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Wall [Import]

5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 33.04 & FREE Shipping. Details
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In this riveting, mysterious and profound adventure tale, a woman (Martina Gedeck) finds herself inexplicabley cut off from all human contact by an invisible, unyielding wall surrounding her lodging in the spectacularly beautiful Austrian countryside.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning yet simple existential tale. Dec 1 2013
Original title was `Die Wand' and is based on the book by Marlen Haushoffer. The plot is pretty simple in that three people go to a hunting lodge up in the mountains of Austria. Frau is left when her companions go to the village for provisions; she falls asleep and in the morning realise they have not returned. After a while she sets out to find them only to discover she has been surrounded by an impenetrable yet invisible wall.

Once the shock has worn off she has to take stock and all she really has in the loyal dog Lynx. She is telling her story through the words she has written in her journal and as she slowly runs out of paper we are brought closer to the present day. What follows in a haunting, mesmerising and totally enthralling film. Though the dialogue is minimal, as you would expect having no one to talk to, the narrative is just so compelling it carries the story. The acting by Martina Gedeck (`The Lives of others') is amazing, the animals were pretty impressive too, especially Lynx. There are some scenes of apparent animal cruelty so please be advised as I know that can be upsetting.

This though is simply beautiful, a story pared to the bone yet done so leaving only what is essential and it is a visual feast. All sci - fi has to have an element of the existential and this is all about the basic drive that keeps us going, even when it all seems futile. In German with good subs, directed by Julian Polsler who seems to have done most of his work for TV, I think that with this unexpectedly brilliant piece of cinema he can say he is more than ready to bring something unique and special to the `big' screen.
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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  67 reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Martina Gedeck is Brilliant Aug. 15 2013
By Jay B. Lane - Published on Amazon.com
"Die Wand" is a 2013 Seattle International Film Festival entry from Germany (in English). It is directed by much-admired Julian Pölsler (many awards and nominations throughout Europe) whose work is primarily seen on German television. Adapted from the classic novel by Marlen Haushofer, this is a masterful performance done almost in solitude by a wonderful actress.

A woman is going to visit some friends who drop her off at their cabin, then go back into town to buy some more supplies. Their dog Lynx stays with her, even though there is no love lost between her and the dog.

We are enthralled by:
* Martina Gedeck ("Mostly Martha" and "The Lives of Others") is the poor gal who, after taking the dog for a walk in the woods, finds herself trapped by an invisible wall and neither she nor the dog can get out. Her friends are nowhere to be seen and she is now absolutely alone except for Lynx.

This tour de force shows us what Ms. Gedeck can do with NO makeup, NO love story, NO telephones, NO car crashes and NO Computer Generated Imaging. (There ARE three gunshots.) Her solitude is almost palpable, she never speaks, the only narrative comes as a voiceover when she is writing in her journal on scraps of paper she has found in her friends' cabin. She first writes with a pen, then with pencil, and finally is down to a stub. I couldn't help but worry about her supply of bullets, kerosene and matches. Eventually, her main concern becomes how to keep her humanity.

Filmed in the area around Salzkammergut, Austria, the scenery is breathtaking, the weather is chilly, and her spectacular surroundings emphasize her isolation. A cat shows up, along with a cow, so this foursome becomes almost inseparable. Her survival instincts demand that she learn how to plant potatoes, gut a deer, milk a cow, help deliver a calf, cut hay for the winter, and shoot a gun. You should see the look on the dog's face the first time she shoots the gun and misses the deer!

BTW, both of those movies in brackets are HIGHLY recommended. Get all of them from Amazon.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WALLS -- REAL AND IMAGINED? Sept. 21 2013
By Robin Simmons - Published on Amazon.com
Directed by Julian Pölsler, award-winning German actress Martina Gedeck stars in this riveting, allegorical tale of survival set in the spectacular Austrian countryside. Exquisite cinematography propels this puzzling and thoughtful story of isolation and its impact on the human spirit as it is forced to rejoin the breathtaking but indifferent natural world.

Naturally I thought of Stephen King's "THE DOME" (both the book and the cheap looking, seemingly endless CBS series with the god-awful music) as the movie began. But this is a different take on a similar premise with superior satisfaction and rewards for the viewer.

Gedeck delivers a tour-de-force performance as she endures all kinds of physical and psychological challenges when she discovers, to her horror, that she is trapped behind an invisible, impenetrable wall in a remote mountain area. This compelling, mind-bending adventure that's seasoned with philosophical, psychological and sci-fi elements kept me involved.

Based on Marlen Haushofer's highly-praised 1962 novel (the only novel of her works to be translated into English), THE WALL is the story of Gedeck's unnamed character -- The Woman -- who is vacationing in the stunning Austrian mountains when an invisible wall suddenly and inexplicably encompasses the countryside and cuts her off from the civilization she left behind. Though the blue sky, chirping birds and surrounding nature appear to be normal, The Woman is in fact cut of from all human contact and separated from the rest of the world. With her loyal dog Lynx as a sole companion, The Woman becomes immersed and enmeshed in a pristine world hardly touched by civilization and ruled only by the laws of nature, which prove to be both benign and dangerous. As she grapples with her bizarre circumstances, The Woman begins an inward journey of spiritual discovery and eventually transcendence. At one point we hear her voice over narration (taken from her journal): "I pity animals and I pity people, because they are thrown into this life without being consulted," she says. "Maybe people are more deserving of pity, because they have just enough intelligence to resist the natural course of things."
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie: Moving, Insightful, Beautiful. Nov. 9 2013
By Ileana Sisson - Published on Amazon.com
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The topic of a person alone in the wilderness is not new. Yet this movie’s story was moving, and as another reviewer mentioned, it has many levels, the psychological, the allegorical and spiritual implications of what it means to be alone, who we allow ourselves to become in our aloness and our connection to nature. The woman’s bond to her animals was at first a “prison” of obligations that later turned into her greatest love. The animals, with their constant joy, lack of worries and loyal devotion saved her by giving her a reason to live. And deep love, as the beloved author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings wrote in Cross Creek, "...is a commitment to shared sorrow, even as to shared joy."

As I watched this movie my thoughts kept racing in different directions. I once lived alone in a forest, and although not cut off from civilization, could relate to living in the wilderness, the raw beauty, the mental and physical challenges, the communion with earth.

As a psychotherapist I also work with many individuals that could relate, the broken-hearted, the divorced, the widows and aged and those that live alone and have no family. I kept thinking about the many people that could identify with her situation, who feel alone even in the busy midst of civilization and all its trappings- who never stop long enough to truly discover themselves. And as a bereavement counselor for pet parents who have lost their pets, and as an animal lover, the loving scenes and the tragic scenes with her beloved pets were expertly portrayed. Hard to watch was the deer that was shot-I believe that was real- and the only negative in an otherwise good movie, if indeed a live animal was killed.

All in all it is a moving and beautiful movie that draws you in and leaves you wondering and thinking. And it’s true, that getting back to our nature has the potential to transform us. How, it’s strictly up to each person.

Ileana Sisson MS PhD
Is the Author of Seasons of Healing® When Your Relationship Ends- Practical and Spiritual Lessons for a Remarkable New Life- available as an e-book at Amazon.com
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I hit a wall with this one… Dec 26 2013
By Andrew Ellington - Published on Amazon.com
Isolation is a very rich template for a film. The varying degrees of isolation can bring to the fore very different aspects of the situation and can offer us intelligent character portraits of how one overcomes the depressive nature of isolation. There are so many shades to a human being, that coming under the spell of this very condemning circumstance can cast a kaleidoscope of possibilities.

In other words; in the right hands the possibilities are endless.

I had heard a lot of great things about ‘The Wall’. There has been a lot said about Martina Gedeck’s performance, some calling it a tour-de-force and really labeling it one of the finest performances put to film this year. I have only seen her in a handful of things, but she left a lasting impression on me when I saw her in 2006’s ‘The Lives of Others’ and so I was intrigued greatly by the prospect of her completely consuming me once again. She has such raw talent, and this premise felt so organic and so capable of drawing out the best in a talented actress.

Sadly, I found this to be extremely underwhelming, and for the most part I feel as if it was Gedeck’s fault. While I am all for subtlety, this performance felt so hopelessly one-note that I was begging for her to break character and smash a plate!

The story follows a woman who ventures into the wilderness with an elderly couple for vacation. The couple goes hiking, leaving this woman alone in the cabin. When she eventually ventures out with her trusty dog Lynx, she finds that she has become trapped by an indescribable wall. She can’t see the wall, but she can feel it, and it continues to tighten its grip on her. So, she is alone with her dog and a few other animals. As she learns to fend for herself (hunting, gathering, defending) she narrates her story as she writes it down in the confines of her world. Her situation is never explained and her countenance never changes.

That is a problem.

I have no issue with the ambiguity of her situation. It is dire and supernatural, of course, but the mystery that surrounds it is actually part of the film’s impact and so I am drawn to that aspect. I also found the haunting cinematography to be key to the film’s overall impact. The film is just lush and gorgeous, but it always feels slightly dangerous thanks to the key use of lighting and natural elements (that fog). Still, the remarkably one-note delivery from Gedeck never struck me as natural. She is so downtrodden (even in the outset, before she is alone) that the true nature of her situation is lost. We never grow in her desperation but always feel held back by her complacency. Nothing affects her. She is void of any emotional connection to her surroundings, and when she shows a brief glimpse of some sort of emotion (the whole gun scene in the very end) it is for a mere moment and then gone, without real explanation. She reminds me a lot of Ryan Gosling’s monotone performance in ‘Only God Forgives’, and I hated that one too.

For as rich as the prose was, the overall execution felt so uninspired, or underworked.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting look into the emptiness of atheism March 12 2014
By Reason and Faith - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
When one is taken out of his context and reduced to isolation and subsistence, he understands that civilization is just an illusion that distracts us from the truth that life is nothing but a burden. Without connection to that which exists beyond - which is greater than self -which, in this case, would seem responsible for the character's predicament, life is nothing but hard and lonely. So why? Why the wall and what was its source? Why - if life is nothing more than natural randomness does this admittedly supernatural wall exist and is this not proof that there is something more? It is too bad the writer had no more imagination with which to posit suggestions...nothing to work with other than his own questions. The whole thing leaves one... empty.
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