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The Zone of Interest - A24 Holocaust film highlighting the banality of evil

Has anyone seen it? It isn't playing anywhere near me, unfortunately. "The film centers on Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss and his wife as they strive to build a dream life next to the concentration camp."

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by Anonymousreply 255March 4, 2024 3:14 AM

The novel it’s based on is very, very good.

by Anonymousreply 1December 23, 2023 3:42 PM

Agreed, R1. I read it a couple of months ago and was blown away.

by Anonymousreply 2December 23, 2023 4:14 PM

Been looking forward to this since hearing about the adaptation. Glazers movies are all amazing. NY times review, however, was negative, but an outlier.

by Anonymousreply 3December 23, 2023 4:18 PM

This and "Poor Things" were the two films I wanted to check off my list at the end of this year (saw "Poor Things" and adored it), but it appears "The Zone of Interest" had an extremely limited release and won't be expanding until February. I also found the book chilling and brilliantly-written. Jonathan Glazer is one of the more polarizing directors I can think of, but I absolutely loved "Birth" and "Under the Skin". His movies are not exactly "fun" watches—they tend to be brooding and thought-provoking, but they are always compelling to me.

by Anonymousreply 4December 23, 2023 4:37 PM

I saw it last night. Absolutely astounding piece of filmmaking, so riveting I was virtually paralyzed while watching it. I have never seen anything like it regarding the Holocaust. If this isn't the best film of the year, I don't know what is.

by Anonymousreply 5December 28, 2023 10:18 PM

r5, where did you see it. I live in DC and it’s not playing anywhere.

by Anonymousreply 6December 28, 2023 10:50 PM

A friend and I saw this at the AMC Lincoln 13 on Christmas (lol) and liked it, for lack of a better word. It was refreshingly non-mainstream, with slow, deliberate pacing. There's a lot left to the imagination - we never see what's going on inside the camp, but so much is implied through the sound design and the camera lingering on beauty outside the walls. The phrase "the banality of evil" perfectly encapsulates what it tries to show. I also found the flash forward to be brilliant and disturbing. I've been in the same rooms shown and it made me think of my visit in a very different way.

by Anonymousreply 7December 28, 2023 11:10 PM

R6 Private screening.

R7 Please don't spoil movies.

by Anonymousreply 8December 29, 2023 2:06 AM

I confuse this with Anatomy of a Fall because Sandra Huller is in both. she is having a helluva good year.

by Anonymousreply 9December 29, 2023 2:21 AM

Two completely different performances. She's amazing. Both excellent films.

by Anonymousreply 10December 29, 2023 7:01 AM

This has been on my must-see list for the last year. I love the book and am a Jonathan Glazer fan, so it seems like a win-win. It's currently playing at a couple of locations in my city, but they're both arthouse theaters with small screens and not the greatest sound to be honest. I am going to wait until it expands to some larger theaters in my area (it has listings at several Regals in the coming weeks). I've heard the sound design is phenomenal and, as much as I want to support independent cinemas, I'd frankly rather experience a film like this in a theater with a big screen and better sound.

by Anonymousreply 11January 21, 2024 10:12 PM

I want to see the scene where the wife tries on the stolen fur coat.

by Anonymousreply 12January 22, 2024 5:34 AM

That scene ^^^ chills your bones.

by Anonymousreply 13January 22, 2024 6:46 AM

I appreciate the concept of this but how is it different from say, The Sorrow and The Pity?

Not sure I actually need to sit through this. The already get it.

by Anonymousreply 14January 22, 2024 7:24 AM

*I already get it.

by Anonymousreply 15January 22, 2024 7:25 AM

[quote] I appreciate the concept of this but how is it different from say, The Sorrow and The Pity?

What's completely innovative about this movie is that it chooses to show things from an angle never explored before. You never go inside the camps, never see what is going on in them, there are practically no prisoners in the movie. It's not about what happened to camp prisoners but what was happening outside which directly alludes to what was happening in Germany at the time, that old notion that "we didn't know what was happening." I promise you, you have never seen anything like it before.

by Anonymousreply 16January 22, 2024 7:32 PM

Yes, I appreciate the recommendation, R16. As I said, I’m aware of the concept. Like I said, if I want to watch a bunch of detached, deluded Germans in denial of their crimes, I’d watch The Sorrow and the Pity again. I don’t think this one is for me but maybe I’ll give it a try.

by Anonymousreply 17January 22, 2024 8:22 PM

[quote]appreciate the concept of this but how is it different from say, The Sorrow and The Pity?

The Sorrow and the Pity isn’t even about the Holocaust. It surprises me how many people think it is.

It’s about the German occupation of France and how many people collaborated with the Germans, and then how many people launched vendettas against collaborators once the Germans were gone. It’s a monumental film but not a Holocaust film per se, except tangentially (French antisemitism contributed to collaboration).

by Anonymousreply 18January 22, 2024 8:30 PM

^^^ forgot to mention that so many people claimed to have worked in or for the French Resistsnce once the war was over, but in reality the vast majority of people were either passive or actually helped the Nazis.

by Anonymousreply 19January 22, 2024 8:33 PM

Saw this last night and was very impressed. I think I'd consider Jonathan Glazer's best film to date. It really is a mundane family drama at its core, but the backdrop permeates everything (intentionally so, of course). There are moments in it that are unforgettably morbid. In particular, there's a scene where the commandant's children are swimming in a river near the camp while he fishes. Upon realizing that the crematorium has just offloaded heaps of cremains into the water upstream, he swiftly rushes the kids out. When they return to their home, the mother is vigorously bathing the kids, and the father is seen blowing ashy phlegm out of his nose into the sink.

by Anonymousreply 20January 27, 2024 2:09 AM

I found two nearby theaters that are selling tickets now for a March 3 opening. I might pre-order.

by Anonymousreply 21January 27, 2024 2:25 AM

I heard the scene with the mother-in-law opening the window is unforgettable.

by Anonymousreply 22January 27, 2024 2:32 AM

Is there anywhere to stream this?

by Anonymousreply 23January 27, 2024 2:37 AM

I'd recommend seeing it in a theater, if you can. The sound design is a crucial component, and I can't see it fully translating at home unless you have a top tier sound system.

by Anonymousreply 24January 27, 2024 2:43 AM

R22 it is a great scene, though I think there are many others that were far more disturbing. There is a striking exchange early on between the grandmother and her daughter (Hedwig, wife of the commandant Rudolf) in the garden. She ponders to her daughter if a Jewish woman she used to work for is "in there", or over the wall of the concentration camp. Hedwig blithely moves the conversation along. After the mother leaves abruptly in the middle of the night, Hedwig awakens to a letter she leaves behind. Its contents are never shown to the audience, but Hedwig swiftly puts it in the fireplace before taking out her ire on her young Polish servant over breakfast, threatening that her husband could "spread her ashes across the fields of Babice."

I honestly thought the portrayal overall rendered Hedwig as more ruthless and possibly more evil than Rudolf, which surprised me. With Rudolf, there are moments where you are able to see some of his humanity; with Hedwig, it is a lot more obscured. Both Christian Friedel and Sandra Hüller give phenomenal performances in this.

by Anonymousreply 25January 27, 2024 2:50 AM

The New York Times review is a devastating takedown, and well argued. Of course, I'll probably appreciate the facile glib structuralism that the Times' reviewer snarks about.

by Anonymousreply 26January 27, 2024 7:45 AM

I saw it twice. The first time I was too stunned to think. The second I appreciated it a lot more. It's a savage movie with the savagery just barely the surface, deeply disturbing and masterfully constructed.

by Anonymousreply 27January 27, 2024 8:01 AM

I don’t agree with Manhola Dargis’s New York Times review whatsoever—I swear these motherfuckers love to be contrarian for the sake of being contrarian. Her argument is essentially that the film feels hollow and she can’t figure out what its “point” or what “cause” is. She ultimately accuses it of simply being too arty.

I don’t know what Dargis watches movies for, but sometimes people watch them to feel something, and this film certainly did that for me. My grandmother and great-grandmother lived through WWII Europe—my great-grandfather was killed by Nazis in Ukraine. On some level, a story like this has emotional resonance for me. The shift in perspective flips things on their heads and highlights little details and minutiae that most people wouldn’t even consider when thinking about something like the daily operations of Auschwitz. I thought it was fascinating, morbid, and clever.

What is the “point”? I don’t think films need to have a cause necessarily, but a film like this exists I think to make its audience face people who cannot truly face themselves.

by Anonymousreply 28January 27, 2024 8:46 AM

Saw it today. The NY Times review is way off base. I didn't think it was excessively arty at all. Quite the opposite, a lot of it is very matter of fact. It seemed like the reviewer had some kind of bone to pick and refused to see the obvious point Glazer was making in form, content, and subtext. Very powerful movie with some unforgettable sequences and images. Huller is outstanding, down to the way she moves like a brood mare. I do wish some things, like whatever her mother wrote in that note, were slightly more spelled out.

by Anonymousreply 29January 28, 2024 3:02 AM

Didn't know about this and I'll be watching it as soon as I can. Thanks OP. Rudolf Höss was pure evil.

by Anonymousreply 30January 28, 2024 3:44 AM

You should really read the novel, too. It’s different.

by Anonymousreply 31January 28, 2024 3:56 AM

I prefer "Tears of a Clown" for verisimilitude.

by Anonymousreply 32January 28, 2024 4:26 AM

I just watched the movie. Mostly full house in the art theatre it was showing in.

The movie was devastating to watch and I think it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen.

The ending that flips between 1940s and present day was very well done.

This was the first movie I’ve been too in a long time where the audience sat in stunned silence afterword for a moment to collect ourselves

by Anonymousreply 33January 28, 2024 4:29 AM

I saw it today. Superbly directed but very disturbing. One of the most disturbing yet ingenious uses of sound I’ve ever heard in film. There was this one scene that consisted of a side close up shot of a Nazi guard that you knew from the sounds it was taking place inside the camp, more specifically by the train stop where the prisoners were disembarking. You can actually hear what I’m sure was a mother being shot in front of her crying child. It was more horrifying than if they had visually shown what happened.

by Anonymousreply 34January 28, 2024 4:48 AM

R32, I think you mean "The Day the Clown Cried."

by Anonymousreply 35January 28, 2024 5:26 AM

The weird thing for me about Dargis’s review in the Times is that I agree that the film is arty, blunt and pretentious. But I disagree with her when she suggests the film is glib and hollow and that Glazer, the director, is shallow. This is an interestingly oblique way of approaching the holocaust, but that doesn’t mean the movie is subtle, it packs a quiet wallop, and the rigidly controlled direction is distanced and quiet but devastating.

For the posters who think they know what the entire hour and 45 minute running time will be like, I’ll say I felt the same way and I was wrong. The film is surprising, riveting. For the first 15 minutes I thought, this is interesting but it’s what I was expecting, and I don’t know if I want to see another hour and a half of this. Yet when it ended, I thought, Oh! It’s over? Already?

