Kurt Loder Reviews Amour and West of Memphis

43aaamour Kurt Loder Reviews Amour and West of Memphis

What a difference a New Year’s Day makes. Over
the last few weeks we’ve been endlessly jostled by contending
blockbusters: Zero Dark Thirty, Les Miz,
Django Unchained, Peter Jackson’s sprawling
Hobbit opus. Now, suddenly, we find ourselves abandoned
once more in the movie graveyard of January, traditional burial
ground for pictures that all but announce their insufficiency.So let’s focus instead, writes Kurt Loder, on two movies that
are already out in limited release, and now in the process of
expanding (at least somewhat) across the country. One of these is
Amour, a soul-wringing film by the fearlessly difficult
Austrian writer-director Michael Haneke. The movie has already won
the top prize at Cannes, and is now Austria’s submission for Best
Foreign Language Film at this year’s Oscars. Here, Haneke, a master
of icy appraisal and the unflinching lockdown shot, closely
contemplates an elderly Parisian couple at the very end of their
lives. The other film, West of Memphis, might be seen as a
summation of the events chronicled by Joe Berlinger and Bruce
Sinofsky in their Paradise Lost documentaries. That trilogy of
films helped draw national attention to the fate of the West
Memphis Three, a trio of hapless teenagers in West Memphis,
Arkansas, who were convicted in 1994 of the “Satanic” murder and
mutilation of three eight-year-old boys. Two of the defendants,
Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, were sentenced to life in
prison; the third, Damien Echols, was sentenced to death.View this article.

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Kurt Loder Reviews Amour and West of Memphis

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