Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Gloomy Sunday

Rolf Schubel, 1999, Germany (8.3*)
This is a very interesting romantic story that eventually involves the holocaust. In a gourmet restaurant in Budapest, the owner, pianist, and a visitor from Germany all fall in love with the ravishing hostess, played by Erika Marozsan. Over time, she, the pianist and owner all form a close knit friendship and agree having half of Erika is better than nothing. The pianist writes a song for the hostess, called Gloomy Sunday, that eventually becomes a famous song, with unexpected consequences. The rise of the Nazis also enters their lives as the stories of all four people are connected by the war. Very good sleeper film, good acting, sensitive and not overt like many of these, and with a major plot twist or two as well.


© John Warwick Arden February 23, 2009 at 6:27 PM  

Yes, this is indeed a great movie, and profoundly underappreciated.

Except in New Zealand! Did you know there is a location in New Zealand where they have a regular public screening of this movie, and have done since it was released? I heard about it a few months ago; I knew the unlikeliest cults spring up in the unlikeliest of places, for the most obscure reasons, but this just makes them more fascinating and even more irresistable!

I made a mental note a while ago to do some research, and your article has goaded me into action; I will get back to you with further and better particulars, if you are interested!

José Sinclair February 23, 2009 at 6:39 PM  

yes, very interesting indeed! seems like they might show all holocaust or all WW2 films instead of just this one..

saw a couple of others I liked, similar subjects: Black Book, Verhoeven film of a true story of a Jewish double agent in Holland; The Harmonists, about a german singing group that got big between the wars (this one's a lot lighter than the other two, but has good music). Then there's always Mephisto, the excellent Hungarian film (Oscar winner, foreign language), based on a true story, of Klaus Mann's (son of Thomas) wife's brother, who was an actor in Germany!

later - Thanks for the comments!

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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