Blue Is the Warmest Colour
Blue Is the Warmest Colour is a 2013 French romance film co-written, co-produced, directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, starring Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos. The film follows Adèle, a French teenager who discovers desire and freedom when an aspiring painter enters her life; the film charts their relationship from Adele's high school years to her early adult life and career as a school teacher. The premise of Blue Is the Warmest Colour is based on the 2010 graphic novel of the same name by Julie Maroh. Production began in March 2012, lasted six months. 800 hours of footage was shot, including extensive B-roll footage, with Kechiche trimming the final cut of the film down to 179 minutes. The film generated controversy upon its premiere at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and before its release. Much of the controversy was centered on claims of poor working conditions on set by the crew and the lead actresses, the film's raw depiction of sexuality. At the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, the film unanimously won the Palme d'Or from the official jury and the FIPRESCI Prize.
It is the first film to have the Palme d'Or awarded to both the director and the lead actresses, with Seydoux and Exarchopoulos joining Jane Campion as the only women to have won the award. The film had its North American premiere at the 2013 Telluride Film Festival; the film received critical acclaim and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film and the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language. Many critics declared it one of the best films of 2013. Adèle is an introverted 15-year-old high-school student. While crossing the street one day, she passes by a woman with short blue hair and is attracted, she dates and has sex with a boy from school named Thomas, but she is dissatisfied and breaks off their relationship. After having vivid fantasies about the woman she saw on the street and having one of her female friends kiss her, she becomes troubled about her sexual identity, her best friend, the gay Valentin, seems to understand her confusion and takes her to a gay dance bar.
After some time, Adèle leaves and walks into a lesbian bar, where she experiences assertive advances from some of the women. The blue-haired woman is there and intervenes, claiming Adèle is her cousin to those pursuing Adèle; the woman is a graduating art student. They begin to spend more time with each other. Adèle's friends ostracise her at school. Despite the backlash, she becomes close to Emma, their bond increases and before long, the two share a kiss at a picnic. They have sex and begin a passionate relationship. Emma's artsy family is welcoming to the couple, but Adèle tells her conservative, working-class parents that Emma is just a tutor for philosophy class. In the years that follow, the two women live with each other. Adèle finishes school and joins the teaching staff at a local elementary school, while Emma tries to move forward with her painting career throwing house parties to socialise with her circle. At one of these, Adèle meets some of them: a pregnant woman and colleague. Emma belittles Adèle's teaching career, encouraging her to find fulfilment in writing, while Adèle insists that she is happy the way she is.
It becomes apparent how little they have in common, emotional complexities manifest in the relationship. Out of loneliness and confusion Adèle sleeps with a male colleague. Emma becomes aware of the fling and furiously confronts Adèle and, refusing her tearful apologies, breaks up with her and throws her out. Time passes and although Adèle finds satisfaction in her job as a kindergarten teacher, she still cannot overcome her heartbreak; the two meet again in a restaurant. Adèle is still in love with Emma and despite the powerful connection, still there between them, Emma is now in a committed partnership with Lise, who now has a young daughter. Adèle holds it in. Emma admits that she does not feel sexually fulfilled but has accepted it as a part of her new phase in life, she reassures Adèle that their relationship was special, she will always have infinite tenderness for her. The two part on amicable terms. Adèle goes to Emma's new art exhibition. Hanging on one wall is a nude painting that Emma once did of her during the sensual bloom of their life together.
Though Emma acknowledges her, her attention is on the gallery's other guests and Lise. Adèle congratulates Emma on the success of her art and leaves after a brief conversation with Samir, he chases. Lesbian sexuality is one of the strongest themes of the film, as the narrative deals with Adele's exploration of her identity in this context. However, the film's treatment of lesbian sexuality has been questioned by academics. In Sight & Sound, film scholar Sophie Mayer suggests that in Blue is the Warmest Colour, "Like homophobia, the lesbian here melts away; as with many male fantasies of lesbianism, the film centres on the erotic success and affective failures of relations between women". The issue of perspective has been addressed in a Film Comment review by Kristin M. Jones, who points out that "Emma's sophisticated friends make eager remarks about art and female sexuality that seem to mirror the director's problematic approach toward the representati
Le Havre (film)
Le Havre is a 2011 comedy-drama film produced and directed by Aki Kaurismäki and starring André Wilms, Kati Outinen, Jean-Pierre Darroussin and Blondin Miguel. It tells the story of a shoeshiner who tries to save an immigrant child in the French port city Le Havre; the film was produced by Kaurismäki's Finnish company Sputnik with international co-producers in France and Germany. It is Kaurismäki's second French-language film, after La Vie de Bohème from 1992; the film premiered in competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, where it received the FIPRESCI Prize. Kaurismäki envisions it as the first installment in a trilogy about life in port cities, his ambition is to make follow-ups shot in the local languages. Marcel Marx, a former bohemian and struggling author, has given up his literary ambitions and relocated to the port city Le Havre, he leads a simple life based around his wife Arletty, his favourite bar and his not too profitable profession as a shoeshiner. As Arletty becomes ill, Marcel's path crosses with an underage illegal immigrant from Africa.
