Films of the Week: Cannes Week 2 – Russian Storiesby Jonathan Romney, 2017-05-26, www.filmcomment.com
It depicts the Russian experience as an intersection between Dostoevsky and Kafka, although that doesn’t quite begin to capture its extremity—or suggest the redeeming grain of hope that, despite everything, its heroine embodies. Loznitsa’s film is the one competition entry in Cannes this year that I absolutely want to see again—and not just for the moments that sleep made me miss.
'A Gentle Creature' ('Krotkaya'): Film Review | Cannes 2017by Leslie Felperin, 2017-05-25, www.hollywoodreporter.com
Only tenuously related to the Dostoyevsky story of the same name and the 1969 film adaptation of that source material by Robert Bresson, this harrowing tale revolves around a stoical unnamed woman (Vasilina Makovtseva) stuck in a nightmarish Siberian prison town.
A Gentle Creatureby Giovanni Marchini Camia, 2017-05-25, www.thefilmstage.com
“Man is a wolf to his fellow man,” quotes a character early in Sergei Loznitsa’s A Gentle Creature. The ordeal suffered by its protagonist will indeed be solitary, poor, nasty, and brutish – it won’t be short, however.
A Gentle Creature – first look reviewby David Jenkins, 2017-05-25,
This inevitably makes for dreary and punishing cinema, a film that will have you leaving the auditorium with head slung low. Makovtseva is low-key excellent in the lead, somehow remaining completely mysterious and blank at a character, but doing just enough so that you pine for her to survive the next violent encounter. Yet the film is something of a bust, and its conceited dedication to despair presents a world which feels wholly disconnected from reality.
Toronto 2016: ‘Austerlitz,’ ‘Denial’ return to the scene of Nazi crimesby Justin Chang, 2016-09-16, www.latimes.com
Like so many patient, observational documentaries of its kind, the movie continually inspires at least two different, not always conflicting impulses: The temptation to get lost in the image is overwhelming, even as your attention is continually being refreshed and stimulated by the flood of tourists passing before the camera.
Film Review: ‘Austerlitz’by Guy Lodge, 2016-09-15, www.variety.com
A disconnect is silently but scorchingly addressed in Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa’s ingeniously simple, mesmerising documentary — a vital entry in the growing chapter of cinema evaluating the Holocaust’s present-day legacy.
TIFF Critic’s Notebook 4: Austerlitz, Planetarium, Trampsby Vadim Rizov, 2016-09-11, www.filmmakermagazine.com
It helps that the film is immaculate crafted and perversely non-commercial: with its long, long shots and sparse dialogue, this is a film that can’t be easily flipped and sold for a tidy profit in the vein of numerous putatively “powerful” Holocaust docs that do all the moral calculus for audiences via talking heads and archival footage. Austerlitz’s people-watching pleasures are complicated but don’t resolve in any one direction.
Austerlitz – first-look reviewby Nick James , 2016-09-10, www.bfi.org.uk
As we gradually get to eavesdrop on the remarkably trenchant tour guides who fill in the grim historical background – with the microphones picking up camera bleeps and passing phrases from somewhere within the range of each deep-focus shot – we can see that the place does have a sombre, sobering emotional effect on many… What one collects by the end is a rounded portrait of humanity, and, somehow, one of hope, despite the ghastliness of human crimes and the need to revisit them.
'Austerlitz': Venice Reviewby Jonathan Romney, 2016-09-07, www.screendaily.com
Loznitsa offers a sobering vision of how even a World War Two concentration camp can essentially become a theme park, leaving the realities of history and suffering obscured rather than available for understanding. This fascinating but demanding slow burner could equally find a place in serious TV arts slots and on the gallery circuit.
Austerlitz (Sergei Loznitsa, Germany) — Wavelengthsby Michael Sicinski, 2016-09-07, www.cinema-scope.com
With Austerlitz, Loznitsa may have produced his finest film yet. Exhibiting a simplicity and intellectual acuity that is far too rare in the field of documentary, Loznitsa has created a film whose cumulative impact will stay with you long after you watch it, tinting and shading the way that you experience a multitude of previously ordinary cultural practices.
'Austerlitz': Venice Reviewby Neil Young, 2016-06-09, www.hollywoodreporter.com
Human tones, bird cries, church bells, the rising and falling wind, insectoid whirrings, unidentifiable creakings and crashings… all combine into an immersive, often chilling and always compelling world of sound, which manages to subtly convey the lurking horrors beneath Sachsenhausen’s mute, neutral surfaces. We are, to use a phrase from the Sebald novel, “like a deaf man whose hearing has been miraculously restored.”
Review: Sergei Loznitsa's "In the Fog"by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, 2013-06-20, www.mubi.com
In an era when vague is en vogue—when filmmakers are more likely to find acclaim for posing big questions than for trying to answer them—In the Fogstands out for being resoundingly unambiguous. Everything—camera style, performance, structure, pacing—is in the service of establishing and contextualizing Svirsky’s dilemma.
In the Fogby Drew Hunt, 2013-06-19, www.spectrumculture.com
In the Fog is quite nice to look at—most of it unfolds in the picturesque Latvian forest where the film was shot—even as Loznitsa’s authoritative hand removes much of the beauty present in Mutu’s delicate photography. When the film reaches its risible climax… the boundless austerity takes on the air of tragicomedy gone awry.
It’s hard to see through "In The Fog"by Farran Smith Nehme, 2013-06-14, www.nypost.com
Sergei Loznitsaʼs grim movie fulfills every preconception of a Russian war tale — slow-paced, teeming with dirt and lousy weather, full of moral quandaries endured alongside disgusting food and inadequate clothing. Death haunts “In the Fog” from the first impressive moments, where the camera forces you to share the viewpoint of Belarusian men being marched to a Nazi gallows.
In the Fogby Michael Koresky, 2013-06-14, www.reverseshot.org
This is neither a tale of redemption (its largely unsullied main character, despite the trials he is put through, is not in need of such things) nor is it a portrait of improbable, Christlike goodness. The film is grounded in the material world, in recognizable human behavior and interaction; its ironies are those of the everyday, delineated in clean, compassionate storytelling strokes that don’t sacrifice complexity for clarity.
In the Fog: movie reviewby Keith Uhlich, 2013-06-13, www.timeout.com
For a while, [In the Fog] is mysterious and gripping. The whispery sounds of the forest impart a lulling yet tense sensation, as if death could come from anywhere at any moment… But obviousness sets in when the film begins flashing back to the men’s lives before their current dilemma. The initial strangeness wears off as the narrative rhythms become more predictable—enter past, return to present, repeat—and the clichéd existential metaphors pile up.
Review: In the Fogby Tina Hassannia, 2013-06-13, www.slantmagazine.com
Perhaps the obvious point of comparison for In the Fog, given the endless melancholic long shots in the woods, is the work of Andrei Tarkovsky… But unlike Tarkovsky, who left words unspoken for his characters, Loznitsa occasionally writes his ideas too explicitly in the film’s dialogue, though he makes up for this by deftly employing some ironic symbolism elsewhere.
The Condemned Man and His Two Burdensby Manohla Dargis, 2013-06-13, www.nytimes.com
The world and its choices are often cruel, but for all the devastations visited on the characters, Mr. Loznitsa is searching for the human good amid a human catastrophe. The stunning opening scene — a probing sweep around a Bruegel-like tableau of people, dogs and mud — puts that search into cinematic terms and also telegraphs the narrative’s circular form. We go on, circle back, go on.