Stefano Dionisi

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Gloomy Sunday - Ein Lied Von Liebe Und Tod Review


Good
This melodrama is set against the backdrop of World War II, the invasion of Budapest, and the Holocaust. Amazing how much heft love triangles gain when set against the backdrop of global crises. Gloomy Sunday - Ein Lied von Liebe und Tod is an epic period film with a ménage-a-trois at its center; one that asks its audience to wish happiness upon a merry threesome that tries to get along despite the world falling apart around them. That would be a clever enough twist, told with surprising poignancy and depth, but Gloomy Sunday goes even better. Its title refers to that famous European ballad that became notorious for supposedly driving its listeners to suicide, and indeed that titular song becomes the crux of the film. One of the threesome, moody pianist András (Stefano Dionisi), is the composer of that ballad --and the conscience of the film as lost souls die around him and the Nazis come to town.

Director Rolf Schübel handles 1930s Budapest with period film stateliness, but he encourages lively performances from his three leads. Erika Marozsán is a sumptuous young hostess to restaurant owner Laszlo, played with flair and a touch of good-natured swarthiness by Joachim Król (Run Lola Run). Laszlo hires András to play in his restaurant, they both fall for the same woman, and they find an accommodating relationship. It's handled with an appropriately light touch.

Continue reading: Gloomy Sunday - Ein Lied Von Liebe Und Tod Review

Sleepless Review


OK
You've got to hand it to Dario Argento -- he might be a king of schlock, but he sure is inventive about it.

With Sleepless (a direct-to-video feature), Argento somehow convinced Max von Sydow to appear in this story about a decades-old killer who appears to have come back from the dead. Or is it a copycat killer? Von Sydow plays an old Italian(!) police detective who solved a 1983 serial killing spree in Turin. Long since retired, he is called upon once again when the same M.O. turns up in a rash of murders in the present. Argento spikes this derivative plot idea with some curious (to say the least) plot details. The original killer was a dwarf -- and the police round up the entire Turin dwarf population in the present-day investigation. And some of the murders are nothing short of bizarre -- most notably when one poor girl gets repeatedly impaled through the face with a clarinet, shown in graphic detail. Argento's usual touches -- plenty of gore in extreme close-up -- are readily found.

Continue reading: Sleepless Review

Gloomy Sunday - Ein Lied Von Liebe Und Tod Review


Good
This melodrama is set against the backdrop of World War II, the invasion of Budapest, and the Holocaust. Amazing how much heft love triangles gain when set against the backdrop of global crises. Gloomy Sunday - Ein Lied von Liebe und Tod is an epic period film with a ménage-a-trois at its center; one that asks its audience to wish happiness upon a merry threesome that tries to get along despite the world falling apart around them. That would be a clever enough twist, told with surprising poignancy and depth, but Gloomy Sunday goes even better. Its title refers to that famous European ballad that became notorious for supposedly driving its listeners to suicide, and indeed that titular song becomes the crux of the film. One of the threesome, moody pianist András (Stefano Dionisi), is the composer of that ballad --and the conscience of the film as lost souls die around him and the Nazis come to town.

Director Rolf Schübel handles 1930s Budapest with period film stateliness, but he encourages lively performances from his three leads. Erika Marozsán is a sumptuous young hostess to restaurant owner Laszlo, played with flair and a touch of good-natured swarthiness by Joachim Król (Run Lola Run). Laszlo hires András to play in his restaurant, they both fall for the same woman, and they find an accommodating relationship. It's handled with an appropriately light touch.

Continue reading: Gloomy Sunday - Ein Lied Von Liebe Und Tod Review

The Loss Of Sexual Innocence Review


Weak
Jesus, when I went to the movies today I didn't know I was going to have to think!

Mike Figgis, the genius behind Leaving Las Vegas, has put together one dense piece of celluloid here, his first outing since One Night Stand tanked last year.

Continue reading: The Loss Of Sexual Innocence Review

Stefano Dionisi

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