THE DARK VALLEY
DAS FINSTERE TAL
2013, 114 min, Austria, Germany, Dir: Andreas Prochaska

In this adaptation of Thomas Willmann’s best-seller, a classic Western plays out in a late-nineteenth century alpine village. When a man named Greider (Sam Riley) arrives on horseback carrying a camera, he is met with distrust by the locals, who are led by the sons of Old Brenner, a brutal patriarch who holds the entire community under his thumb. The stranger has come to do more than take photographs, as a series of mysterious deaths exposes a terrible tradition as well as Greider’s connection to the remote valley. Prochaska’s fresh approach to the genre, along with cinematographer Thomas Kiennast’s stunning visuals and Matthias Weber’s ominous orchestral score earned THE DARK VALLEY eight German Film Awards. In German with English subtitles.


BELOVED SISTERS
DIE GELIEBTEN SCHWESTERN
2014, Music Box, 171 min, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Dir: Dominik Graf

The sisters of the title, unhappily married Caroline von Beulwitz (Hannah Herzsprung) and shy Charlotte von Lengefeld (Henriette Confurius), vow to share everything - even noted poet and playwright Friedrich Schiller (Florian Stetter). This complex romantic drama, set in late-18th century Germany, earned a Bavarian Film Award for cinematographer Michael Wiesweg’s gorgeous visuals. “Graf has created an unusually intelligent costume drama of bold personalities torn between the stirrings of the heart and the logic of the mind.” - Scott Foundas, Variety. In German and French with English subtitles.


TESS
1979, Janus Films, 186 min, France, UK, Dir: Roman Polanski

Dedicated to his late wife, director Roman Polanski’s adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles is both luminous and tinted with sorrow. Nastassja Kinski stars in the title role as a Victorian-era farm girl, tragically caught between a lustful aristocrat (Leigh Lawson) and the man who really loves her (Peter Firth). Nominated for six Academy Awards, the film won Oscars for Best Art Direction, Costume Design and Cinematography.


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