Marcel and friendly neighbors and other townspeople help to hide him from the police. The police inspector may, or may not, be hot on their heels. André Wilms as Marcel Marx Kati Outinen as Arletty Jean-Pierre Darroussin as Monet Blondin Miguel as Idrissa Elina Salo as Claire Évelyne Didi as Yvette Quoc Dung Nguyen as Chang Laika as Laika François Monnié as Grocer Roberto Piazza as himself Pierre Étaix as Doctor Becker Jean-Pierre Léaud as Denouncer Kaurismäki had the idea of a film about an African child who arrives in Europe three years before the production started, his original intention was to set the story on the Mediterranean coast, preferably in Italy or Spain, but he had difficulties finding a suitable city. According to Kaurismäki, he "drove through the whole seafront from Genoa to Holland", settled on Le Havre in northern France, which attracted him with its atmosphere and music scene; the script was written in the summer 2009. The names of several characters were chosen as homages to French film icons, such as Arletty and Jacques Becker.
The name of the lead character, Marcel Marx, was inspired by Karl Marx. The character had appeared in Kaurismäki's 1992 film La Vie de Bohème, where he was played by André Wilms; the character Monet was inspired by Porfiry Petrovich, the detective from Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. The budget was 3.8 million euro and included 750,000 euro in support from the Finnish Film Foundation. Kaurismäki's company Sputnik was the main producer, with Finnish broadcaster Yle, France's Pyramide Productions and Germany's Pandora Film as co-producers; the local rock singer Little Bob was cast in the film. Roberto Piazza is the Elvis of this Kingdom as long as Johnny Hallyday stays in Paris and then it would be a nice fight." Filming started 23 March and ended 12 May 2010. Le Havre premiered on 17 May 2011 in competition at the 64th Cannes Film Festival, it was the fourth time a film by Kaurismäki competed at the festival, after Drifting Clouds, The Man Without a Past and Lights in the Dusk. The Finnish premiere was on 9 September 2011 through Future Film Distribution.
Pyramide Distribution released it in France on 21 December of the same year. Janus Films acquired the American distribution rights. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a "Certified Fresh" rating of 99%, based on reviews from 89 critics, with an average rating of 7.7/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Aki Kaurismäki's deadpan wit hits a graceful note with Le Havre, a comedy/drama that's sweet and uplifting in equal measure." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 82 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". Leslie Felperin wrote in Variety: "It's all rather jolly and slight, doesn't break any new ground for the Finnish auteur though it foregrounds more influences than usual from French filmmakers like Marcel Carné, Jean-Pierre Melville, Robert Bresson and others, but on its own terms, Le Havre is a continual pleasure, seamlessly blending morose and merry notes with a deftness that's up there with Kaurismäki's best comic work." Felperin complimented the craft of Kaurismäki's regular cinematographer Timo Salminen and editor Timo Linnasalo, wrote: "It's like listening to a band that's been cheerfully churning it out for years, whose members all know each other's timings inside out, not unlike onscreen performers Little Bob and his grizzled in-sync crew."
