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|The Princess and the Goblin
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When her father's kingdom is terrorized by troublesome goblins, a young princess and her faithful companions try to put a stop to the problems with music, love and magical shimmering thread. This wonderful animated fantasy is filled with lively songs, adventure and humor. 82 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English.
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When young Anna Holz (Diane Kruger), a Viennese music student is asked to transcribe scoring notes for the great Ludwig van Beethoven (Harris), she eagerly accepts, despite warnings about his volatile behavior. Part maestro, part mentor and part madman, Beethoven reluctantly relies on Anna to help him realize the culmination of his art.
A passionate, powerful drama based loosely on the final months of Ludwig van Beethoven's life, Copying Beethoven finds the maestro a haunted man, composing the most revolutionary yet unappreciated work of his lifetime; largely deaf; disappointed in his relationship with a wastrel nephew; and fascinated by a young, female composer, Anna Holtz (Diane Kruger), who goes to work for him transcribing music. Staying as a guest at a convent and engaged to a stolid engineer, Anna is drawn to Beethoven’s tempestuous genius. Half the time he's enchanted by her and seems to see straight through to her soul. The other half, he's shouting at her for her timidity or flattery. Hardly a mouse, Anna fights back. The more she does, the more Beethoven recognizes in her a kindred survivor, someone with whom he can reveal his vulnerability and the burden of his artistry. Ed Harris' Beethoven is wracked by pain but not overwhelmed by it; he looks like a man who understands his responsibility to nature too well to merely disintegrate. ("God whispers in most men's ears," Beethoven says. "He shouts in mine.") Director Agnieszka Holland (Olivier, Olivier) oversees a handsome, alternately tender and brutal drama, with several thrilling moments, including the stunned look of audience members hearing the world premiere of the glorious 9th Symphony. --Tom Keogh
Copying Beethoven Extras
Watch Ed Harris speak about portraying Beethoven in this exclusive clip.
Beyond Copying Beethoven
Copying Beethoven Soundtrack
Famous Composers: Ludwig Van Beethoven
More From MGM
Stills from Copying Beethoven
|The Princess and the Goblin
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Brand: Gaiam Americas
This magical tale springs to life in this brilliantly animated full-length feature film based on the classic fairy tale by George MacDonald. When a peaceful kingdom is menaced by an army of monstrous goblins, a brave and beautiful princess joins forces wi
- One of the finest fairy tales ever written comes to life!The magical tale of the Princess and the Goblin springs to life in this brilliantly animated full-length feature film based on theic fairy tale. When a peaceful kingdom is menaced by an army of monstrous goblins, a brave and beautiful princess joins forces with a resourceful peasant boy to rescue the noble king.Run Time: 82 Minutes Format
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Brand: Warner Home Video
Gloomy Sunday, winner of major German film awards and an art-house favorite that ran 70 weeks in Boston, hits all the right notes with its poignant, glowingly shot tale set in Budapest during the Holocaust and, like Schindler's List and The Pianist, filled with the passion and pain of that tragic era. The song itself - recorded by Billie Holliday and other greats - is the stuff of legend, reportedly having a fateful real-life impact similar to that shown on screen. But it's love's power that is ultimately at the heart of this acclaimed film. And from the opening scene to the deft twist ending, that power is extraordinary.
The magic of music, the power of love, the evils of money, and the horror of genocide are the weighty themes tackled in Gloomy Sunday, a moving German-Hungarian film from director/co-writer Rolf Schubel. Released theatrically in 1999, it's said to have been "inspired by actual events," and it is true that the title song, written in the '30s by Rezso Seress (with Hungarian lyrics by Laszlo Javor), was a worldwide hit in its day; it's also a fact that the song has since been covered dozens of times, by artists ranging from Billie Holiday to Bjork and Elvis Costello. As for the suggestion that "Gloomy Sunday" was banned after being connected to multiple suicides, including the composer's, that's a bit more dicey. In any case, it plays a pivotal role in the love story set in Budapest during the ascension of the Third Reich and the onset of the Holocaust. Restaurant owner Laszlo (Joachim Krol) is in love with Ilona, his hostess (Erika Marozsán), a dark-eyed beauty who plays men as easily as Horowitz plays "Chopsticks"; she loves him as well, but that doesn't mean she won't welcome Andras (Stefano Dionisi), the restaurant's new piano player, into her bed as well. Everyone seems to handle that with admirable equanimity, at least until the young German Hans (Ben Becker) inserts himself into the scene. Having been rejected by Ilona, Hans throws himself into the Danube, only to be rescued by Laszlo; when he assures his savior that "We'll meet again," we know that's not necessarily a good thing. Indeed, when Hans returns to Budapest, he's a Nazi colonel. Things get hairy in a hurry after that: Laszlo is Jewish, Ilona still doesn't want Hans, and we're left to discover if the German officer is either another Oskar Schindler or a heartlessly venal criminal loyal only to himself. All of this is played out against the backdrop of a lovely city, with costumes, art direction, and a palette of rich, warm colors creating a convincing period feel. The DVD has no bonus features, but a cursory search of the 'net will turn up multiple versions of the title tune, a sweet but melancholy melody that sounds, as one character puts it, "as if someone were saying something you don't want to hear" but know to be true. --Sam Graham
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Although Sunshine was made by a Hungarian, István Szabó, and deals with the history of Hungary as refracted through three generations of a Jewish-Hungarian family, you might be more inclined to give it three hours of your own life if you approach i
Although Sunshine was made by a Hungarian, István Szabó, and deals with the history of Hungary as refracted through three generations of a Jewish-Hungarian family, you might be more inclined to give it three hours of your own life if you approach it as a David Lean movie in spirit. It is an English-language picture, and Maurice Jarre's music recalls his score for Doctor Zhivago. Szabó emulates Lean's intimate-epic style of merging the sweep of history with the crystalline detailing of individual lives, so that the shape of destiny is glimpsed through personal moments that feel at once evanescent and eternal. His lighting cameraman, Lajos Koltai, is one of the handful of cinematographers equal to capturing these moments in lapidary images--cinematic sunshine of the highest order.
