One of the first films to confront the horrors of the Holocaust remains one of the most powerful. Suffused with the visceral dread of a waking nightmare, Distant Journey draws from director and Holocaust survivor Alfréd Radok’s own experiences to tell the story of a Czechoslovak Jewish family—including a young doctor (Blanka Waleská) and her gentile husband (Otomar Krejča)—whose lives are torn apart by the terrors of the Nazi occupation, leading them inexorably to a grim fight for survival in the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Blending expressionistic cinematography with archival documentary footage (some drawn from Triumph of the Will) to potent effect, this harrowing vision of human atrocity was banned in its home country for more than forty years, only to reemerge as urgent and impactful as ever.
The themes, images, and cultural vernacular of Victor Fleming’s The Wizard of Oz continue to haunt David Lynch’s art and filmography—from his very first short, The Alphabet, to his latest series, Twin Peaks: The Return. Arguably, no filmmaker has so consistently drawn inspiration—consciously or unconsciously—from a single work.
Alexandre O. Philippe
Childhood friends Pietro and Bruno experience maturity, loss, and the rediscovery of an unbreakable connection when they reunite in adulthood to build a cabin on the rugged slopes of the Italian Alps.
One of the major achievements of twenty-first-century cinema thus far, Béla Tarr’s mesmeric parable of societal collapse is an enigma of transcendent visual, philosophical, and mystical resonance.
Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky