Beyond Barbenheimer: small & good summer Euro-movies


Hey guys, there’s more to movie life than the bizarre blockbuster hits of summer 2023, BARBIE and OPPENHEIMER. There are at least two small, artful European films worthy of your popcorn budget.

A movie about a verrrry messy love triangle, set in Paris, tells the tale of a German film director Tomas (Franz Rogowski), who forms the fulcrum of a gay relationship with Martin (Ben Whishaw) and a straight one with Agathe (Adèle Exarchopoulos). PASSAGES, director Ira Sachs’s latest auteur effort, perfectly paces this seemingly simple plot line about sexual and emotional greed — and restraint.

PASSAGES is well-paired with the wry AFIRE, a similarly quotidian film about a group of young people — and the choices that leave one character as odd man out.

Two guys, pictured at right, are on the kind of worky/stressy/vacay we all seem to take anymore. Laptop never far from reach. But Felix (Langston Uibel, right) remains open to new people and new experience. Leon (Thomas Schubert, left), a neurotic writer, thwarts happiness with his own miserable decision making. A witty, contained and insightful summer movie with a pressing environmental theme skillfully integrated by its auteur, Christian Petzold.

PASSAGES, at The Nuart
AFIRE, at Laemmle Theatres.

Leave a Reply