"Sunshine" is a literal translation of Sonnenschein, the family name of the central characters. And "destiny" is one meaning of Sors, the name three Sonnenschein offspring choose for themselves to better assimilate as subjects of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Two are brothers, Ignatz (Ralph Fiennes) and Gustave (James Frain); their sister (by adoption) Valerie (Jennifer Ehle) is really their cousin. Both men love her, and Ignatz rocks the ultratraditional family by taking her as his wife. Nevertheless, the Sonnenscheins and the Sors enter upon the 20th century in loving solidarity, grateful to live under a liberal and tolerant regime. That's all swept away by the Great War, the rise of Nazism, and its replacement, the new fascism of Stalinist Communism. Valerie survives them all--though she's played later on by Rosemary Harris, Ehle's own mother. For his part--or parts--Ralph Fiennes goes on to embody two later generations of Sonnenschein/Sors men, the proudly patriotic Adam and his son, the rudderless Ivan, whose guilt over being a compliant prisoner at Auschwitz leads him to buy into the passionate puritanism of the Stalinist purges. Fiennes rises to the awesome challenge of creating three utterly distinct characters who all share the same congenital weaknesses and aching potential for greatness.
This is a film of considerable beauty and sometimes shattering power. Even three hours is not enough to do justice to all the characters, all the wrenching turnarounds of history and political allegiance and rectitude. But the film is never less than gripping, and as an essay on "family values," it's well-nigh definitive. --Richard T. Jameson
|Willy the Sparrow
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An amazing adventure teaches a young boy respect, kindness and the value of knowledge. What would it feel like to be a bird and fly over trees and housetops? A boy named Willy finds out when the Sparrow Guardian turns him into a sparrow for shooting a BB gun at the little birds! Suddenly, Willy’s own cat thinks of him as lunch but, luckily, some new sparrow friends rush to Willy’s rescue. They deliver him to a grandfatherly old bird named Cipur who takes Willy under his wing, teaches him how to fly, and so much more. In return, Willy fulfills Cipur’s lifelong dream for knowledge by teaching him how to read. Willy’s new friendships help him understand that all creatures have feelings and deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. Before Willy is turned back into a boy, he leads the sparrows in a brave but perilous plan to retake their home in the barn from Blacky the cat. Finally, the Sparrow Guardian offers Willy a very special opportunity.
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Brand: Image Entertainment
Don’t miss this unforgettable story of a child who had the courage to come home.
Set in 1944, as Hitler’s Final Solution becomes policy throughout Europe, Fateless is the semi-autobiographical tale of a 14 year-old Jewish boy from Budapest, who finds himself swept up by cataclysmic events beyond his comprehension. A perfectly normal metropolitan teen who has never felt particularly connected to his religion, he is suddenly separated from his family as part of the rushed and random deportation of his city’s large Jewish population. Brought to a concentration camp, his existence becomes a surreal adventure in adversity and adaptation, and he is never quite sure if he is the victim of his captors, or of an absurd destiny that metes out salvation and suffering arbitrarily. When he returns home after the liberation, he missed the sense of community he experienced in the camps, feeling alienated from both his Christian neighbors who turned a blind eye to his fate, and the Jewish family friends who avoided deportation and who now want to put the war behind them.
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Brand: FACETS VIDEO
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. 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.
|Shot Through the Heart
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Brand: Warner Home Video
Two friends, each champion marksmen, are on opposite sides in war. One turns sniper for the enemy. One remains their town's last line of defense. In a terrible battle for power, two best friends must pull the trigger. Only one will feel the bullet - but both will feel the pain.
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Brand: Lions Gate
John Cusack, Noah Taylor, Leelee Sobieski. A tangled and emotional what-if" drama about a Jewish German WWI veteran who is running an art gallery and takes a promising painter under his wing-a young Adolf Hitler. 2002/color/108 min/R/widescreen.
- Actors: John Cusack, Noah Taylor, Leelee Sobieski, Molly Parker, Ulrich Thomsen.
- Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC.
- Language: English. Subtitles: English, Spanish.
- Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only).
- Rated R. Run Time: 106 minutes.
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