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Colonel Redl | DVD | (16/10/2006)
from £7.69 | Saving you £8.30 (51.90%) | RRP
In the early part of the 20th Century Alfred Redl (Klaus Maria Brandauer) ruthlessly rises from his peasant background to become a high-ranking member of the Imperial Austrian Military. But when Redl is sent to spy on the Russian Empire his espionage is compromised by his secret double life as a homosexual. As the world perches on the brink of war Redl finds himself trapped in a web of deception where honor grandeur and greed can only be betrayed by one final shocking act of fate. Armin Mueller-Stahl (Shine) co-stars in this remarkable epic written and directed by Istvan Szabo (Sunshine) that became Szabo and Brandauer's internationally acclaimed follow-up to their Oscar-winning classic Mephisto (1981 Best Foreign Language Film).
Sunshine | DVD | (10/04/2013)
from £3.99 | Saving you £16.00 (80.00%) | RRP
This sprawling family saga follows a Hungarian-Jewish family across three generations, and stars Ralph Fiennes as the father, the son, and the grandson in three distinctly different roles. As a Europudding vehicle for Fiennes and a top-drawer cast (including Jennifer Ehle, Rachel Weisz, Deborah Unger, Miriam Margolyes and William Hurt), Sunshine delivers on all fronts: there's glossy melodrama, high-moral seriousness as history wears the family down like the wind, and leitmotifs--the family elixir called "Sunshine" that founds their fortune, semi-incestuous adulterous liaisons, photographs and faces--that thread the epic three-hour narrative together. Fiennes begins as a stiff Budapest lawyer-cum-officer and judge during the First World War, torn when anti-Semitism raises its head. His son is a champion fencer who denounces the family faith to attain advancement but ends up in the Nazi-run labour camps all the same. The last in the line, a policeman this time, must navigate the Stalinist forces of repression and endures through the 1956 uprising to take back the family name and faith. And yet as a film by director István Szabó (Colonel Redl, Mephisto), it's a bit of a soggy disappointment lacking the bile and spit and visual inventiveness that makes the best of his other works so outstanding. Perhaps the fact that Szabó is directing an all-English speaking cast is the problem, leaving the film feeling strangely old-fashioned and paradoxically lacking a sense of place (despite much of it being filmed in Hungary itself). Although there are some charged emotional beats throughout, pretty costumes, and lots of entertainingly tasteful bonking sequences, the fencing sequences in particular become tooth-pullingly tedious and the whole thing seems to drag, especially as it takes itself so seriously. --Leslie Felperin
Being Julia | DVD | (17/08/2009)
from £5.55 | Saving you £7.44 (57.30%) | RRP
Annette Bening's outstanding performance is the best reason to see Being Julia, a highly melodramatic adaptation of the 1937 novel Theatre by W. Somerset Maugham. With a prestigious pedigree (director Istvan Szabo and screenwriter Ronald Harwood share impressive theatrical backgrounds) and a stellar cast including Jeremy Irons, Bruce Greenwood, and Juliet Stevenson, the film's backstage and onstage theatrics take place in pre-World War II London, when the venerable actress Julia (Bening) fends off middle-age by romancing a stage-struck young American (Shaun Evans) in a calculated attempt to retain some youthful vitality while airing her own dirty laundry onstage in a glorious act of divine diva behavior. Treating life and theater as one big play in which she's the perpetual star, Julia's nothing if not a master thespian, and Bening's got all the chops to keep her in the spotlight. If the film isn't quite worthy of Bening's excellence, at least it gives her performance the showcase it deserves. -- Jeff Shannon
Mephisto | DVD | (14/08/2006)
from £7.75 | Saving you £8.24 (51.50%) | RRP
In early 1930's Germany ambitious stage actor Hendrik Hofgen (an extraordinary performance by Klaus Maria Brandauer) cares little for politics and lives only for his art. But when the Nazis begin their rise to power he seizes the opportunity to perform propaganda plays for the Reich and soon becomes Germany's most popular actor. Consumed with fame Hendrik must now survive in a world where the ideology of evil is the ultimate drama and the true cost of a man's soul becomes the most shattering measure of all.... Written/directed by Istvan Szabo and based on the novel by Klaus Mann the Oscar winning Mephisto (Best Foreign Film 1982) marked the first of three remarkable collaborations between Szabo and Brandauer and remains one of the most powerful foreign films of our time.
Taking Sides | DVD | (05/03/2007)
from £6.69 | Saving you £9.30 (58.20%) | RRP
Istvan Szabo's film Taking Sides - based on true events - recreates the suspenseful post-World War II interrogation of Dr Wilhelm Furtwangler (Stellan Skarsgard) the brilliant conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic who is considered by some to have been the most brilliant conductor of the 20th century. In the course of his de-Nazification by the Allies Furtwangler is forced by a tough-talking American Major (Harvey Keitel) to re-examine his role during the Third Reich in the most u
Confidence (Bizalom) | DVD | (25/06/2012)
from £10.39 | Saving you £2.60 (20.00%) | RRP
SzabÃ¯Â¿Â½'s Oscar-nominated 1980 feature is a haunting and moving experience dealing with complex, yet very human questions of love, trust, loyalty, and betrayal under exceptional circumstances. Janos and Kata are thrown together during WW2 and forced to pose as husband and wife to hide from the Nazis. The intensity and suffocating intimacy of their new relationship and the circumstances in which they find themselves, forces them to confront past prejudices and assumptions and challenge what th...
Apa - The Father | DVD | (12/09/2011)
from £10.85 | Saving you £2.14 (16.50%) | RRP
A young Hungarian boy concocts a fantasy ideal of his father who has been killed in the Second World War. In the child's imagination the figure of the father attains mythical qualities. Only years later does the boy realise that his father may not have been the heroic figure he imagined him to be... Combining a poetic nostalgia with stark images of war Szab's powerful cinematic ode relates historical events through the prism of personal experience producing a film of extraordinary intimacy and power. From the Oscar-winning director of Mephisto Colonel Redl and Being Julia.
Ten Minutes Older - The Trumpet / The Cello | DVD | (12/09/2005)
from £4.90 | Saving you £13.09 (72.80%) | RRP
Unique in the history of cinema about the most universal of all subjects:Time. Each of the 15 directors has been given exactly ten minutes on the screen for their vision. With complete creative freedom the directors bring their own unique interpretation of 'time' to the screen. Ten Minutes Older takes in all human experience: birth death love the drama of the moment history and ancient myth; and a great variety of locations all over the world. Combined together in two compilat
Being Julia | DVD | (10/12/2007)
from £2.38 | Saving you £7.61 (76.20%) | RRP
Reigning diva Julia Lambert's success and fame grow suddenly wearisome. She falls head over heels for a young American Tom and begins a passionate May - December affair. When she realizes that Tom is just a young social climber whose real passion is ambitious young starlet Avice Crichton Julia begins to plot a delightful revenge...