THE VIRGIN SPRING
JUNGFRUKÄLLAN
1960, Janus Films, 89 min, Sweden, Dir: Ingmar Bergman

In this period piece set in medieval Sweden, Max von Sydow plays a deeply religious rural farmer who questions his faith when his daughter is raped and murdered. His response to the crime facilitates a classic Bergman inquiry into the existence of God and the juxtaposition between brutality and beauty that informs daily life. An uncommonly poetic treatment of material harsh enough to have inspired, among many other films, Wes Craven’s LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. In Swedish with English subtitles.


EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE
2011, Warner Bros., 129 min, USA, Dir: Stephen Daldry

Eleven-year-old amateur inventor, Francophile and pacifist Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) discovers a mysterious key among the belongings of his deceased father (Tom Hanks), who died a year earlier in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Determined to keep his vital connection to the man who playfully cajoled him into confronting his wildest fears, the young boy embarks on an urgent search for the lock the key will open. As Oskar crosses the five New York boroughs on foot - encountering a range of people (including an excellent Max von Sydow) who are each survivors in their own way - he begins to uncover unseen links to the father he misses, to the mother (Sandra Bullock) who has become so emotionally distant and to the whole noisy, dangerous and often wondrous world around him. Adapted from the acclaimed bestseller by Jonathan Safran Foer. Nominated for 2 Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor (von Sydow).


HANNAH AND HER SISTERS
1986, Park Circus/MGM, 103 min, USA, Dir: Woody Allen

Woody Allen’s brilliant romantic comedy set in New York City over a Thanksgiving holiday follows well-adjusted Hannah (Mia Farrow) and her slightly lost siblings Lee (Barbara Hershey) and Holly (Dianne Wiest), all playing virtual musical chairs with a gang of lovers (including Allen, Michael Caine, Max Von Sydow and Sam Waterston). With Lloyd Nolan and Margaret Sullivan (Mia’s real-life mom) as the women’s nostalgically careening parents, and Carrie Fisher as Holly’s poisonous best friend April. Winner of three Academy Awards, two for Best Supporting performances (Caine and Weist) and Best Screenplay for Allen.


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