Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Wall

Is available on Netflix...

You should watch it.  That is, if you're in the mood for a thoughtful, patient, gentle, and sad examination of the nature of solitude.  

An Austrian-German co-production released in 2012 as Die Wand. It's based on a 1963 novel of the same name by Marlen Haushofer.  I missed it altogether in 2012 - didn't even hear of it until now - but it was well-received by film critics.  For all but a few seconds it features only the quietly talented German actress Martina Gedeck.  I did not recognize her, but now recall her performance in the excellent 2006 film, The Lives of Others.  

The nominally science-fiction or fantasy premise - a woman finds herself alone, trapped behind a transparent barrier that encloses an alpine hunting lodge and surrounding meadows, forests, and mountain vistas - is essentially an unresolved prop that sets the what-if elements of the story rolling.  

The pace of this somber and thoughtful film is not for everyone.  The story is at once calming and disturbing, asking the viewer, "What if you had no choice but to live alone at Walden Pond - without human contact - indefinitely?"

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