The Lives of Others (2006)

“I have to show you something: “Prison Conditions for Subversive Artists: Based on Character Profile”. Pretty scientific, eh? And look at this: “Dissertation Supervisor, A. Grubitz”. That’s great, isn’t it? I only gave him a B. They shouldn’t think getting a doctorate with me is easy. But his is first-class. Did you know that there…

Fox and his Friends (1975)

“There are drunks lying everywhere! The state should do something. It’s the same everywhere. In Helsinki recently, there were so many drunks lying around even though it’s hard to get alcohol in Finland.” ‘Fox and his Friends’, directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder in 1975, is a German drama starring the director as a naïve, semi-literate…

Spartacus (1960)

“Your followers are deluded enough to trust you. I intend that you shall speak to them tomorrow for their own good, their peaceful and profitable future. From time to time thereafter, I may find it useful to bring you back to Rome to continue your duty to her, to calm the envious spirit and the…

Notorious (1946)

“When he told me a few years ago what he was, everything went to pot. I didn’t care what happened to me. Now I remember how nice he once was, how nice we both were. It’s a very curious feeling, a feeling as if something had happened to me, not to him. You see I…

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

“You take the trouble to construct a civilization, to build a society based on the principles of… of principle. You make government and art and realize that they are, must be, both the same. You bring things to the saddest of all points, to the point where there is something to lose. Then, all at…

The Right Stuff (1983)

“There was a demon that lived in the air. They said whoever challenged him would die. Their controls would freeze up, their planes would buffet wildly, and they would disintegrate. The demon lived at Mach 1 on the meter, seven hundred and fifty miles an hour, where the air could no longer move out of…

Caro diario (1993)

(On watching ‘Henry – Portrait of a Serial Killer) “I wandered around the city for hours trying to remember who was it that said good things about this film. I read a review in a paper. I read something positive about “Henry”. Suddenly, I remember… I find the review and I copy it in my…

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

“You know that, after the war, we had very bad years in Germany. We got poorer and poorer. Every day retired officers or schoolteachers were caught shoplifting. Money lost its value, the price of everything rose except of human beings. We read in the newspapers that the after-war years were bad everywhere, that crime was…

Force Majeure (2014)

“There’s nothing in your head that you haven’t said!” ‘Force Majeure’, directed by Ruben Östlund in 2014, is a Swedish domestic drama. A businessman called Tomas, Johannes Bah Kuhnke, is spending the week skiing with his family: his wife Ebba, played by Lisa Loven Kongsli, and his two children. One lunchtime, they are outside on…

The Player (1992)

“I was just thinking what an interesting concept it is to eliminate the writer from the artistic process. If we could just get rid of these actors and directors, maybe we’ve got something here.” ‘The Player’, directed by Robert Altman in 1992, is an American satire on Hollywood. Tim Robbins plays Griffin Mill, a studio…

Children of a Lesser God (1986)

“Do you think there’s someplace where we can meet that’s not in silence and not in sound?” ‘Children of a Lesser God’, directed by Randa Haines in 1986, is an American romantic drama set in a school for the deaf in New England. James Leeds, played by William Hurt, is a new and charismatic teacher…

Sleeper (1973)

“This was Josef Stalin. He was a communist, I was not too crazy about him, had a bad moustache, lot of bad habits. This is Bela Lugosi. He was, he was the mayor of New York City for a while, you can see what it did to him there, you know. This is, uhm, this…