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Photo of Christian Petzold
Photo of Christian Petzold

Christian Petzold

“I always like it when people play something, when they believe that they have to play the role of father or daughter, but then they lose control over the staging. Those are the best moments.”

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    Christian Petzold Germany, 2018

    Christian Petzold (Barbara) boldly transforms Anna Seghers’ WW2 novel into a haunting period film set in an ambiguous present. A stirring melodrama of love during oppression, Transit is every bit as scintillating as Casablanca, thanks in part to the outstanding duo of Franz Rogowski and Paula Beer.

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    Christian Petzold Germany, 2008

    Starring Nina Hoss, Jerichow is an elegantly crafted genre exercise that plays with the rules of the thriller. Partially adapting James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice, this is an absorbing, noir-tinged tale of lust, envy and deceit, which offers a biting critique of capitalist ambition.


    Christian Petzold Germany, 2007

    Sex, capitalism, German reunification, loneliness—this extraordinary thriller is haunted by all manner of thematic spectres. A dazzling reimagining of the subversive genre classic Carnival of Souls, Yella is one of Christian Petzold’s very best, with a monumental Nina Hoss front and center.


    Christian Petzold Germany, 2000

    Christian Petzold displayed a rare gift for genre subversion from the very start. At once a coming-of-age tale and terrorists-on-the-run thriller, his debut feature uses the former to comment on the latter—its mutable young protagonist serving as a proxy for a nation surveying its traumatic past.


    Christian Petzold Germany, 1990

    Christian Petzold’s predilection for genre is apparent even in his earliest, self-funded works. This quasi-documentary sketch finds abandoned books by Jim Thompson and James M. Cain flapping in the breeze. An abstract, 8mm study in montage, it remains Petzold’s most radical experiment in form.


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