It’s one of the most interesting and unique films I’ve seen in a while.

by Anonymousreply 36January 28, 2024 5:57 AM

Here's an excellent analysis of the film.

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by Anonymousreply 37January 28, 2024 5:58 AM

Manohla Dargis is a cunt who couldn't begin to put a film together if her life depended on it. Who fucking cares what this twat thinks.

by Anonymousreply 38January 28, 2024 8:15 AM

Could someone please copy and paste the Dargis review. I’m not subscribing to The NY Times just to read one review.

by Anonymousreply 39January 28, 2024 10:50 AM

Bill Goodykoontz loved it.

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by Anonymousreply 40January 28, 2024 11:51 AM

‘The Zone of Interest’ Review: The Holocaust, Reduced to Background Noise Jonathan Glazer has made a hollow, self-aggrandizing art-film exercise set in Auschwitz during the Holocaust.

What is the point of “The Zone of Interest”? I’ve seen Jonathan Glazer’s movie twice, and each time I’ve returned to this question, something that I rarely feel compelled to ask. Movies exist because someone needs or wants to make art, tell a story, drive home a point, defend a cause, expose a wrong or simply make money. All that is clear from what’s onscreen is Glazer has made a hollow, self-aggrandizing art-film exercise set in Auschwitz during the Holocaust.

Written and directed by Glazer, the movie is loosely based on the 2014 novel by Martin Amis with the same title. Heavily researched — Amis lists numerous resources in the emotional afterword — the book is narrated by three men, including a fictionalized character based on Rudolf Höss, the S.S. commandant who for several years ran Auschwitz. There, he oversaw a factory of torture and death in which, per the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, an estimated 1.1 million men, women and children were murdered, the vast majority Jews.

In adapting the novel, Glazer has jettisoned much of Amis’s novel, most of its characters, plotlines and inventive, at times near-hysteric, language and tone. What Glazer has retained is the novel’s intimate juxtaposition between the horrors of the extermination camp and the everyday lives of its non-inmate characters. Unlike Amis, however, who routinely invokes and at times describes the barbarism inside the camp — with its “daily berm of corpses,” as he writes — Glazer significantly and pointedly keeps these horrors at an oblique remove.

Instead, Glazer focuses on the day-to-day routine of the camp’s commandant and his family, using their real names. Together with their five children and a smattering of servants, Rudolf and Hedwig Höss — played by the relatively undemonstrative Christian Friedel and Sandra Hüller — live in a nondescript, somewhat austere, predictably orderly multistory house. There’s a spacious garden with a small wading pool, beehives, a sprawling greenhouse and beds of flowers tended by camp prisoners. A tall wall topped with barbed wire borders the garden; through the wire, the tops of numerous death camp buildings dot the view.

by Anonymousreply 41January 28, 2024 11:53 AM

The proximity of their home and these buildings is a jolt, and based on fact. The real Höss family, like their fictional counterparts, lived in the Auschwitz complex, a swath some 15 square miles in size that housed different camps in an area called the Interessengebiet or “interest zone.” The house was tucked near a corner of the oldest camp, Auschwitz I, which had prisoner barracks, gallows, a gas chamber and crematory. After Höss was arrested in 1946, he wrote that “my family had it good in Auschwitz, every wish that my wife or my children had was fulfilled.” The children ran free and his wife had “her flower paradise.” He was hanged at Auschwitz in 1947, not far from where the family had lived.

The time frame in Glazer’s adaptation is vague, though primarily seems to take place in 1943 before the real Höss was transferred to another camp. The movie opens on a black screen accompanied by some music, a foreboding overture that gives way to a pacific scene at a river with a group of people in bathing suits. Eventually, they dress and motor off. Much of the rest of the movie takes place at the Höss family home, where Glazer’s carefully framed, often fixed cameras record the children playing while the parents chat and sometimes argue. You see Rudolf going off to work in the camp while Hedwig oversees the house. At one point, you also watch a prisoner quietly spreading ash on the garden as a soil amendment.

In “The Zone of Interest,” Glazer deploys a number of art-film conventions, including narrative ellipses and long uninterrupted takes. Throughout, characters are kept at a remove (as if they are being surveilled) and filmed mostly in medium or long shots; I only remember one grim close-up of a face. There are bursts of music (by Mica Levi), one bit features unnerving yelping and whooping, though not a conventional soundtrack. For the most part, the intricately layered audio foregrounds everyday conversations and chatter over a low, persistent machinelike hum, a droning that is regularly punctuated by train sounds, muffled gunfire and indecipherable yelling and screaming. It sounds like the engine of death.

by Anonymousreply 42January 28, 2024 11:54 AM

The overall effect of Glazer’s approach to this material is at first deeply unsettling, in large part because — as ordinary life ticks on — you worry that he will take you into the extermination rooms. Instead, he continues focusing on the Hösses’ everyday life without obvious editorializing (or outrage), swells of emotion-coaxing music or the usual mainstream cinematic prompts. The camerawork — save for a few traveling shots that underline the closeness of the house to the interior of the camp — is smooth and discreet. It’s demonstrably unshowy. It’s all very matter of fact, whether Hedwig is showing a visitor around the garden or Rudolph is with some suited executives discussing plans to expand the camp.

In stressing the quotidian aspect and placid texture of the family’s life, Glazer emphasizes just how commonplace this world is, a mundanity that evokes what Hannah Arendt, in writing about the trial of Adolf Eichmann, one of the organizers of the Holocaust, famously called the “banality of evil.” Rudolf and Hedwig give the appearance of a conventional bourgeois married couple (however creepy). When he gets a promotion that requires them to move, she resists. Every so often, though, fissures crack the surface of this calm as when Hedwig tries on a fur coat that’s been confiscated from a prisoner; she shuts herself in a room first, which suggests that she’s hiding and, by extension, knows she’s doing something wrong.

by Anonymousreply 43January 28, 2024 11:56 AM

There are other disturbances, too, like the clouds of dark smoke and the screams that one of the children hears and which discomfort him. More dramatically, Glazer inserts several eerie black-and-white scenes of a girl or young woman placing apples around the camp at night, presumably for prisoners. (Later, you learn that she’s an outsider.) These interludes are radically distinct in look and tone from the rest of the movie: They were shot with a thermal imaging camera and are accompanied by violent music. They also show the only instances of kindness and resistance in the entire movie. Yet what is most striking about these sections isn’t the singularity of this woman’s actions but their stylistic bravura, their wow factor.

“The Zone of Interest” is a blunt, obvious movie. In scene after scene, Glazer underscores the blandness of these characters’ lives without resorting to exegesis, weeping violins and faces or, instructively, a heroic figure like Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who helped save hundreds of Jews and is the title character in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film “Schindler’s List.” Spielberg’s film has been criticized for, among other things, focusing on a non-Jewish hero, a focus that speaks both to most filmmakers’ inability to honestly engage with the Holocaust — in its full, numbing, routinized barbarism — and to mainstream cinema’s compulsive desire for happy endings or at least some reassurances in the face of the abyss.

by Anonymousreply 44January 28, 2024 11:56 AM

Glazer peers into the abyss but wisely doesn’t attempt to “explain” the Holocaust. Notably Rudolf and Hedwig don’t spew Nazi ideology; they embody it, which is foundational to the movie’s conceit. Deeply self-interested, they enjoy their power. They are, the movie suggests, representative of the millions of ordinary Germans — and, yes, perhaps anyone, anywhere — who chatted over breakfast while their neighbors were slaughtered. As Hedwig reminds Rudolf in one scene, they have the life they’ve always dreamed of. They are villains, full stop. And like so many other movies, mainstream or not, this one is fascinated with its villains, far more than it is with their victims, whose suffering here is largely reduced to room tone.

In “The Zone of Interest,” Glazer doesn’t simply tell a story; in his use of art-film conventions he provides a specific frame through which to watch it. This is clearly part of its attraction as is the breathing space his approach creates: it is scary, but not too.

These conventions can create a sense of intellectual distance and serve as a critique, or that’s the idea. They also announce (fairly or not) a filmmaker’s aesthetic bona fides, seriousness, sophistication and familiarity with a comparatively rarefied cinematic tradition. They signal that the film you’re watching is different from popular ones made for a mass audience. These conventions are markers of distinction, of quality, which flatter filmmakers and viewers alike, and which finally seem to me to be the biggest point of this vacuous movie.

by Anonymousreply 45January 28, 2024 11:57 AM

[quote]Deeply self-interested, they enjoy their power. They are, the movie suggests, representative of the millions of ordinary Germans — and, yes, perhaps anyone, anywhere

Who does this sound like?

by Anonymousreply 46January 28, 2024 11:59 AM

One thing I wondered about as being historically accurate was the smell. By all accounts the smell of the burned corpses of the prisoners hung over the camp and the surrounding area. Surely the family would have noticed it.

by Anonymousreply 47January 28, 2024 12:05 PM

R28. Dargis and the Times should be embarrassed by that review. It’s one thing to be a contrarian because you have worked hard and not seen what others see in a film—no one is asking for uniformity of opinion. But this was pure laziness and lack of good faith to engage with a film on its own terms. I have never been impressed by her writing—even when I disagree with some critics (Kael, Rich), I respected their quality of mind and their commitment to the enterprise of criticism sufficiently to read the. Dargis is an utter waste of space—oh, for the days of Tony Scott. She’s lazy and a bully. No point in reading her.

by Anonymousreply 48January 28, 2024 12:13 PM

Yes they all did R47. Many documentaries have explored the smell and smoke and the effects on the lives and mindset of the civilian populations living around the areas. In interviews, citizens said they could smell it and tried to blank it out and pretend that they didn't know what was happening because they didn't really know what was happening and could only speculate and gossip. Also - they couldn't do anything to stop it and if they tried they would just have ended up in the furnaces. It must have been a terrible time. I can't imagine.

The family would have definitely been able to smell it and they knew what it was. Someone (not the parents) would have had to tell the children to answer their questions - even if what they told them wasn't exactly true.

by Anonymousreply 49January 28, 2024 12:14 PM


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by Anonymousreply 50January 28, 2024 12:16 PM

One prisoner in The World at War described the smell like that of how her mother burned a chicken.

by Anonymousreply 51January 28, 2024 12:19 PM

What's that stench?

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by Anonymousreply 52January 28, 2024 12:22 PM

It smells like heinie!

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by Anonymousreply 53January 28, 2024 12:24 PM

NYT's "Barbie" is Bad opinion piece is a companion to Dargis. They are attempting contrarian snark, but arrive at overkill.

NYT's culture coverage has jumped the shark.