The film received the FIPRESCI Prize for best film at the Cannes Film Festival. It received a Special Mention from the Ecumenical Jury; the dog Laika received a special Jury Prize from the Palm Dog jury. The film went on to win the top prize for best international film at the 2011 Munich International Film Festival, it was selected as a nominee for the European Parliament's Lux Prize. The film was selected as the Finnish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards, but it did not make the final shortlist. Le Havre won the Gold Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival. List of submissions to the 84th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film List of Finnish submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film Official website Le Havre on IMDb Le Havre at AllMovie Le Havre at Box Office Mojo Le Havre at the British Board of Film Classification Le Havre at the British Film Institute Le Havre at Metacritic Le Havre at Rotten Tomatoes Le Havre at the Swedish Film Institute Database Le Havre: “Always Be a Human” an essay by Michael Sicinski at the Criterion Collection
Ida is a 2013 drama film directed by Paweł Pawlikowski and written by Pawlikowski and Rebecca Lenkiewicz. Set in Poland in 1962, it is about a young woman on the verge of taking vows as a Catholic nun. Orphaned as an infant during the German occupation of World War II, she must now meet her aunt; the former Communist state prosecutor and only surviving relative tells her that her parents were Jewish. The two women embark on a road trip into the Polish countryside to learn the fate of their family. Called a "compact masterpiece" and an "eerily beautiful road movie", the film has been said to "contain a cosmos of guilt and pain" if certain historical events remain unsaid: "none of this is stated, but all of it is built, so to speak, into the atmosphere: the country feels dead, the population sparse". Ida won the 2015 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, becoming the first Polish film to do so, it had earlier been selected as Best Film of 2014 by the European Film Academy and as Best Film Not in the English Language of 2014 by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
In 2016, the film was named as the 55th best film of the 21st century, from a poll of 177 film critics from around the world. In the 1960s Polish People's Republic, Anna, a young novice nun, is told by her prioress that before she takes her vows she must visit her aunt, Wanda Gruz, her only surviving relative. Anna travels to visit her aunt Wanda, a chain-smoking, hard-drinking, sexually promiscuous judge who reveals that Anna's actual name is Ida Lebenstein. Ida's parents had been Jews who were murdered late in the German occupation of Poland during World War II. Ida was an infant, as an orphan she had been raised by the convent. Wanda, a Communist resistance fighter against the German occupation, had become the state prosecutor "Red Wanda" who sent "men to their deaths". Wanda tells Ida that she should try some worldly sins and pleasures before she decides to take her vows. On their way to their hotel for the night, Wanda picks up a hitchhiker, who turns out to be an alto saxophone player, going to a gig in the same town.
Wanda tries to get Ida interested in Lis, to come to his show, but she resists until drifting down after hours to watch the little band wrapping up their evening with a song after the crowd has left. Lis is indeed drawn to Ida and talks with her before she leaves for the night to rejoin her aunt, passed out in their room. Ida wants to find the graves of her parents. Wanda asks her what would happen if she goes to where their bodies are buried and discovers that God is not there. Wanda takes her to the house they were born in and used to own, now occupied by a Pole, Feliks Skiba and his family. Wanda had left her young son with Ida's family during the war. Wanda, a former prosecutor, demands that Feliks and his father tell her what happened to the Lebensteins. Feliks agrees to tell them—if Ida promises that they will leave the Skibas alone and give up any claim to the house. Feliks digs up the bones of their family, he admits to Ida that he killed them. Feliks says that because Ida was small and able to pass for a Christian, he was able to give her to a convent.
But Wanda's small son was "dark and circumcised". He couldn't pass for a Christian child, Feliks had killed him along with Ida's parents. Wanda and Ida take the bones to their family burial plot, in an abandoned, overgrown Jewish cemetery in Lublin, bury them. Wanda and Ida part ways and return to their previous existences and routines, but they both have been profoundly affected by their experience, nothing is the same. Although Wanda continues to drink and engage in meaningless casual sex, she is now mourning not only the loss of her son and sister, but the niece whom she has just met and who reminds her of her sister. Ida returns to the convent but is visibly unenthusiastic about her life there, sees some of it with a new perspective of humor. Wanda's melancholy deepens and she jumps to her death out of her apartment window. Ida returns to attend Wanda's funeral. At Wanda's apartment, Ida changes out of her nun's habit and into Wanda's stilettos and evening gown, tries smoking and drinking, goes to Lis' gig, where he teaches her to dance.
