Among the films of "Berlin & Beyond" festival now running in San Francisco's
Castro Theater, there is nothing stranger or more rewarding than Chris
Kraus' "Vier Minuten."
An elderly woman (Monica Bleibtreu), who has been teaching piano in
a prison (and educating guards by making them memorize opera libretti)
encounters a psychotic, self-destructive young inmate (Hannah Herzsprung),
who is also a piano prodigy. Brutally honest, suspenseful, and totally
without Hollywood gloss, "Four Minutes" is terrific and will stay with
you. Certainly, nowhere else can you watch Mozart played sublimely with
blood dripping from knucles she had just smashed in a mirror.
Not sure about DVD availability, but it will be shown at the Castro at
9 p.m., Monday, Jan. 15.
[Quiz example: "If Mozart wrote a Cinderella opera, it would have resulted
in what kind of cheese?"]
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