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by Anonymousreply 54January 28, 2024 12:42 PM

I saw a movie on Hulu recently that was similar to Zone of Interest but much different. Deutsches Haus. The movie's title is the name of a successful family owned restaurant. The younger daughter works part time at the restaurant to help out, but she is, in fact, a translator who speaks Polish. Her older sister is a neo natal nurse working at a hospital. There are hearing and an inquiry going on about the role of local officials during the Holocaust. At first the young translator is annoyingly stupid. She knew nothing about what happened. As she listens to witnesses give testimony she begins to discover the role her own family played during the war. It turned out to be a very good movie, but not an art house film. I'm sure it doesn't possess the emotional punch Zone of Interest does, but it was provocative and interesting. Well done too.

by Anonymousreply 55January 28, 2024 1:17 PM

Do you mean the series, not movie, and in English called "The Interpreter of Silence".

by Anonymousreply 56January 28, 2024 1:31 PM

We had that smell in lower Manhattan after 9/11, burning bodies and materials combined together. I would imagine the smell was similar, but more intense and pervasive; that was 2500 dead in one day, not 1 million over several years. Still, over time one would become desensitized.

by Anonymousreply 57January 28, 2024 1:40 PM
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by Anonymousreply 58January 28, 2024 1:47 PM

Yes, R56 Interpreter of Silence. I thought it was very well done. If you can, you should check it out.

by Anonymousreply 59January 28, 2024 1:49 PM

Society of the Snow is better. But I'm sure this will win, for obvious reasons.

by Anonymousreply 60January 28, 2024 2:43 PM

Why R60? Because it's a Picture, Director, and Screenplay nominee as well?

by Anonymousreply 61January 28, 2024 3:03 PM

R60 I disagree. Society of Snow was a great film, but we have seen survival movies before. I have never seen a film like Zone of Interest where the whole movie is about a subject that you don’t actually see and is told from the point of view of the people who none of the audience sympathizes with.

Its bold to make a movie where every character is a villain (except non speaking cameos) and yet them not be portrayed as over the top crazy people.

The characters are your next door neighbors. They go to your church. They shop at your store. They bake your evening bread. They orchestrate and collaborate on state sanctioned murder and believe in the cause of doing so.

by Anonymousreply 62January 28, 2024 3:16 PM

I agree with R62. "Society of the Snow" is a well-made movie in a well-worn genre, but "The Zone of Interest" is singular.

by Anonymousreply 63January 28, 2024 3:32 PM

Who cares what Manhole oh Darkness has to say about anything?

by Anonymousreply 64January 28, 2024 4:05 PM

^^^ of

by Anonymousreply 65January 28, 2024 4:05 PM

R5 are you on Ozemprah?

by Anonymousreply 66January 28, 2024 4:08 PM

[quote] We had that smell in lower Manhattan after 9/11, burning bodies and materials combined together. I would imagine the smell was similar, but more intense and pervasive; that was 2500 dead in one day, not 1 million over several years.

The real orgy of murder at Auschwitz II happened within a relatively short period of time. They continued murdering people there right up until the end but it was in late 1942 when Auschwitz was really murdering at highest numbers and it would have been 7-10,000 a day, every day, month after month.

by Anonymousreply 67January 28, 2024 4:21 PM

[quote]Yes, [R56] Interpreter of Silence

The show is also based on a book; Deutsches Haus by Annette Hess

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by Anonymousreply 68January 28, 2024 4:48 PM

R28 there's a new idea going around that seems to be pinned on an axiom that the only purpose of art is to inspire the viewer toward specific behaviors or points of view. anything else is worthless if not dangerous. it sucks.

by Anonymousreply 69January 28, 2024 9:28 PM

British soldiers in Austria liberated a POW camp. Soldiers there told them of another camp they had heard of, but didn't know the location of or the details. The soldiers were able to find the concentration camp by the smell.

by Anonymousreply 70January 28, 2024 10:14 PM

There was a cemetery with crematorium across the street growing up. After a heatwave, all the houses were informed our cemetery was assigned 68 bodies.

Instead of inhaling an occasional Uncle Bertie when the wind changed, there was a constant stench. This was a modern day blast furnace; not sure how efficient nazi furnaces burned.

When they toasted at night, my mother implied it was mob rellated.

by Anonymousreply 71January 28, 2024 10:32 PM

[quote]They are, the movie suggests, representative of the millions of ordinary Germans — and, yes, perhaps anyone, anywhere — who chatted over breakfast while their neighbors were slaughtered.

Interesting thread; over the weekend I watched Shoah on TCM and I thought one of the most interesting scenes was when they went back to some village near Auschwitz where the entire jewish population had been wiped out & they interviewed some couple that admitted, yes, their house had been owned by jews. It was a nice house & they were glad to have it. Didn't express an ounce of contrition - yes, those people had nice shit. We took all of it & cheered as they were led off to their deaths.

Did't read the NYT review, but the Washington Post review links to a story they did about Brigette, the oldest daughter. who married & lived in DC (I suppose she's dead at this point). Of course it's all "The Brits tortured Daddy! They make it worse than it is." She's clearly very much her mother's daughter, but once a Nazi, always a nazi I guess.

Another good is "Lore" about a family very much like the Hess family, only the children are abandoned by their Nazi parents (the father is a camp commandant, but it's the mother that's the hard liner) to make their way in post-war Germany to Hamburg.

by Anonymousreply 72January 29, 2024 12:04 AM

[quote]Interesting thread; over the weekend I watched Shoah on TCM and I thought one of the most interesting scenes was when they went back to some village near Auschwitz where the entire jewish population had been wiped out & they interviewed some couple that admitted, yes, their house had been owned by jews It was a nice house & they were glad to have it. Didn't express an ounce of contrition - yes, those people had nice shit. We took all of it & cheered as they were led off to their deaths.

There was a massive pogrom in Poland in 1946, killing 42 Jews and wounding 40 more. Imagine surviving the camps and then, once free, being killed by your Jew hating neighbors. Poland was a very bad place for many Jews and many Poles, while they may have hated the Nazis, were happy to see their Jewish population led to their deaths.

by Anonymousreply 73January 29, 2024 12:36 AM

Interview with the author of the novel...

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by Anonymousreply 74January 29, 2024 1:13 AM

A lot of bloody hands in WWII.

by Anonymousreply 75January 29, 2024 1:24 AM

I love Jonathan Glazer's films so much. Sexy Beast, Under the Skin...

I was going to go this week but couldn't get anyone to go with me, and finally decided to watch it when it streams.

by Anonymousreply 76January 29, 2024 1:38 AM

I will absolutely watch this film. Is it streaming anywhere.? Netflix? Amazon?

by Anonymousreply 77January 29, 2024 2:52 AM

I wanted to post this in the Oscar thread and start a land war, but what if Zone of Interest wins Best Picture and Best Director. I’m seeing it this week. All the reviews have said it’s exceptional.

by Anonymousreply 78January 29, 2024 3:04 AM

R77 it’s not streaming yet and mostly playing in small art houses

by Anonymousreply 79January 29, 2024 3:07 AM

R76 I'll go with you! Actually, from some of the reviews it might be worth seeing on a large screen in a theater as was Oppenheimer IMO. Actually, I'm thinking of going by myself in case the person I go with doesn't 'enjoy' the film. It's not for everyone I gather.

by Anonymousreply 80January 29, 2024 3:23 AM

R76 go see it alone. It's worth seeing on the big screen. I went by myself and most of the other people in the theater were alone. I frankly go to most movies by myself. I'm a cinephile and my friends and family members don't have the same taste as I do, so rather than trying to drag people with me, I learned a long time ago that it's so much better just to go and be your own company.

by Anonymousreply 81January 29, 2024 3:29 AM

Here in the Northeast it's playing at number of theaters including AMC multiplexes.

by Anonymousreply 82January 29, 2024 3:30 AM

Though IMDB says releases February 2nd it's playing in theaters now

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by Anonymousreply 83January 29, 2024 3:34 AM

In LA its at the Century City AMC 15.

by Anonymousreply 84January 29, 2024 3:44 AM

Best movie of the year. It’s excellent, beautifully made. There were so many points where it could have been Oscar bait but restraint, suggestion and subtlety were chosen instead. One of the best movies I’ve ever seen.

by Anonymousreply 85January 29, 2024 3:53 AM

Agree with R85. Oppenheimer seems like a lock for best picture but The Zone of Interest is the best movie of the year.

by Anonymousreply 86January 29, 2024 3:57 AM

If you can stand to wait, Regal will be screening it on March 2, March 4, March 6 at many nationwide screens as part of their Best Picture 2024 series. $6 general admission, $5 for Regal members (free to join).

They'll be screening several other titles, so if you wish to see something on the big screen for a good price, they will have Maestro, Oppenheimer, Anatomy of a Fall, American Fiction, Past Lives and Barbie.

Here's their Union Square site, as an example

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by Anonymousreply 87January 29, 2024 3:58 AM

I was thinking it's been too long since we've had a Holocaust movie.

by Anonymousreply 88January 29, 2024 2:45 PM

R88 I was thinking about how glad I am that we have them because of how dangerously close to the brink of Fascism we are. The Hate and the extreme tilt to the Right here in America is scary.

by Anonymousreply 89January 29, 2024 3:37 PM

I never thought I would see such violent antisemitism in my lifetime as happened on 10/7. That was followed by the extremely disturbing, almost immediate celebratory marchs by kids the same age as the hundreds of kids massacred at the Nova rave. That was another thing I never thought I'd see in the US.

It is an excellent film, btw.

by Anonymousreply 90February 1, 2024 8:48 PM

[quote] never thought I would see such violent antisemitism in my lifetime as happened on 10/7. That was followed by the extremely disturbing, almost immediate celebratory marchs by kids the same age as the hundreds of kids massacred at the Nova rave. That was another thing I never thought I'd see in the US.

I'm right there with you. I totally get being critical of the Israeli government & Bibi - but the level of hatred directed at victims who were mostly just going about their day is so...baffling, even in world where people seem to wear their hatred like a point of pride.

by Anonymousreply 91February 2, 2024 12:43 AM

R91 - the Gen Z antisemites are especially vicious, which is ironic since they are the generation of micro-aggressions and 'safe spaces'.

Here is NYC, on the UES, a very Jewish neighborhood, there are antisemitic signs and the defacing of the hostage posters EVERYWHERE.

It makes me angry. This shouldn't be happening in America, in 2024.