After the show Ida and Lis sleep together. The next morning Lis suggests they get married, have children, after that, live "life as usual." After sleeping with him one more time, Ida arises without awakening Lis, dons her convent habit again and leaves. Agata Trzebuchowska as Anna / Ida Lebenstein Agata Kulesza as Wanda Gruz Dawid Ogrodnik as Lis Adam Szyszkowski as Feliks Skiba Jerzy Trela as Szymon Skiba Joanna Kulig as a singer The director of Ida, Paweł Pawlikowski, was born in Poland and lived his first fourteen years there. In 1971 his mother abruptly emigrated with him to England, where he became a prominent filmmaker. Ida is his first Polish film. Ida was filmed in Poland with a cast and crew, drawn from the Polish film industry; the film received crucial early funding from the Polish Film Institute based on a screenplay by Pawlikowski and Rebecca Lenkiewicz, an English playwright. Once the support from the Polish Film Institute had been secured, producer Eric Abraham underwrote production of the film.
Of Gods and Men (film)
Of Gods and Men is a 2010 French drama film directed by Xavier Beauvois, starring Lambert Wilson and Michael Lonsdale. Its original French language title is Des hommes et des dieux, which means "Of Men and of Gods" and refers to a verse from the Bible shown at the beginning of the film, it centers on the monastery of Tibhirine, where nine Trappist monks lived in harmony with the Muslim population of Algeria, until seven of them were kidnapped and assassinated in 1996 during the Algerian Civil War. A tale of a peaceful situation between local Christians and Muslims before becoming a lethal one due to external forces, the screenplay focuses on the preceding chain of events in decay of government, expansion of terrorism, the monks' confrontation with both the terrorists and the government authorities that led up to their deaths. Principal photography took place at an abandoned monastery in Morocco; the film premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Grand Prix, the festival's second most prestigious award.
It became a critical and commercial success in its domestic market, won both the Lumières Award and César Award for Best Film. The film opens with a quotation from the Book of Psalms, Psalm 82:6–7: "I have said, Ye are gods, but ye shall die like men, fall like one of the princes." The monks' peaceful routine of prayer, medical assistance, community interaction is soon interrupted by the threat of an Islamic fundamentalist group. When their elected leader, declines the protection of the corrupt civil authority, the monks divide amongst themselves on the question of whether to stay or flee Algeria. Before a decision is reached, a group of fundamentalists, led by Ali Fayattia, enters the monks' compound in force on Christmas Eve and demands their doctor and his medical supplies. Christian cites the Quran as proof of the monks' goodwill. With a mixture of surprise and respect, Fayattia leaves the compound and grants it his protection until his capture and death at the hands of government forces.
Despite the growing danger, the monks come to consensus on the moral importance of maintaining their committed lives with, ministry to, the local population when faced with violence and death. The terrorists seize most of the monks during a nighttime raid and hold them hostage; as the captive monks trudge a snowy path towards a grim fate, the film concludes with the spiritual testament of Prior Christian de Chergé, bravely written in the face of death. Lambert Wilson as Christian Michael Lonsdale as Luc Olivier Rabourdin as Christophe Philippe Laudenbach as Célestin Jacques Herlin as Amédée Loïc Pichon as Jean-Pierre Xavier Maly as Michel Jean-Marie Frin as Paul Abdelhafid Metalsi as Nouredine Sabrina Ouazani as Rabbia Abdallah Moundy as Omar Olivier Perrier as Bruno Farid Larbi as Ali Fayattia Adel Bencherif as the terrorist In 1996, seven French Trappist monks from the monastery of Tibhirine, were kidnapped and found beheaded; the Armed Islamic Group of Algeria claimed full responsibility for the incident.
However, according to documents from French secret services, it is possible that the killings were a mistake carried out by the Algerian army during a rescue attempt. A scholarly book on the events was published in 2002, John W. Kiser's The Monks of Tibhirine: Faith and Terror in Algeria; the film project was initiated by Etienne Comar in 2006, when the tenth anniversary of the incident made it a topic again in French media. Comar, a film producer by profession and a Catholic, had been fascinated by the monks since the earliest news of the abduction, but felt that their death had overshadowed what he thought was interesting: why they had decided to stay in Algeria despite the ongoing Algerian Civil War. Comar contacted Xavier Beauvois in 2008 after having written a draft, together they continued to work on the screenplay; the two researched, met with theologians, during a break Beauvois chose to live for six days at the Tamié Abbey in Savoie. Some inspiration was taken from writings by two of the Tibhirine monks, Christian de Chergé and Christophe Lebreton.
