Four new films to stream this week, including an Oscar contender

The Auschwitz Escape and Servants from Slovakia, Be Good or Be Gone and The Swordsman

Peter Ondrejicka and Noel Czuczor in The Auschwitz Report

Peter Ondrejicka and Noel Czuczor in The Auschwitz Report

 

THE AUSCHWITZ ESCAPE/SPRÁVA ★★★★☆
Directed by Peter Bebjak. Starring Noel Czuczor, Peter Ondrejicka, John Hannah, Jan Nedbal, Florian Panzner. Video on demand, 93 min
The Slovakian entry for this year’s international film Oscar tells the story of a genuine escape from Auschwitz by Alfred Wetzler and Rudolf Vrba in 1944. They ultimately made their way to the Red Cross and helped compose one of the first detailed reports of the atrocities being carried out at the camp. The film is a model of balance and responsibility throughout. No foolhardy efforts are made to attempt a realistic representation of the horrors. The escape is exciting. The epilogue is fascinating. An important tale told with great economy and force. Full review DC 

SERVANTS/SLUZOBNÍCI ★★★★☆
Directed by Ivan Ostrochovský. Starring Samuel Skyva, Samuel Polakovic, Vlad Ivanov, Vladimír Strnisko, Milan Mikulcík , Tomáš Turek. Curzon Home Cinema/IFI Player, 78 min

Samuel Skyva and Samuel Polakovic in Servants
Samuel Skyva and Samuel Polakovic in Servants

Servants concerns two young men enrolled in a seminary, where they are carefully monitored by their tutors and the head of the institute. The film sets up a series of oppositions, pitching the church against state, to the strains of the US-funded Radio Free Europe. There are echoes of Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida and Cold War in Slovakian director Ostrochovský’s sophomore feature. But, despite sharing screenwriter Rebecca Lenkiewicz with those films, this is a far more elliptical, chilly affairs. Crystalline cinematography. Thoughtful plotting. Full review TB

BE GOOD OR BE GONE ★★★☆☆
Directed by Cathal Nally. Starring Les Martin, Declan Mills, Jenny Lee Masterson, Alan Sherlock, Conor Lambert, Graham Earley. Video on demand, 98 min

Les Martin and Declan Mills in Be Good or Be Gone
Les Martin and Declan Mills in Be Good or Be Gone

Enjoyable, lively Dublin crime drama concerning two old chums (Martin and Mills) bouncing around the city on brief release from prison. Made for small change, Be Good or Be Gone is a strange beast. It often shows the limitations of low-budget cinema. Yet it also makes excellent use of its locations and profits from a surprisingly classy score by Joe Conlan. It is at its best when, in the style of as lesser Adam & Paul, the two fine leads are allowed free rein to bicker unmolested. A persuasive calling card. Full review DC

 THE SWORDSMAN ★★★☆☆
Directed by Jae-Hoon Choi. Starring Jang Hyuk, Man-sik Jeong, Angelina Danilova. Video on demand, 100 min

Jang Hyuk in The Swordsman
Jang Hyuk in The Swordsman

This elegant, good-looking Korean period actioner plays like Taken with graceful metal-clanging. The damsel-in-distress narrative is disappointing and the plot goes nowhere special, but the costumes and sets nod ambitiously toward Akira Kurosawa’s Ran. The choreography is equally impressive. In common with much of the wuxia fare that makes its way to this part of the world, the aesthetic owes a debt to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. A superb sequence, in which the hero dismantles an entire battalion of soldiers in one long take, is Old Boy: The Ballet. Full review TB

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.