The New York Film Festival is about to be in full swing, with so much going on, that the only possible way you could see it all would be to clone yourself at least thrice. Events will be happening often simultaneously at seven different venues (click and scroll down to see 'em all.) TrustMovies has managed to attend only two of the press screenings, and both films were more than worthwhile. Since both are receiving a theatrical release in the months to come, I'll cover them but briefly now, with more later if and when when they finally reach the Netflix streaming facility -- concerning the content of which this blog is now dedicated to giving you a heads-up.
Shoah, this "new" film from Claude Lanzmann (shown at right, and below and above) was actually shot almost 40 years ago, and an additional 30 years after the events recalled by its subject, Benjamin Murmelstein (shown at right in the photo, top), the last Jewish Elder of the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Lanzmann, above by the railroad track, is still into trains, but nothing as all-consuming as in the earlier doc. Here he interviews Murmelstein, who was brought to trial post-WWII for his supposed crimes and collaboration with the Nazis, but he was let go unscathed. The man explains some things, while completely leaving out any mention of others. He's full of spunk, clearly loves to talk and had what appears to be a remarkable memory, though whether he was a completely "reliable witness," I rather doubt.
I’m not sure that I trust Murmelstein's remembrances, even though, in this film, he’s all we have. Lanzman offers a few pertinent questions and occasionally tries to draw the man further out, but to not much avail. Mumelstein has such energy and drive, however, that for quite awhile he pulled me in. But as the movie wore on, by the end I was tired of his nattering voice and found myself questioning much that he said. (His comments on how laughable is Arendt's "banality-of-evil" theory regarding Adolf Eichman completely bypasses, of course, her more important comments about how the Jews might better have survived had they not been so organizedly in thrall to leaders like Murmelstein.)
For those who cannot attend the film's single festival screening at 1pm on Sunday, September 29, in Alice Tully Hall, not to worry: The Last of the Unjust is being distributed here in the USA by Cohen Media Group.
In any case, the movie takes place in and around a gay cruising area by a lake (below) in a relatively remote section of French countryside where men meet for some sunbathing, sex and conversation. Then, on an early evening in which light is still visible -- suddenly, surreptitiously -- one man kills another.
Christophe Paou, at left, below) is a hunk of major proportions and, as it turns out, a very versatile, talented and willing sexual partner, too.
Pierre Deladonchamps, shown at right, above and below, and four photos up, in the water), and a heavy-set fellow (beautifully played by Patrick d'Assumçao, below, left) with whom he has increasingly interesting conversations, is every bit as riveting as that sex and twice as endearing.