Franco-American monastic consultant Henry Quinson was asked to correct and add historical and liturgical content for further authenticity. The script was sent to relatives of the deceased monks, most of whom reacted positively to the project; the financing coincided with the revelation of the Algerian army's possible involvement in the incident, which once again sparked an interest for the story from media and the public. Production was led by Why Not Productions with France 3 as co-producers. Financial support was granted by the CNC; the budget was €4 million euro. As preparation for their roles, François Polgar, the former assistant director of the choir of the Paris Opera, former director of Le Chœur de Radio France and director of The Paris Boys Choir, trained for a month the actors who were to play monks in the Cistercian and Gregorian chants; each actor spent a week living as a monk at the Tamié Abbey. The actors used different approaches to their individual roles. Lambert Wilson used Christian de Chergé's writings to develop a subjective perception of the monk's personality.
Xavier Maly, a non-Catholic, prepared himself by praying every day for a month. Jean-Marie Frin based his interpretation on a home video from Paul Favre-Miville's vow. Michael Lonsdale on the other hand preferred to rely on instinct, did not prepare much at all. Filming started in early December 2009 in Meknes and ended two months later; the main filming location was the Benedictine monastery of Toumliline, which had stood unused and unattended for more than 40 years. The film team, und
Cristian Mungiu is a Romanian filmmaker. He won the Palme d'Or at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival for his film 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, which he wrote and directed, he has won the awards for Best Screenplay and Best Director, at the 2012 and 2016 Cannes Film Festivals, for his films Beyond the Hills and Graduation. Mungiu was born in Iași, his sister is political analyst Alina Mungiu-Pippidi. After studying English literature at the University of Iaşi, he worked for a few years as a teacher and as a journalist. After that, he enrolled at the University of Film in Bucharest to study film directing. After graduating in 1998, Mungiu made several short films. In 2002, he debuted with his first feature film, which enjoyed critical success, winning prizes in several film festivals and being featured in Director’s Fortnight at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. In 2007, Mungiu directed his second feature, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days; the film was received enthusiastically, attracting critical praise and being selected in the official competition at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Palme d'Or for feature film, marking the first time that prize was awarded to a Romanian filmmaker.
His 2012 film Beyond the Hills was screened in competition at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival where Mungiu won the award for Best Screenplay and Cristina Flutur and Cosmina Stratan shared the award for Best Actress. The film was selected as the Romanian entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards, making the January shortlist. In 2013, he produced the next film of 6.9 on Richter. In April 2013, he was selected as a member of the main competition jury at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, his next film, premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. The film was in competition for the Palme d'Or. Mungiu has said that early Miloš Forman and Robert Altman are important filmmakers who influenced him, he respects the realism of Bicycle Thieves, among other famous realistic films. Romanian Royal Family: 70th Knight of the Royal Decoration of the Cross of the Romanian Royal House 2000 Corul pompierilor Nicio întâmplare Zapping 2002 – Occident 2005 – Lost and Found - segment Turkey Girl 2007 – 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days 2009 – Tales from the Golden Age 2012 – Beyond the Hills 2016 – Graduation Romanian New Wave Cristian Mungiu on IMDb 7 scenarii, Editura LiterNet - screenplays volume by Cristian Mungiu interview with 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days director Cristian Mungiu at european-films.net
The World (film)
The World is a 2004 Chinese film written and directed by Jia Zhangke. Starring Jia's muse, Zhao Tao, as well as Chen Taisheng, The World was filmed on and around an actual theme park located in Beijing, Beijing World Park, which recreates world landmarks at reduced scales for Chinese tourists; the World was Jia's first to gain official approval from the Chinese government. Additionally, it was the first of his films to take place outside of his home province of Shanxi; the World was a joint-production by Jia Zhangke's own Xstream Pictures, Japan's Office Kitano, France's Lumen Films. It received additional financial support from the Shanghai Film Studio and several Japanese corporations including Bandai Visual and Tokyo FM, among others; the film premiered in competition at the 2004 Venice Film Festival on September 4, 2004, but failed to win the coveted Golden Lion, the festival's top award, which went to Mike Leigh's drama Vera Drake, but which Jia would win two years with Still Life. The World premiered in 2004 at the New York Film Festival and would go on to receive a limited release in New York City the following year on July 1, 2005.