The antisemitism from the left feels like a betrayal. I expect this from the right. I didn't expect it from the left.

by Anonymousreply 92February 2, 2024 12:55 AM

How many fucking holocaust movies can you make? We are living in an era where Gaza is being wiped off the map and Hollywood chooses to give us yet another holocaust movie

by Anonymousreply 93February 2, 2024 12:56 AM

This is a much better film than Oppenheimer but Oppenheimer's PR campaign has been like a bulldozer for months before its release so I doubt any other movie will beat it at the Oscars. Likewise with Cillian Murphy, who gives a one or two note performance. Even Bradley Cooper gives a more complex performance than him but he probably has the Oscar locked down because of the enormous ad campaign.

by Anonymousreply 94February 2, 2024 12:59 AM

R93, TZOI premiered at Cannes in May 2023, months before the Hamas/palestinian pogrom and Israel's appropriate ferocious response. Tell a people you want to wipe them off the face of the earth, you get what the fuck you deserve.

by Anonymousreply 95February 2, 2024 3:00 AM

I don't know about other regions, but it's been playing in my city for a few weeks now and appears to be expanding to a bunch of additional theaters this weekend. I am planning on seeing it again this weekend after having to go a bit out of my way to see it last Thursday.

by Anonymousreply 96February 2, 2024 3:07 AM

[quote]We are living in an era where Gaza is being wiped off the map and Hollywood chooses to give us yet another holocaust movie

Oh my. Remember when an Iranian politician vowed to wipe Israel off the map and we were told that wasn't a call for genocide? I mean right here on Datalounge, some jerk argued that wasn't a genocidal threat. That wasn't you, was it?

by Anonymousreply 97February 2, 2024 3:47 AM

R 94, You are so off-base. “Oppenheimer” is a great movie which covers one of the signal events in the history of the world and manages to show the personal, cultural and political ramifications of its subject. That’s great filmmaking, not a PR campaign.

And Bradley Cooper’s scenery-chewing narcissism was in no way comparable to Murphy’s disciplined but very expressive performance. Go back to kindergarten.

by Anonymousreply 98February 2, 2024 3:59 AM

Saw this for a second time tonight. It is worth seeing on the big screen twice—I noticed a number of details that I missed the first time and felt like I absorbed it more. The first viewing was a bit overwhelming on an almost subconscious level. A month ago I would've said "Poor Things" was my favorite film released in 2023, but this surpassed it by leaps and bounds. Impeccable as far as I'm concerned.

by Anonymousreply 99February 3, 2024 9:58 AM

Just saw it and yowza! Definitely worth seeing in a theater. Huller should have been nominated for supporting for this, not America Ferrara.

by Anonymousreply 100February 4, 2024 12:55 AM


Quote] Huller should have been nominated for supporting for this, not America Ferrara.

Rosamond Pike, Julianne Moore, Rachel McAdams should have been nominated for supporting not AF!

by Anonymousreply 101February 4, 2024 5:35 AM

Saw it yesterday and wow. Great thread to read after viewing. To anyone interested in seeing it, go see in the big screen, the impact will be different.

I was a little bit doubtful because i expected to be bored. However, the opposite is true. For a movie where almost nothing obviously happens except for the daily, mundane life, Of a bourgeois family, it is a tense, never boring, viewing. The background colours every moment, even the times where the camp does not manifest itself. But you are always aware of it. It is not a subtle film (and that is good).

I agree that somehow the wife character comes off almost more of a monster than the husband (which is somewhat untrue) but that is the purpose of the movie as well. Her acting, her movements, are phenomenal.

My only issue after seeing it is a point that the NYTimes review obliquely and somewhat meretricious refers to, is the absence of the victims in the movie. I considered this for a bit and concluded it is a perfectly valid, and powerful, move and point of view. Finally, a movie for not only adults, but thinking ones. They are less and less.

by Anonymousreply 102February 4, 2024 4:11 PM

R102, I agree that the wife is quite monstrous. She and the whole household are almost metaphors for the complicity of all the many Germans and Europeans who willingly benefitted from the Holocaust, and did so knowingly. Just the way she moved and walked spoke volumes about who she was and represented.

I had no clue what the scenes with the girl putting things in the ground were all about until I read a review. Other than that, it was brilliant.

by Anonymousreply 103February 4, 2024 6:43 PM

I am curious about the grandmother character (Hedwig's mother). When she first arrives at the house, the cognitive dissonance appears to be strong, though at one point she vocalizes whether or not her former employer, Esther, is on the other side of the wall—for a moment, I wondered if there was going to be some expression of human empathy, but moments later she laments the fact that she didn't win the bid for Esther's curtains at the street auction after she'd ostensibly been shipped off to Auschwitz.

The moment that seems to first strike her is when she's lounging by the pool and awakens to the ash plume from the crematorium—everyone else has more or less left the garden party, probably to avoid the smoke. Then, of course, there's the scene that night where she looks in horror at the same scene from her bedroom window. I know it's intentionally vague, but I can't tell if the gravity of the situation actually sinks into her, or if she's just disgusted by the smell of the crematorium. I am guessing perhaps a bit of both?

by Anonymousreply 104February 4, 2024 6:54 PM

The real Hedwig Hoss lived to the ripe age of 81. Cunt.

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by Anonymousreply 105February 4, 2024 7:00 PM

Sandra Hüller really brought the darkness for this role. Hedwig does come across as worse than Rudolf to me, which is crazy, but that's my honest feeling. Rudolf's retching and final blank stare at the audience in the closing scene suggests that his acts of evil have truly eaten away at his soul and that there may be some remorse for what he's done. Hedwig, on the other hand, only ever seems to be concerned with ensuring that she gets to keep her station at her little slice of Auschwitz paradise.

I can say that I did find her lumbering gait throughout the film a bit funny—an intentional choice, for sure. I agree that she deserved a nomination for this, though she did get the nomination for "Anatomy of a Fall" (which I haven't seen yet). In any case, she is certainly more deserving than America Ferrera for that trite and precious "Barbie" diatribe. It is laughable that she got nominated. She should be embarrassed.

by Anonymousreply 106February 4, 2024 7:24 PM

R105 In America to boot! Double cunt!

by Anonymousreply 107February 4, 2024 8:19 PM

R104, my view re the Grandmother is that at night, finally, it sinks in. She thinks she is prepared for what is happening, praises her daughter for the wonderful life she managed to get, etc. But, probably reluctantly, it becomes to much for her. It is a great moment that elevates the movie and shows a complex humanity in a secondary character, in very small strokes.

by Anonymousreply 108February 4, 2024 8:22 PM

Just came back from seeing this.

But where does the Grandmother go in the middle of the night at Auschwitz? She doesn't even tell anyone she's leaving, her daughter doesn't even know she's gone until breakfast that morning. Who takes Grandmother where?

After the war, I read that Hedwig lived in poverty the rest of her life. What little money she had was probably funneled to her by other Nazis.

by Anonymousreply 109February 4, 2024 9:51 PM

After seeing the movie, I went down a rabbit hole reading about what happened to the family after Hoss was executed in 1947. Three of the children appear still to be alive—one in DC the subject of this WaPo article. She still thinks the number of dead was exaggerated and calls her father “the nicest man in the world.”

Hedwig actually died in DC while visiting her daughter.

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by Anonymousreply 110February 4, 2024 10:00 PM

R109 I assume she went back home, wherever that was. I think she mentions when she arrives that she took a train from Krakow(?) Whatever was in the letter to Hedwig must have been fairly damning; you can see it in Hüller's face when she quickly stuffs it in the fireplace and begins shoving down her breakfast before cunting at her servant. I think the grandmother realized after seeing (and smelling) the operation herself that it was irreconcilable with her morals. Her expression of horror as she's watching the smokestacks at night seemed to indicate that she realized how wrong it actually was. It seems insane that it would take such a firsthand experience to condemn something so clearly evil, but I think that's precisely what the movie is tackling thematically.

by Anonymousreply 111February 4, 2024 10:00 PM

The grandmother going home is the only suggestion of a morsel of morals in the entire movie but it's only a suggestion. I think R111 read it correctly.

by Anonymousreply 112February 4, 2024 10:53 PM

R112 I think that, as an outsider, the grandmother wasn't aware of (or maybe was just in denial about) the industrialised death machine that Auschwitz was. Until she visited her daughter perhaps she assumed it was an internment camp. This question (i.e. the extent to which the wider German population knew about the Holocaust whilst it was being undertaken) remains a matter of debate in any case.

by Anonymousreply 113February 6, 2024 12:27 PM

I thought it was a mistake to not see Hedwig’s mother not respond to the smell of death and burning flesh. There was always a smell. The Commandant and his family were probably use to it but not the mother.

by Anonymousreply 114February 6, 2024 12:42 PM

R109 And what I think the movie does well is to use the grandmother to show what a slippery slope it might have been for the average German (or Pole, if she is from Krakow) to shift from the casual anti-Semitism we hear her espouse when she arrives (she makes mention of the Jewish people being Communists and talking about "Jewish things" and seems to see her failure to get her neighbor's curtains a greater outrage than the camps) to blind acceptance or denial of what they could not see or smell. It took being on the border of the camp to raise her to write her daughter and leave, presumably never to see her again. It also serves as a contrast to Hedwig's everyday petulance over trivia, which builds up to her explosion at the servant ("My husband could have your ashes spread," or words to that effect). I've not seen Huller before (will watch "Anatomy of a Fall" now that it's streaming), but it takes both skill and guts to play such "banality of evil" without "commenting" on it as an actor.

by Anonymousreply 115February 6, 2024 1:21 PM

R115: She speaks on that a bit, in the profile on her in The New Yorker from a few months ago.

[quote]“I always refused to play Fascists—which, of course, especially in international productions, come your way from time to time as a German actress,” she told me over lunch at a restaurant in Leipzig, where she lives with her twelve-year-old daughter.

[quote]“I didn’t like the idea of putting on a Nazi uniform like that, or using language like that—to get close to the energy of that, or to discover there would be fun in that,” Hüller went on. “I have seen colleagues that actually have fun doing it. Maybe it’s still in their bodies from former generations. They like to change their language and speak like that”—the tone of her voice changed, her usually soft-spoken, careful speech becoming harsh and rat-a-tat. Reverting to her own voice, she asked, “Why do they do it? They could speak like a normal person.”

[quote]Hüller also disapproves of projects that use the Nazi era as a canvas upon which to paint a dramatic story that has little to do with Fascism. (Netflix’s recent soapy drama “All the Light We Cannot See” could be considered a prime example.) She was therefore attracted to the pointed absence of drama in Glazer’s screenplay: nothing much happens beyond what we know is happening offscreen, as the murderous apparatus under Höss’s command becomes ever more efficient. She told me, “Jonathan and I had a lot of conversations about the traps in this kind of story we wanted to tell—which is not really a story. There is a couple, and one wants to leave, and the other doesn’t.”

[quote]Both “The Zone of Interest” and “Anatomy of a Fall” demanded that Hüller adjust her customary approach to film roles. Usually, she explained, “I fall in love with the characters, I know what they would do in a situation, I have the feeling that I understand them.”

[quote]Hedwig Höss, however, was not someone Hüller wished to identify or empathize with at all. Her solution to the artistic challenge of playing a Nazi was to withhold her own humanity from the character. “I wanted to use my power as an actor not to give the character any capacity to feel love, joy, fulfillment, connection—all these things, just take them away,” she told me. “The idea was to make the story as boring as possible—to give them as little excitement and joy as possible. They live the most unfulfilled life that someone can imagine, and they don’t know it—but we know it.”

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by Anonymousreply 116February 6, 2024 2:14 PM

For those who haven't seen it, I highly recommend the movie "Toni Erdmann," which features a wonderful performance from Sandra Huller—and one that is very different from her two performances this year

by Anonymousreply 117February 6, 2024 2:19 PM

The Zone of Interest just won Best Film and Best Director at the London Critics’ Circle Awards on 4th Feb. The film only opened here in the UK on 2nd Feb and also had a strong box office opening, - the 2nd highest-grossing of the weekend.

by Anonymousreply 118February 6, 2024 5:39 PM

R114 This is not the kind of movie where everything is explained to you for clarity. It's a movie that makes you imagine what's in the character's heads while the monstrous spectacle you're witnessing is going on. It's more horrific this way than if they said, "It smells bad here" or "The mink coat was taken from a camp prisoner."

by Anonymousreply 119February 6, 2024 6:17 PM

I guess it's been going wide since the nominations, because now it's playing at my local suburban Regal multiplex. I think I'll check out the 1020 show tonight, seven dollar discount day lol.

by Anonymousreply 120February 7, 2024 12:27 AM

You would get used to the smell? Not sure on this. I suppose it would be more intense at certain times.

by Anonymousreply 121February 7, 2024 1:40 AM

I didn't realize at first that it is the grandmother who is drunk in the baby's room. I thought that was a critical scene in retrospect. She is trying to numb the reality but at some point must realize she can't. For her, that reflects horribly on her daughter's morality and maybe her role in raising her.

by Anonymousreply 122February 7, 2024 1:44 AM

R122, that wasn’t the grandmother. It was one of the Jewish women “from town” who were employed as (I’m sure unpaid) servants in the Höss household.

by Anonymousreply 123February 7, 2024 8:56 AM

[quote]You would get used to the smell? Not sure on this. I suppose it would be more intense at certain times.

I used to live in a rural area & during certain periods, the farmers would spray chemical fertilizer on the fields. At first, you get a big whiff of it: liquid poo! But then it's like your brain decides it isn't important anymore because the smell has been there for days & you just tune it out. Certain points, like a really hot day, might bring it out, but mostly it just becomes background noise.

by Anonymousreply 124February 7, 2024 9:54 AM

That’s not surprising, R118. Anything to do with WWII is still of great interest to the British.

by Anonymousreply 125February 7, 2024 10:01 AM

I thought the women who worked in the house were local Polish women but not Jews from the camp.

by Anonymousreply 126February 7, 2024 11:08 AM

I thought the maids were Jews. They seemed terrified to be working there. If they were local non Jews, it seems like they wouldn’t tiptoe around the family so carefully. My .02.

I saw this last week and our whole theater was dead silent after it ended. One of the best movies about the war I’ve ever seen. The sound design!

The banality of the evil was so beautifully depicted. As well, the other point he drove home brilliantly (yes I know, no shit Sherlock) was how everyone behaved as though nothing was affecting them, but the evil soaked into EVERYTHING. From the kids playing gruesome games and the baby screaming non stop on furnace night, to the grandmother fleeing in the night to Rudolf getting sick to the modern era of the cleaning ladies surrounded by the hell every day. Every member of the family had a negative reaction to what was happening on the other side of the wall.

I think this might take best director and picture. FOR SURE adapted screenplay. The way the parallel stories unfolded on either side of the wall and letting the audience fill in the blanks was one of the most effective ways of illustrating how and why people turn a blind eye to evil.

Spoiler: My favorite line: the grandmother saying this place is paradise, while standing in front of a wall with razor wire on top and continuous smoke and gunshots in the bg.

TLDR: I want this to knock Oppenheimer out of the top spot but it probably won’t and also I want to see it again. I’m going to read it too.

by Anonymousreply 127February 9, 2024 2:26 AM

R127 I am not sure the servant girls were Jews—the grandmother makes a comment about it, but Hedwig assures her the Jews are "on the other side of the wall", and that they're just Polish girls who are hired help (the implication is that they at least read as Jewish, visually speaking—they are very much the opposite of Aryan-looking).

Many people, Jews and non-Jews, were made to be forced laborers under the Nazi regime, but I somehow doubt any Jewish girls would have been knowingly employed in the Hoss home. Perhaps they were secretly Jewish and somehow managed to evade detection. It's hard to say.

by Anonymousreply 128February 9, 2024 3:32 AM

but surely it will win for Best International Feature Film

by Anonymousreply 129February 9, 2024 3:33 AM

I think Anatomy of a Fall will win International Feature but I think The Zone is the year's best film, bar none.

by Anonymousreply 130February 9, 2024 6:21 AM

I thought she was lying to the mom to shut her up. R128.

It will win best foreign, but it deserves Best Pic and director. Don’t think it will, I think Oppenheimer has too much of a campaign head start.

by Anonymousreply 131February 9, 2024 6:23 AM

[quote]I think Anatomy of a Fall will win International Feature

Anatomy of a Fall is not nominated for Best International Feature.

France submitted a different film, supposedly because of Justine Triet's criticism of the French government during her acceptance speech at Cannes.

by Anonymousreply 132February 9, 2024 10:45 AM

I just finished the book. How different is it from the film?

by Anonymousreply 133February 11, 2024 3:06 PM

Saw this movie yesterday. The music. OMG. and the young wife.

I have to ask: What do we think happened to her mother? And why do you think Hoss was vomiting down the staircase?

by Anonymousreply 134February 11, 2024 3:12 PM

Anatomy of a Fall was a good movie, but IMO it wasn't remarkable in any way.

by Anonymousreply 135February 11, 2024 3:13 PM

R133: I have not read the book, but the movie is significantly different, according to the opening of Richard Brody's review.

[quote]With movies that are based on books, there’s no inherent merit in either fidelity or infidelity. What matters is the sense of freedom, of using a book to one’s own purposes. That’s the best thing about “The Zone of Interest,” the writer and director Jonathan Glazer’s adaptation of Martin Amis’s 2014 novel of the same title.

[quote]Glazer transforms it drastically and makes it feel almost entirely like his own creation. The novel is narrated by way of the characters’ monologues, and they’re mostly shtick-laden, performative voices—Amis’s novel plays largely like a variation on “Portnoy’s Complaint” with its prime complainants being fictionalized Nazis who run Auschwitz. I’m not a fan of the book, which strikes me as a near-parody of the Holocaust, with torrentially erotic eruptions of lust, jealousy, and absurdity applied to the sordid private lives of fictitious Nazi officials and mass murderers.

[quote]Glazer’s film distills and transforms the novel’s premise into an altogether different story and tone.

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by Anonymousreply 136February 11, 2024 3:15 PM

I desperately want to see this movie, but it's not being released in my country. It's been years since I actually wanted to see a new movie. Oh well.

I remember Jonathan Glazer as pretty terrific music video director. I'd say he and some others music directors elevated this genre to the point of high art. It didn't last, unfortunately. Now quality music videos are almost nonexistent.

by Anonymousreply 137February 11, 2024 4:02 PM

Thanks r136. I had already noticed the character names are different. And getting rid of the point of view by monologues makes a lot more sense.

The film is playing near me in a smaller art house theater, I may see it today.

by Anonymousreply 138February 11, 2024 4:14 PM

I just saw it yesterday and was blown away.

I also thought the servant girls were Jews.

Hedwig was ugly from her soul to her hairstyle.

by Anonymousreply 139February 11, 2024 5:06 PM

Is Hedwig the wife? That's an example of one of differences from book -- her name is Hannah Doll (last name Doll -- what kind of German name is that????)

by Anonymousreply 140February 11, 2024 5:11 PM

There were things that I missed while watching the movie so some of the reviews are helpful. The NEw Yorker was not kind to Glazer, to the point where I wanted to shout, "Make your own damned movie!" Instead the criticized his choices "He could have done this instead he did that..."

Her mother disappeared. Why? Was there any hint that this would happen? She left a note that Hedwig burned.

by Anonymousreply 141February 11, 2024 5:21 PM

[QUOTE] Her mother disappeared. Why? Was there any hint that this would happen? She left a note that Hedwig burned.

Read all the posts before posting. We’ve already covered this IN-DEPTH upthread.

by Anonymousreply 142February 11, 2024 5:28 PM

Thank you R142. ...Are you a school teacher?

by Anonymousreply 143February 11, 2024 5:38 PM

For me this movie explodes the myth of "good Germans" in the sense that they could ever claim they didn't know what was going on. The characters in this film didn't deny the holocaust. They embraced it.

Hedwig modeling the mink coat in the privacy of her bedroom, then finding the lipstick in the coat pocket, and actually sitting at her dressing table trying it on. Appraising herself then guiltily wiping it off like a kid playing dress up. BTW: The Guardian had an excellent review of the film, and mentioned that Hedwig and her husband were essentially ambitious upwardly mobile people who came from very humble beginnings. In that context, stealing from the dead, modeling the mink coat and glamming it up for a minute references to me that resentment and satisfaction she experienced from her theft, shopping for wares among the belongings of the dead.

by Anonymousreply 144February 11, 2024 5:51 PM

I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’ve read the thread. I feel like the movie isn’t so much about the [italic]Germans[/italic] per se as it is the darkness of human nature. But also just this unique and devastating way to depict horror through using sound etc.

by Anonymousreply 145February 11, 2024 5:56 PM

[QUOTE] Are you a school teacher?

No, I’m not. But I don’t think it’s not too much to ask to read a thread that’s over 140 posts long already before plopping a series of questions to the other posters that might have been addressed earlier. It’s just lazy, frankly.

by Anonymousreply 146February 11, 2024 6:04 PM

I don't think it was morality that motivated the Grandmother. I think it was revulsion of the effects of the industrial death machine. The smoke and the smell, the sound of shots fired and the screams of children. There was no respite from it. You sat out by the pool sunning yourself, you opened windows at night, the glow from the furnaces, the smell etc. all of it so immersive it overwhelmed. She had no problem talking about her old Jewish neighbor who might be frying on the other side of the wall. She had no problem praising their lives, complimenting her daughter, "This is everything you ever dreamed of!" She saw it as a good life.

IMO, It wasn't conscience that drove her to leave in the middle of the night, it was to escape the reality. She knew exactly what was going on. She just didn't want to live with it on a daily basis. Hedwig OTOH, had no problem with it. None. Not for herself or her kids. For me the scene, late in the movie, when the older boy takes his much younger brother and locks him in t he greenhouse as a joke, then sits outside while the little kid screams and makes hissing noises to imitate the gas was a powerful slice of horror. It reminded me of another film, The White Ribbon. We live with the knowledge of horrible things going on often in our own communities every single day, and there's a tacit acceptance of them, simply because we don't have to face them, hear them smell them see them.

by Anonymousreply 147February 11, 2024 6:04 PM

Here's a review from The Guardian.

