BATTLE OF THE BULGE
1965, Warner Bros., 167 min, USA, Dir: Ken Annakin

In November 1944, the German army surprised the Allies with a last-ditch offensive on the western front, near the Ardennes forest. This entertaining (if fictionalized) look at the pivotal conflict features an all-star cast including Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, Robert Ryan, Dana Andrews, Charles Bronson and Telly Savalas (a Golden Globe nominee), as well as some superbly executed action sequences.


KON-TIKI
2012, Nordisk Fil Distribution, 118 min, Norway, Dir: Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg

Norway’s grandest production to date translates Thor Heyerdahl’s intrepid 1947 journey across the Pacific on a primitive raft into a larger-than-life, visually dazzling epic. Ethnographer Thor (Pal Sver Haggen, whom The Hollywood Reporter writes “has something of the young Peter O’Toole about him, evincing charisma and madness nearly in equal measure”), along with a motley crew, assembles a raft inspired by the pre-Colombian Incas as a means of proving his theory that the Polynesian islands were settled by South Americans crossing the Pacific. What follows is the Peru-to-Polynesia excursion, which co-directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg and a crew of hundreds fill with first-rate adventure, high-seas gravitas and nail-biting suspense, set against majestic cinematography. In English and Norwegian with English subtitles.


BESIEGED
1998, Fine Line Features, 93 min, Italy, Dir: Bernardo Bertolucci

Bertolucci sets the epic sweep of 1900 and THE LAST EMPEROR aside for this chamber piece in which African refugee Shandurai (Thandie Newton) takes a job working for the reclusive Mr. Kinsky (David Thewlis) in Rome. As employee and employer become attracted to one another, Bertolucci uses their relationship to comment on a wide array of issues having to do with all forms of denial and awakening in both a personal and political sense.


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