The World tells the story of two workers at Beijing World Park: a performer and Taisheng, a security guard and Tao's boyfriend. As the film begins, Tao is visited by her ex-boyfriend, on his way to Ulan Batur. Taisheng meets Tao and the ex-boyfriend at a small diner and insists on driving him to the Beijing Railway Station. From this awkward introduction, the relationship between Tao and Taisheng grows strained. Taisheng, frustrated that Tao refuses to have sex with him, is busy with fellow migrants from his home province of Shanxi. One, Chen Zhijun nicknamed "Little Sister," is a childhood friend of Taisheng's and comes to him looking for a job. Taisheng manages to put him in touch with someone and he finds work as a construction worker. Tao, meets one of World Park's Russian performers, a woman named Anna. Though Anna speaks no Chinese, Tao no Russian, the two become unlikely friends. Anna confesses to Tao that she will quit her job and implies that she must prostitute herself in order to make enough money to see her sister in Ulan Batur.
While at a karaoke bar, Tao runs into Anna and confirms that Anna has indeed become a prostitute. Anna runs away and Tao cries, neither quite knowing what the other is thinking; as for Taisheng, he soon proves to possess a roving eye. When one of his associates asks him to drive a woman, Qun, to Taiyuan so that she can deal with her gambling brother, Taisheng agrees. Taisheng becomes enraptured with Qun shortly afterwards, the two meet at Qun's small clothing shop. There, Qun tells Taisheng about her husband. Since she has tried with some difficulty to obtain a visa to join him. Though he pursues her, Qun rejects Taisheng's physical propositions. Taisheng convinces Tao to have sex with him, with Tao threatening that she will poison him if he betrays her, his life, however spirals out of control when "Little Sister" is killed in a construction accident. Sometime after the accidental death of Little Sister and Niu, two other performers at World Park, announce that they plan to wed, despite the fact that Niu is dangerously jealous and unstable.
At the wedding, Tao discovers a text-message sent from Qun, who has at last received her visa, to Taisheng, saying that their meeting and relationship was destined. Believing that Taisheng has indeed betrayed her, Tao is devastated and cuts off contact with him while she house-sits for Wei and Niu; when Taisheng comes to visit her there, she ignores him. Sometime Taisheng and Tao have succumbed to the gas leak in their friends' apartment; as the film fades to black, Taisheng's voice asks, "Are we dead?" "No," Tao's voice responds, "this is only the beginning." Zhao Tao as Tao, the film's heroine, a young woman and a performer at the Beijing World Park. Chen Taisheng as Taisheng, a Shanxi-native who has lived in Beijing for three years. Taisheng has become something of a fixture for Shanxi migrants who come to him looking for a place to work. Jing Jue as Wei, one of Tao's fellow performers. Jiang Zhongwei as Niu, another performer and Wei's possessive and paranoid boyfriend. Huang Yiqun as Qun, a native of Wenzhou, Qun operates a clothing shop.
Wang Hongwei as Sanlai, a friend of Taisheng's and another Shanxi native. Ji Shuai as Erxiao, a Shanxi native and Taisheng's cousin, whom Taisheng has gotten a job as a security guard at World Park. Erxiao is fired for stealing from the performers while they are on stage. Xiang Wan as Youyou, another performer, Youyou carries on an affair with the park's director and parleys it into a promotion to troupe director. Alla Shcherbakova as Anna, a Russian immigrant and performer at World Park. Han Sanming as Sanming, a relative of Little Sister who comes to Beijing after his death to help his family collect compensation. Sanming reappears in Still Life, Jia's follow-up to The World, this time as a lead actor; the film's nascence began after Jia had lived in Beijing for several years in 2000. After two films based in his native province of Shanxi, Jia decided to make a film about his impressions of Beijing as a world city, after a cousin back home asked him about life in a metropolitan environment. Jia, would not began writing the screenplay until after the release of his next film Unknown Pleasures, in 2003 during the SARS outbreak.
