her first role); the poet (Peter Kern); and the actress Therese (Hanna Schygulla).
This widely acclaimed film from Soviet director Elem Klimov is a stunning, senses-shattering plunge into the dehumanizing horrors of war. As Nazi forces encroach on his small village in present-day Belarus, teenage Flyora (Aleksei Kravchenko, in one of the screen’s most searing depictions of anguish since Renée Falconetti’s Joan of Arc) eagerly joins the Soviet resistance.
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
Mathieu Kassovitz took the film world by storm with La haine, a gritty, unsettling, and visually explosive look at the racial and cultural volatility in modern-day France, specifically the low-income banlieue districts on Paris’s outskirts.
DCP, 35 mm, Blu-ray, DVD
A lost and found revelation of American independent cinema, the last feature to date from director Jan Oxenberg is a wondrously imaginative, immensely moving portrait of the filmmaker’s own family as they prepare to say goodbye to her terminally ill grandmother.
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD