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Toto The Hero Review


Extraordinary
Foreign art films are mostly appreciated by a small group of patrons and critics who like almost all foreign films, from The Rules of the Game right down to travesties like Blow-Up, and barely discriminate between a masterpiece and a skin flick. Meanwhile, mainstream audiences continue to ignore other European films. This is a shame, because a lot of European directors - well, at least a few - are making films that outshine American attempts in every genre.

With Toto the Hero, aka Toto Le Heros, Belgian newcomer Jaco Van Dormael created a whimsical and disturbing debut that was Belgium's biggest international hit to date. Toto Le Heros is a celebration of the absurd, a meditation on the eternal return, Back to the Future with a European sensibilite. What else can you say about a movie that makes obsessive love for one's sister, fantasies of murdering a rival, a life spent alone, and shoplifting and setting fire to buildings all seem sweet as an afternoon picnic?

Continue reading: Toto The Hero Review

The Marriage Of Maria Braun Review


Extraordinary
Quite a marriage our Maria Braun has... Unquestionably Fassbinder's masterpiece, this seminal 1979 work looks at the German post-War experience from a feminist view. After all, when the economy's in the toilet, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do in order to survive.

Hanna Schygulla plays Maria, who marries her beau Hermann (Klaus Löwitsch) toward the end of WWII, just as he's being shipped off to fight for the Nazis. When Hermann disappears, presumed dead, Maria soberly gives up her search for him in favor of taking a job as a prostitute at a dancehall/brothel for American soldiers stationed there. Hermann's sudden return finds her in bed with a large, black G.I., and Maria ends up killing the G.I. in a scuffle.

Continue reading: The Marriage Of Maria Braun Review

Toto The Hero Review


Extraordinary
Foreign art films are mostly appreciated by a small group of patrons and critics who like almost all foreign films, from The Rules of the Game right down to travesties like Blow-Up, and barely discriminate between a masterpiece and a skin flick. Meanwhile, mainstream audiences continue to ignore other European films. This is a shame, because a lot of European directors - well, at least a few - are making films that outshine American attempts in every genre.

With Toto the Hero, aka Toto Le Heros, Belgian newcomer Jaco Van Dormael created a whimsical and disturbing debut that was Belgium's biggest international hit to date. Toto Le Heros is a celebration of the absurd, a meditation on the eternal return, Back to the Future with a European sensibilite. What else can you say about a movie that makes obsessive love for one's sister, fantasies of murdering a rival, a life spent alone, and shoplifting and setting fire to buildings all seem sweet as an afternoon picnic?

Continue reading: Toto The Hero Review

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