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by Anonymousreply 148February 11, 2024 6:21 PM

R93 Glazer said several times recently , that this isn't a movie about the past, it's about right now. I think Netanyahu and Hoss have a lot in common.

by Anonymousreply 149February 11, 2024 6:31 PM

R134 Hoss doesn't actually vomit, as such, he tries to hack-up something but it doesn't come out, which is an important distinction.

I think there is a dual interpretation:

1) living in close proximity to the never-ending smoke and ash has damaged his lungs,

but given the importance of the sequence in the film (it's the final sequence that we see in his time-line) I'd say Glazer is primarily saying that:

2) a metaphorical cancer or great darkness is dwelling inside Hess that he can't expel.

by Anonymousreply 150February 11, 2024 7:37 PM

R93 I think this is such an important point. So many of the comments or reviews treat the film as if it's a historical drama, completely missing the allegorical point that Glazer is trying to make about the possibility of evil rising up anywhere at any time and in anyone.

by Anonymousreply 151February 11, 2024 7:42 PM

[quote]I think Netanyahu and Hoss have a lot in common.

I think you’re a fucking idiot.

by Anonymousreply 152February 11, 2024 8:09 PM

[quote]Is Hedwig the wife? That's an example of one of differences from book -- her name is Hannah Doll (last name Doll -- what kind of German name is that????)

Doll (or Döll) is a German family name (incidentally, the German translation of the English word "doll" is "Puppe").

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by Anonymousreply 153February 11, 2024 8:23 PM

[quote] We live with the knowledge of horrible things going on often in our own communities every single day, and there's a tacit acceptance of them, simply because we don't have to face them, hear them smell them see them.

Absolutely, one of the major themes is our mutual complicity in acts of evil. The spiteful Hedwig has the same aspirations as any bourgeois social climber and she will do anything to protect her gains, whilst the scenes of the camp commanders meeting to discuss bullet points in their hand-outs intentionally mimic the boardroom routines of a faceless corporation with a product to sell.

by Anonymousreply 154February 11, 2024 8:27 PM

R114, I visited Auschwitz 5 years ago and I swear I could smell sulfur coming from the ruins of one of the crematorium. No one else seemed to be aware of it and Google searches came up with nothing.

A visit there is not recommended or shouldn't be taken likely.

by Anonymousreply 155February 11, 2024 8:34 PM

Holocaust-related content is never, ever far from our faces.

by Anonymousreply 156February 11, 2024 8:35 PM

Correction. We should remember that Hedwig and Rudolph Hoss were working class who were moving up in the world. Her mother was musing about the Jewish woman she used to work for, the woman wasn't her neighbor, she was her boss. Their resentment of the Jews and their casual attitude towards their slaughter was horrifying.

by Anonymousreply 157February 12, 2024 12:00 AM

R127, great post but one major character that is completely unaffected by the camps is Hedwig. That’s why i think in some ways she is despicted almost as much of a monster as her husband. UnliKe with him, she has no moment of weakness.

R147, that is your interpretation, perfectly valid ans i agree it wasn’t morals about the grandmother. But i think it wasn’t only a matter about the atmosphere/smoke as well. She is perfectly complicit, but, and this is my interpretation, she is not actually prepared for the reality of the camps. Her daughter has no such qualms. That we dont know what she wrote is one of the may good things about this movie. In this difficult times I hope it wins oscars so that more people see it.

(Richard Brody’s reviews in The New Yorker are increasingly awful).

by Anonymousreply 158February 12, 2024 12:50 AM

Re the book I haven’t read it. I loved early to medium Martin Amis, when he wrote this i was already giving up on him. My sister read it and was very disappointed with the movie. Conversely, i went to see it with a friend who read it as well and preferred the movie, i understand the book has more plot than the movie,

by Anonymousreply 159February 12, 2024 12:55 AM

The only similarity between the book and the movie is the title.

by Anonymousreply 160February 12, 2024 12:59 AM

I love this film. I thought it was brilliant. I will most likely see it again. It was so detailed.

by Anonymousreply 161February 12, 2024 1:13 AM

R161 I saw it twice and really appreciated the second viewing; I noticed a number of things I hadn't during the first. If I really like a film enough, I will go and see it multiple times in the theater for the experience. With this one, though I don't know if I'd see it a third time on the big screen--it's a LOT. I will certainly buy it when it comes to Blu-ray though.

by Anonymousreply 162February 12, 2024 1:37 AM

r162, can you confirm if the woman drunk crying in the room with the crying baby is Hedwig’s mother, or as someone posted earlier in this thread, a servant. I thought it was the mother since it happened the same night she looked out the window and saw the crematorium flames and smoke, and appears to be wearing the same nightgown.

by Anonymousreply 163February 12, 2024 2:33 AM

R163, I think it was a servant. Because they showed the mother in other scenes that same night when she is in bed.

by Anonymousreply 164February 12, 2024 2:41 AM

The drinking woman was quite disheveled. The mother was still very near while in bed.

by Anonymousreply 165February 12, 2024 2:42 AM

Yeah I think it was a servant who was sort of “Fuck this shit!” at that point.

by Anonymousreply 166February 12, 2024 2:45 AM

That servant was a nanny I think because she had some other scenes with the baby as well.

by Anonymousreply 167February 12, 2024 3:40 AM

But she was affected r158. She blows up at the maid when Rudolf tells her they have to move (the foyer scene), she threatens the maid at breakfast (hence why I thought they were Jewish), and blows up her marriage because her Lady of the Manor dream was about to disappear. I would argue that she becomes MORE evil as she understands full well the only reason she has that life is due to an entire populace being ethnically cleansed just over her garden wall. I welcome any counter opinion/ argument.

God I love discussing this movie! It should be studied by history students AND film students. It’s a masterpiece. Did this go to Cannes? Didn’t hear much about it before the Oscar noms and GGs.

by Anonymousreply 168February 12, 2024 10:49 AM

r168 Yes, it won the Grand Prix at Cannes and the first wave of reviews came out at that time too, so, since then, there has been a wave of anticipation building up to the release proper.

I agree that The Zone of Interest is a complete masterpiece, fully utilizing the medium of cinema - an equal balance of technical mastery and profound message. There is so much detail (which is why it rewards re-watching and provokes much thought and analysis) and absolutely everything matters and contributes to the whole.

by Anonymousreply 169February 12, 2024 11:38 AM

R168....forgot to add that Sandra Hüller's other film, Anatomy of a Fall, won the 2023 Cannes Palme d’Or.

by Anonymousreply 170February 12, 2024 1:33 PM

[quote]she threatens the maid at breakfast (hence why I thought they were Jewish)

She has complete power over them just by their being not German. The Nazis killed many non-Jewish Polish civilians as well.

But even if they were German, I think she would have felt that she had autonomy over their lives.

by Anonymousreply 171February 12, 2024 1:39 PM

This movie sounds really good, but I’m not sure I can bring myself to watch it. We always have been and still are shitty humans.

by Anonymousreply 172February 12, 2024 1:48 PM

The nanny was played by an entirely different actress than Hedwig’s mom. I know they are all giving “Frau” but come on.

by Anonymousreply 173February 12, 2024 1:56 PM

It's highly possible Sandra Huller wins best actress and best supporting actress at the BAFTAs.

by Anonymousreply 174February 12, 2024 2:43 PM

“Anatomy of a Fall” is good, and she’s good in it, but not good enough to win a BAFTA or Oscar in my opinion. Her supporting performancec in “Zone of Interest” is completely different and brilliant. I’m sure it’s the one-two punch of those back-to-back performances that got her an Oscar nomination. She would deserve the BAFTA for “Zone” (she didn’t get an Oscar nomination for it).

by Anonymousreply 175February 12, 2024 3:20 PM

Hüller should have been nominated in supporting for “The Zone of Interest” alongside her “Anatomy of a Fall” nomination. The Best Supporting Actress lineup is THIN this year.

by Anonymousreply 176February 12, 2024 3:23 PM

I think Hedwig , she was living the dream. Here was this working class girl, (her mother worked for a Jewish woman!) and she was a queen, with her greenhouse and her gardens and her swimming pool and she had SERVANTS! She was unaccustomed to all of it and embraced it whole heartedly. These trappings conferred status and brought out her inner cruelty. She didn't care that people were being incinerated on the other side of her garden wall. She was insistent that she could continue to maintain this standard of living. She was completely lacking in anything resembling compassion or empathy. Her desperation to hang on to the life she had been given, bordered on hysteria. She wasn't weak, she was a monster. All that she had she gained through her husband making the ovens more efficient.

by Anonymousreply 177February 12, 2024 5:01 PM

R177 here. I wanted to add that Hedwig could express her cruelty openly because the state supported it.

by Anonymousreply 178February 12, 2024 5:03 PM

OK. I read some analysis of the movie where the author was at a Q & A with Glazer, the director and the cast. And someone asked him why Rudolf Hoss was gagging at the end as he descended that dark gloomy staircase. Glazer said, " I wanted to show that even as one's mind seems to accept things as normal, the body was rejecting the unspeakable horror. Deep down he was reacting. But IMO I wish Glazer had not done that. I wish he would have just let him keep walking down into that dark abyss. BEcause if that was the intention of the scenes of him gagging and almost vomiting, it was saying redemption was possible, and I think it diluted the narrative for me. Glazer was showing us evil. Having the agents of that evil just disappear into a black abyss would have been more consistent with the narrative. And I found him repulsive. For me nothing could absolve him from the unspeakable acts he engaged in..

by Anonymousreply 179February 12, 2024 5:40 PM

[quote]BEcause if that was the intention of the scenes of him gagging and almost vomiting, it was saying redemption was possible

To me, it wasn't saying redemption is possible. It was illustrating how his soul had become so deeply rotted that his own body was trying to expel it. His human body wanted nothing to do with him, so perverted and removed from his humanity had he become.

by Anonymousreply 180February 12, 2024 5:50 PM

R180 I like your interpretation. I agree with it. But I think Glazer intended something different. Not entirely sure.

by Anonymousreply 181February 12, 2024 5:56 PM

Agree r180. Hoss was “just following orders”, but the body often reacts to a situation before the mind can catch up. Nazis are like Trumpers (and in fact ARE Trumpers) ie: we were just listening to our Dear Leader! Not our fault! They’ll never admit they’re too stupid and cowardly to defy evil.

