Daily Archives: August 4, 2004


Margarethe von Trotta’s disappointing 2003 period drama focuses on the little-known protests of Aryan German women married to Jewish men who were held by the gestapo in a building on Berlin’s Rosenstrasse in 1943. The personal story told in flashbacks is of a little Jewish girl who’s briefly adopted by one of these women (Katja Riemann), a musician. A lot of effort appears to have gone into the glitzy period re-creation, but this is mainly a tearjerker. In German with subtitles. PG-13, 136 min. (JR) Read more

F For Fake

Orson Welles’s underrated 1973 essay filmmade from discarded documentary footage by Francois Reichenbach and new material from Wellesforms a kind of dialectic with Welles’s never-completed It’s All True. The main subjects are art forger Elmyr de Hory, Clifford Irving, Howard Hughes, Pablo Picasso, Welles himself, and the practice and meaning of deception. Despite some speculation that this film was Welles’s indirect reply to Pauline Kael’s bogus contention that he didn’t write a word of Citizen Kane, his sly commentaryseconded by some of the trickiest editing anywhereimplies that authorship is a pretty dubious notion anyway, a function of the even more dubious art market and its team of experts. Alternately superficial and profound, the film also enlists the services of Oja Kodar, Welles’s principal collaborator after the late 60s, as actor, erotic spectacle, and cowriter, and briefer appearances by many other Welles cohorts. Michel Legrand supplies the wonderful score. 85 min. (JR) Read more