The screenplay took a year to write, over which time the story changed, such that it became harder to distinguish the fact that it took place
The Lives of Others
The Lives of Others is a 2006 German drama film, marking the feature film debut of filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, about the monitoring of East Berlin residents by agents of the Stasi, the GDR's secret police. It stars Ulrich Mühe as Stasi Captain Gerd Wiesler, Ulrich Tukur as his superior Anton Grubitz, Sebastian Koch as the playwright Georg Dreyman, Martina Gedeck as Dreyman's lover, a prominent actress named Christa-Maria Sieland; the film was released in Germany on 23 March 2006. At the same time, the screenplay was published by Suhrkamp Verlag; the Lives of Others won the 2006 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. The film had earlier won seven Deutscher Filmpreis awards—including those for best film, best director, best screenplay, best actor, best supporting actor—after setting a new record with 11 nominations, it was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 64th Golden Globe Awards. The Lives of Others cost US$2 million and grossed more than US$77 million worldwide as of November 2007.
Released 17 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, marking the end of the East German socialist state, it was the first notable drama film about the subject after a series of comedies such as Good Bye, Lenin! and Sonnenallee. This approach was applauded in Germany as some criticized the humanization of Wiesler's character. Many former East Germans were stunned by the factual accuracy of the film's set and atmosphere portraying a state which merged with West Germany and ceased to exist 16 years prior to the release; the film's authenticity was considered notable, given that the director grew up outside of East Germany and was only 16 when the Berlin Wall fell. In 1984 East Germany, Stasi Hauptmann Gerd Wiesler, code name HGW XX/7, is ordered to spy on the playwright Georg Dreyman, who has escaped state scrutiny due to his pro-Communist views and international recognition. Wiesler and his team bug the apartment, set up surveillance equipment in an attic, begin reporting Dreyman's activities.
Wiesler learns that Dreyman has been put under surveillance at the request of Minister of Culture, Bruno Hempf, who covets Dreyman's girlfriend, actress Christa-Maria Sieland. After an intervention by Wiesler leads to Dreyman's discovering Sieland's relationship with Hempf, he implores her not to meet him again. Sieland flees to a nearby bar, she returns home and reconciles with Dreyman. At Dreyman's birthday party, his friend Albert Jerska gives him sheet music for Sonate vom Guten Menschen. Shortly afterwards, Jerska hangs himself. Dreyman decides to publish an anonymous article in a prominent West German newsweekly. Dreyman's article accuses the state of concealing the country's elevated suicide rates. Since all East German typewriters are registered and identifiable, an editor of Der Spiegel smuggles Dreyman a miniature typewriter with a red ribbon. Dreyman is seen by Sieland; when Dreyman and his friends feign a defection attempt to determine whether or not his flat is bugged, Wiesler does not alert the border guards or his superior Lt. Col. Anton Grubitz and the conspirators believe they are safe.
Dreyman's article is published. The Stasi are unable to link it to any registered typewriter. Livid at being rejected by Sieland, Hempf orders Grubitz to arrest her, she is blackmailed into revealing Dreyman's authorship of the article, although when the Stasi search his apartment, they cannot find the typewriter. Grubitz, suspicious that Wiesler has mentioned nothing unusual in his daily reports of the monitoring, orders him to do the follow-up interrogation of Sieland. Wiesler forces Sieland to tell him. Grubitz and the Stasi return to Dreyman's apartment. Sieland realizes that Dreyman will know she flees the apartment; when Grubitz removes the floor, the typewriter is gone—Wiesler having removed it before the search team arrived. Unaware of this, Sieland runs to the street and commits suicide by stepping into the path of a truck. Grubitz informs Wiesler that the investigation is over and so is Wiesler's career: his remaining 20 years with the agency will be in Department M, a dead-end position for disgraced agents.
On November 9, 1989, Wiesler is steam-opening letters when a co-worker tells him about the fall of the Berlin Wall. Wiesler silently leaves the office, inspiring his co-workers to do the same. Two years Hempf and Dreyman meet while attending a performance of Dreyman's play. Dreyman asks the former minister. Hempf tells him that he had been under full surveillance in 1984. Dreyman finds the listening devices. At the Stasi Records Agency, Dreyman reviews, he reads that Sieland was released just before the second search and could not have removed the typewriter. He is at first confused by the false and contradictory information regarding his activities, but when he reaches the final report, he sees a fingerprint in red ink. Dreyman realizes that the officer in charge of his surveillance—Stasi officer HGW XX/7—had concealed his illegal activities, including his authorship of the suicide article, that he had removed the typewriter from his apartment. Dreyman searches for Wiesler. Unsure of what to say to him, he decides not to approach him.
Two years Wiesler passes a bookstore window display promoting Dreyman's new novel, Sonate vom Guten Menschen. He goes inside and opens a c