Hedwig wasn’t even a true believer which is what made her such a monster. All she cared about was climbing the ladder and she was damned if she was going to leave her idyllic life and start all over in the big city where a hick like her would be eaten alive. (Hoss watching the party from the balcony all alone).

by Anonymousreply 182February 12, 2024 7:09 PM

R180 Yes, I also agree with you, I see no sign or intention of redemption of any kind. The fact that Hoss looks so puzzled by his bodily reaction shows how disconnected his mind and body had become.

by Anonymousreply 183February 12, 2024 8:06 PM

it is often said that once an artist creates something it no longer belongs to him. How he felt or what he meant while creating it is his, but it can be something different to those who experience it. So even if Glazer may have intended something different, that fact that we might have a different impression is just as valid.

by Anonymousreply 184February 12, 2024 8:45 PM

Holocaust films are so passé. Move on.

by Anonymousreply 185February 12, 2024 9:18 PM

Have you seen the film being discussed here, R185? I don’t think that anyone who has would make that comment.

by Anonymousreply 186February 12, 2024 9:23 PM

[quote] Holocaust films are so passé. Move on.

You are so passé. Move on.

by Anonymousreply 187February 12, 2024 10:09 PM

I love that Sandra Hüller used her own dog in this film.

by Anonymousreply 188February 12, 2024 10:47 PM

r185, MAGA. He was probably taking notes during the movie.

by Anonymousreply 189February 12, 2024 11:03 PM

R184, I completely agree. To me, at the time in the movie i saw Hoss throwing up in the stairs not as any sign of guilt or inner rejection but as if he had a vision of the future (he was tried and hanged ). Maybe this is from the fact that this scene was split from the current images of Auschwitz. The other interpretations are just as valid, just an example how people see things differently.

by Anonymousreply 190February 13, 2024 2:42 AM

I see it as a metaphor for Texas and the border crisis. All these uppity Trumpy private school moms I know who are two generations away from eating possum during the dust bowl…

by Anonymousreply 191February 13, 2024 2:49 AM

I dare anyone to go into that bedroom while Hedwig is trying on the fur coat, and try to take it away from her. She will fight you for it. Rudolf Hoss was so ambitious, he gets this big promotion, and it was based on how successful he was at Auschwitz, and she doesn't even acknowledge his success. All she cares about is being able to stay in her beautiful world.

For me the scene of him gagging was nerves. He had just been given the responsibility to expand the killing operations to deal with more than 450,000 Jews from Hungary, in addition to everything else, and it stressed him out. So while he could look cool and composed in a conference room at a meeting with other Nazi big shots, the moment he was alone he had a panic attack. At least that was how I interpreted it.

by Anonymousreply 192February 13, 2024 4:34 AM

R192 That scene was particularly surreal for me because of those 450,000 Hungarian Jews would have been 87 members of my family on my mother's side. Imagining the details of their murders being worked out like any other corporate quota concern was horrifying.

by Anonymousreply 193February 13, 2024 5:31 AM

R191 one generation.

by Anonymousreply 194February 13, 2024 7:27 AM

I'd be interested to know what everyone thinks Glazer is telling us regarding Hoss' interaction with animals. There are two key scenes, the first is where, before leaving Auschwitz, he says goodbye to his horse. Hoss here embraces and touches heads with the horse and tells him that he loves him, displaying by far the greatest level of affection to be seen anywhere in the film. The second is when he stops a woman walking her dog (a Schnauzer, I think?) and excitedly discusses the breed, its different colour forms and his previous experience with them.

This is a film in which nothing is superfluous, so clearly these interactions are signalling something to the audience. At first, I thought the purpose was to underline the distinction between his treatment of animals and his treatment of the humans in the camp - i.e. that, in the Nazi thinking, the Jews are seen as way below domestic animals. On reflection, though, I think there might be more going on here.

There is a stereotype about psychopaths always being mean to animals, but Hoss himself is the opposite of the archetypal film Nazi, he is calm, measured, a family man who never loses his temper, even fleeing from conflict with Hedwig when she wants to confront him over having to leave Auschwitz, and he is kind to animals. In other words, he is very ordinary in every way. Not exceptional, and far from a traditional monster or demon. I wonder if the animal interactions are there to deepen this sense of his ordinariness and to "humanise" Hoss, making his work all the more shocking and horrifying by contrast?

by Anonymousreply 195February 13, 2024 2:23 PM

Hitler was a vegetarian and loved his German Shepherd. ^

by Anonymousreply 196February 13, 2024 2:26 PM

To add, Hitler said he stopped eating meat because he was disgusted when he worked in a slaughterhouse. Kind of ironic no?

by Anonymousreply 197February 13, 2024 2:27 PM

I watched an interview with some historian who had done some research on Hoss and his love of animals was historically accurate. The film person and the historian were having this conversation and talking about how ordinary he was in so many ways. Hitler himself was a vegetarian, and was openly contemptuous of meat eaters. He also loved animals.

by Anonymousreply 198February 13, 2024 2:30 PM

R198 here. I'm sorry I didn't see R196 and R197 before I posted.

by Anonymousreply 199February 13, 2024 4:46 PM

Rudolf and Hedwig both had atrocious hair.

by Anonymousreply 200February 13, 2024 5:39 PM

After reading these comments, I'm going to see it again this afternoon.

by Anonymousreply 201February 13, 2024 5:57 PM

R200 They had perfectly accurate and time-appropriate hair, which is a rare thing in movies.

by Anonymousreply 202February 13, 2024 7:03 PM

Here's something I'm curious about. Did Hedwig ever take the pin curls out of her hair? Her hair was never combed out.

by Anonymousreply 203February 13, 2024 7:17 PM

Hitler hated makeup on women and he disapproved of permanent waves. He thought a proper German woman should be clean-faced and her hair should be wrapped in braids around her head, as was traditional for farm wives for decades by that point.

by Anonymousreply 204February 13, 2024 9:47 PM

R204 Seems she broke the mold...

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 205February 13, 2024 10:00 PM

R195, I don’t see that as a very complex part, a major, if not essential, point of the movie is how these people had families, loved their kids, tended gardens and yes, were nice to animals while, at the same time, being capable of monstrous acts. Hoss’s attitude to animals (and to his children, notably the daughter), illustrates that.

by Anonymousreply 206February 13, 2024 10:08 PM

Hitler was not vegetarian, at least not the way I define it. Maybe he didn’t eat cows and pigs but he ate birds. His favorite meal was squab, which is a type of pigeon.

It’s interesting that the film character is kind to animals. In the novel… spoilers follow:

He blungeons his daughters’ pet turtle out of spite and is also cruel to a pony they love. Also, I got the impression he was molesting one of his daughters - did anyone else read it that way?

Were the children his or Kruger’s?

by Anonymousreply 207February 13, 2024 10:17 PM

Was the movie dialogue primarily in German? Did you watch it with subtitles?

by Anonymousreply 208February 13, 2024 10:22 PM

German with subtitles. But the way it was shot was pretty extraordinary. He set up small cameras all over the scenes and they just acted out the scenes, having breakfast, going on a picnic, toasting the commandant's birthday, and the daily life of the family. There were tiny cameras hidden everywhere. No cameraman or hand held cameras. He wanted us the see everything from the family's point of view.Best example off the top of my head is when Hedwig sneaks into her bedroom with the fur coat then models it. She is very furtive about it. Another example is the women sitting at the tiny kitchen table talking about "shopping" from the stock of clothing and jewelry left behind by the JEws.It was as if we were spying on them

by Anonymousreply 209February 13, 2024 11:23 PM

R205: You can bet she wasn’t looking like while tooling around Bavaria.

It was considered unpatriotic to affect Hollywood-style glamor, though many of their actresses in German movies probably continued to do so since it had become expected. But there was a whole sub-genre of fresh air movies celebrated nature, the family and simple pleasures. Red lipstick didn’t fit that picture.

by Anonymousreply 210February 14, 2024 3:58 AM

There are some stunning moment in the movie: the above-mentioned fur coat scene, also the grandmother talking about her employer's curtains and the conversation between Heddy and Rudy nby the river when she tells him she doesn't want to leave her perfect life. You know the story without knowing the story.

by Anonymousreply 211February 14, 2024 6:45 AM

R207, in the movie he has that one little girl who must sleep walk because we find her in odd places just sitting.He picks her up and puts her back in her bed.

by Anonymousreply 212February 14, 2024 4:25 PM

A chef who worked in France during the occupation told of a Nazi officer who was appalled at the treatment of geese. Their feet were nailed to floor so they could be force fed, creating a large liver for pâté. The cruelty outraged him so he killed the geese to end their suffering.

Those weird contrasts and contradictions are memorable.

by Anonymousreply 213February 15, 2024 7:18 AM

[quote] Here's something I'm curious about. Did Hedwig ever take the pin curls out of her hair? Her hair was never combed out.

Like cover that shit with a doo-rag whilst you’re loafing around your garden. She looked ridiculous.

by Anonymousreply 214February 27, 2024 4:09 PM

If you're ever in the mood to watch more Nazi porn, watch Downfall. That movie was about as authentic as it gets. It's about the last days of Hitler in the bunker.

by Anonymousreply 215February 27, 2024 4:24 PM

Also 'Conspiracy.' About the conference which led to what we see, and don't see, in 'Zone.' Excellent ensemble cast. By its very unnatural nature, as chilling as 'Zone.'

by Anonymousreply 216February 27, 2024 4:35 PM

The delulu wife would for sure be the sensitive heroine of a Sofia Coppola movie.

by Anonymousreply 217February 27, 2024 4:46 PM

I saw this film this past weekend.

It is an absolute masterpiece. By far the best film of the year- and it would not surprise me if it takes the Best Picture Oscar- it is far better than Oppenheimer.

R147 nailed the grandmother aspect.

I have nothing to add that has not been said. It was far more impactful than I ever suspected....

The girl with the apples really got me.

Impeccable film-

by Anonymousreply 218February 27, 2024 5:19 PM

But the unexpectedly sudden departure, non face-to-face goodbye, and letter from the grandmother do imply a moral impetus which gets to Hedwig. She puts the letter into - yes - an oven, and soon lashes out at the help.

We've seen the grandmother looking out of her window at night to experience the infernal orange glow of genocide. Behind her is an internal window which is pure white light. It's evident that she chooses the white light, and leaves. And Hedwig knows why.

by Anonymousreply 219February 27, 2024 5:55 PM

[quote] OK. I read some analysis of the movie where the author was at a Q & A with Glazer, the director and the cast. And someone asked him why Rudolf Hoss was gagging at the end as he descended that dark gloomy staircase. Glazer said, " I wanted to show that even as one's mind seems to accept things as normal, the body was rejecting the unspeakable horror. Deep down he was reacting. But IMO I wish Glazer had not done that. I wish he would have just let him keep walking down into that dark abyss. BEcause if that was the intention of the scenes of him gagging and almost vomiting, it was saying redemption was possible, and I think it diluted the narrative for me. Glazer was showing us evil. Having the agents of that evil just disappear into a black abyss would have been more consistent with the narrative. And I found him repulsive. For me nothing could absolve him from the unspeakable acts he engaged in..

