Hungarian auteur Bela Tarr's seven-hour, black-and-white epic based on the novel by Laszlo Karsznahorkai took two years to film. The complex story follows a group of people living in a dilapidated village in post-communist Hungary. Tarr examines their standstill lives through a series of episodes told from each person's point-of-view. Susan Sontag wrote, "Devastating, enthralling for every minute of its seven hours. I'd be glad to see it every year for the rest of my life." Winner of the Caligari Film Prize and the Ecumenical Jury Prize Special Mention at the 1994 Berlin International Film Festival. In Hungarian with optional English subtitles.

Bela Tarr---Hungary---1994---435 mins.

Before directing The French Connection, The Exorcist, and Killer Joe, William Friedkin made one of the most powerful documentaries you’ve never seen. On March 20, 1953, five black men robbed a meatpacking plant in Chicago’s Union Stock Yards. Their getaway went awry, and a security guard was shot and killed. Within a week, all five men were arrested. Four received jail sentences and were eventually paroled. The fifth, Paul Crump, then 22, confessed under questionable interrogation tactics, then retracted, only to be convicted and sentenced to the electric chair. After 14 stays of execution, Crump met Friedkin, then a local TV director, in the Cook County Jail. Friedkin so believed in Crump’s innocence and his worth as a human being that he and his cinematographer Bill Butler (Jaws) took to the streets with lightweight cameras to appeal for Crump’s return to society. The resulting film contributed to the commutation of Crump’s sentence and launched Friedkin’s Hollywood career.

“Crude, rude, and bursting with 'tude, Crump is historically a kind of verite-era prophecy of Errol Morris's The Thin Blue Line--both in its focus on an unjustly convicted death-row convict and in its brazen chop-shop approach to the precepts of documentary filmmaking” (Village Voice). Winner of the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival.

William Friedkin---USA---1962---60 mins.

As the flagship film of the "young German cinema" movement, Alexander Kluge's first feature, Yesterday Girl, paved the way for the New German Cinema of the 1970s. Produced immediately after the Oberhausen Manifesto, Yesterday Girl is an experimental, youth-oriented satire with a fragmentary story about an unruly heroine named Anita G. (Alexandra Kluge, the director's sister and frequent collaborator.) Like any postwar German youth worth her salt, Anita wants to break free of the collective baggage left by her parent's generation, but her flee from East to West Germany only confirms that conservatism and scarred memories thrive on both sides of the wall. A nominee for the Golden Lion and winner of a Special Jury Prize at the 1966 Venice Film Festival, Yesterday Girl made it clear the waning German film industry was headed for a renaissance. In German with English subtitles.

Alexander Kluge---West Germany---1966---88 mins.