in cinemas November 17 (festival opens)
One of the giants of German cinema, Fritz Lang, was a visionary director whose silent films (Metropolis, 1927 etc.), and many subsequent sound films, including M, which is featured in this film, highlight the rich history of German filmmaking. Gordian Maugg, who directed and co-wrote (with Alexander Hauesser) this 2016 narrative, focuses on Lang’s filming of the 1930 film M and his fascination with a real serial killer at the time, Kuerth (Samuel Finzi). The film uses both actual historic information and some fanciful speculation to portray Lang as both a brilliant director, but also fraught with some personal and psychological issues. Heino Ferch is superb as the complex Lang, while the rest of the cast, including Johanna Gastdorf as his wife Thea von Harbou, bring out the dramatic elements of the story. Shot in monochrome, and in 4:3 ratio, the film glistens, especially with the seamless integration of clips from Lang’s films, and other archival footage of Germany in the 1920s. A film that will certainly provoke a great deal of discussion.
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