You’re taking a really simplistic view of the film. It’s all the more important that Höss is displayed as a human man who loved his kids and tolerated his wife and petted animals and got sick at the overwhelming reality of his actions - because he did them any way. An ordinary man expertly organised the murder of over 2 million. Evil when enacted by a mere human is the worse than when we can blame an irredeemable boogeyman. Because it happened before, and it can happen again and probably is happening right now. As Glazer said, it’s not a film about the past. It’s a film about today.

by Anonymousreply 220February 27, 2024 5:56 PM

[quote]Also 'Conspiracy.' About the conference which led to what we see, and don't see, in 'Zone.' Excellent ensemble cast. By its very unnatural nature, as chilling as 'Zone.'

I recently re-watched Conspiracy. I'm normally not a fan of the smug, hammy Branaugh, but somehow he's perfectly suited to the role. I'd never really considered it from an economic position: German is losing & there's not enough food. Business lobbies to keep the slave labor to keep the war machine going and other Nazi leaders lobby to empty the ghettos because of disease and the fear of it spreading to troops. Shooting the jews is bad for troop morale & wastes bullets. It's like German efficiency at it's most awful. And the way the talk about these people like life sized cockroaches would't be far off the way Fox News talks about illegal immigrants.

As a side note, I saw a NYT "Anatomy of a Scene" and the director indicates that the help isn't jewish but a local Polish girl who knows that her life depends on remaining invisible to Hoss & the missus

by Anonymousreply 221February 28, 2024 12:10 AM

Being honest, other than the (very effective) juxtaposition of the camp walls right next to the idyllic or privileged home life of Höss and his family, I was mostly bored with the film. However, I can understand that this was probably the reality. These people just sequestered off that side of their life and just didn't care or think about it much. It's cold and self-interested. Many people today would still do that if a similar situation arose again.

by Anonymousreply 222February 28, 2024 12:21 AM

[quote]We've seen the grandmother looking out of her window at night to experience the infernal orange glow of genocide. Behind her is an internal window which is pure white light. It's evident that she chooses the white light, and leaves. And Hedwig knows why.

The Grandmother didn't have a moral change of heart. Glazer likened it to enjoying a chicken sandwich - you like the food, but it doesn't mean you want to live next to a meat factory, watching animals be slaughtered all day. The grandmother was happy to see her Jewish neighbors deported, so she can bid on their things dirt cheap, it doesn't mean she wants to smell their remains being cooked next door.

by Anonymousreply 223February 28, 2024 12:46 AM

I agree R223, And just to clarify, the JEwish woman the Mother in law was referring to is a woman she used to work for. I think she said she cleaned for her. Because she wondered about her curtains! And joked about her being over there in the ovens. Hedwig was upset that she left and probably in that note, she complained about the noise and the smell, so Hedwig just shrugged and burned the note.

by Anonymousreply 224February 28, 2024 1:16 AM

R218 I would agree that this is a better and more important/significant film than Oppenheimer, but the latter has pretty unstoppable momentum carrying into the Oscars and has also made a lot of money for a lot of people.

by Anonymousreply 225February 28, 2024 10:06 AM

R224, we dont know anything about the note, it may or may not be about the noise and smell, but if it was only that i doubt the mother would leave without saying goodbye and just left a note that was upsetting to the daughter.

As filmed, this episode has multiple interpretations, not even the director can make a decisive one (otherwise he would have filmed something unambiguous).

I am not saying that the mother had a moral change of heart, but it certainly possible she did as well. It sometimes happened when people are confronted with reality. Again, multiple interpretations are possible, which is one of the interesting things about the movie.

by Anonymousreply 226February 28, 2024 12:21 PM

I thought burning the note was symbolic.

by Anonymousreply 227February 28, 2024 1:57 PM

R221 The Conspiracy cast is so good, especially Branagh, Firth and Tucci. The guy who plays Klopfer is terrifying.

by Anonymousreply 228February 28, 2024 2:50 PM

I've watched Conspiracy several times. Brilliant piece. Stanley Tucci's Eichmann was chilling. IMO the common thread in these Holocaust stories is the dehumanization of the Jews. It wasn't even that they were regarded as enemies on equal footing. It was about the fact that the Germans did not regard them as f ull human beings. They were denied their humanity and treated as vermin who had to be exterminated because they presented an existential threat to their world.

by Anonymousreply 229February 28, 2024 2:59 PM

[quote][R221] The Conspiracy cast is so good, especially Branagh, Firth and Tucci. The guy who plays Klopfer is terrifying.

I think the Firth character is interesting in that he kind of reminds me Trump administration types in that he enacted laws to marginalized the people that he hated (the jews), yet fails to realize that once fully in power, the SS doesn't give a shit about *the law* - it's a dictatorship & they'll kill whoever they want & don't need any law to do it. It's like they (the Firth character & Lord Nazi Lover from Remains of The Day) fail to realize that the beast they created is now turning on them.

by Anonymousreply 230February 28, 2024 7:49 PM

Good point R230 — MAGAs have shown they really don’t give a shit about “law & order” or the best interests of the country.

by Anonymousreply 231February 28, 2024 9:02 PM

I watched it online but regrettably the subtitles were obscured. So I just watched the visuals and got the gist of the story. Maybe my response would have been better if I could have understood the dialogue but I was underwhelmed by the film. The constant screaming of the baby in the first half really bothered me - but I guess it was meant to show the mother's lack of comfort. I felt the move to the Nazi meetings in the second half and leaving the home was an awkward shift. And the end didn't work for me. But I am prepared to give it a second viewing once I can see a better copy.

by Anonymousreply 232February 29, 2024 12:03 PM

I found it interesting that Hoss had an almost feminine speaking voice. Did the actor Christian Friedel put it on just for this role?

Sandra Huller was really fantastic. When this is on streaming the only bits I will ever watch again is when her character found out about the transfer and also when her reaction when her mother hightailed it out of there in the middle of the nacht.

by Anonymousreply 233March 1, 2024 5:20 AM

R233: Christian Friedel can be quite fey, and I love him for it. He's often cast as soft-spoken, bookish men (like the shy village schoolteacher in Haneke's "The White Ribbon"). He's a singer as well as an actor, and performs with his group Woods of Birnam. The video below is from the German series "Babylon Berlin" (somewhat popular with DLers at the time), in which he plays an openly gay police photographer in a relationship with an older journalist. I'm sure he's gay (and quietly out) in real life.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 234March 1, 2024 5:30 AM

A better video:

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 235March 1, 2024 5:31 AM

Society of the Snow is better than Zone of Interest.

by Anonymousreply 236March 1, 2024 6:50 AM

Huller’s was by far the best Best Supporting Actress performance of the year—she should have been nominated in that category as well.

by Anonymousreply 237March 1, 2024 11:15 AM

Christian Friedel typically radiates sweetness

by Anonymousreply 238March 1, 2024 3:51 PM

[quote]I found it interesting that Hoss had an almost feminine speaking voice. Did the actor Christian Friedel put it on just for this role?

He plays the gay photographer in "Babylon Berlin". That's his natural voice.

Also a singer with a stunning, angelic countertenor voice. (he sings a love song somewhere in season 3, see below)

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 239March 1, 2024 4:05 PM

If anyone is an unrepentant content pirate like myself, I am happy to report that there are now several high quality web rips of this movie now available on the various torrent sites. These are digital copies, not handheld cams with that dorky, slot playing Nigerian guy.

by Anonymousreply 240March 2, 2024 1:37 AM

I would recommend everyone to see this in the cinemas, r240, i think seeing it at home completely dilutes the experience (unlike other films nominated this year).

by Anonymousreply 241March 2, 2024 9:56 AM

Why be bothered by other people at a cinema when I have a giant size screen at home.

by Anonymousreply 242March 2, 2024 11:16 AM

Your screening will not be crowded, that's almost a given

by Anonymousreply 243March 2, 2024 4:32 PM

[quote]Holocaust films are so passé. Move on.

I hear you. I'm 57 and I saw the miniseries Holocaust on TV when I was 11 and then over the next few decades, too many holocaust movies to count. I do however recognize that not everybody is my age and they still need to hear about it. I started watching this movie not expecting to watch the whole thing. It's all very mundane but it grabbed me from start to finish.

by Anonymousreply 244March 2, 2024 4:45 PM

It's playing tonight only at my local suburban multiplex. It must be subsidized by the Academy or something, they're showing all the Best Picture nominees one night each until the Awards next Sunday. And the tickets were only $6 each for a 7:30 pm show!

I booked them online and so far only 4 tickets, including my 2, have been sold LOL

by Anonymousreply 245March 2, 2024 4:52 PM

Didn’t Hedwig put her mother’s note in a drawer and not the fireplace?

by Anonymousreply 246March 3, 2024 1:11 AM

I'm r245 and just saw it. No she put the note in a fireplace-type stove chimney thing. Definitely wasn't a drawer.

I'd been wanting to see this for weeks. I thought it was well done, but it wasn't what I expected. I can see how people either love it or hate it (although I'm neither). There were some powerful moments, and i was expecting the sound to be more harrowing after reading this thread.

I read the book, and it was NOT EVEN THE SAME STORY. I don't get why they'd even use the same title. "Banality of Evil" would have been better.

by Anonymousreply 247March 3, 2024 3:07 AM


Banality of Evil is too banal. Duh.

by Anonymousreply 248March 3, 2024 4:11 AM

R240 The sound design on this movie is so delicate and at the same time potent, from the very first black frames on, that watching on a small screen with tiny speakers would completely destroy the effect. I suspect you also wouldn't be able to hear the very low volume sounds emanating from the background action throughout the film.

Try to see this movie in a theater and if you're not able, watch it in a dark room with the sound turned up. You'll thank me for it. This is truly one of the greatest movies of the age.

by Anonymousreply 249March 3, 2024 6:09 AM

I think one issue with her not getting nominated is that I read her as the emotional lead of the film, definitely the lead actress. She's so much more interesting than what the actor is doing because she's expressing a specific viewpoint and desire.

by Anonymousreply 250March 3, 2024 6:37 AM

R241/R249 must own a theatre.

by Anonymousreply 251March 3, 2024 6:57 AM

I have a decent home theatre audio setup so I think I heard everything as intended.

For example, there is a scene in the beginning where the family is getting ready for bed and you could hear extremely faint screaming in the background from the camp. It was almost unnoticeable.

by Anonymousreply 252March 3, 2024 7:01 AM

[Quote] I would recommend everyone to see this in the cinemas, [R240], i think seeing it at home completely dilutes the experience (

I feel the same way about Oppenheimer

by Anonymousreply 253March 3, 2024 8:01 AM

Oops. I tried to post this in the MO Klan thread, and it popped up here.

I'm not lost, honest. Please ignore.

by Anonymousreply 254March 3, 2024 3:30 PM

The director made it clear in a NY Times video commentary that there were no Jews among the servants.

by Anonymousreply 255March 4, 2024 3:14 AM
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