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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Genocide > Holocaust > Terrorism > WWII > Adam Resurrected (2008/Image Entertainment Blu-ray)

Adam Resurrected (2008/Image Entertainment Blu-ray)

 

Picture: B-†††† Sound: B-†††† Extras: C+†††† Film: C+

 

 

Paul Schrader usually writes everything he directs, but when I heard he was doing a film on the Holocaust, I wondered where it would go, especially since his writing tendencies have been somewhat to the Right of ideology to the point that some writers have accused him of being semi-fascist.In this case, Noah Stollman adapted from a novel by Yoram Kaniuk, resulting in Adam Resurrected (2008), with Jeff Goldblum effective as a Holocaust survivor whose still an internal wreck.

 

Once a circus performer and stage comic, he was brought to a concentration camp and psychologically tortured and mocked by an especially evil officer (Willem Dafoe), and decades later is in an institution for survivors trying to help them when he can barely help himself.He befriends a nurse (Ayelet Zurer from Angels & Demons) and deals with a new doctor (Derek Jacobi) trying to help him.A very damaged child becomes the final person that starts to jar him out of his personal torment, but much pain is ahead, if he can even survive it.

 

The relationship between performing jokes (and in this case, a clown) and humiliation at the hands of the Nazis is always one of the toughest tightrope acts ideologically in any film on the subject, with any wrong move adding to a potential trivialization of The Holocaust or support of the idea that you can somehow laugh it off.Despite Schraderís tendencies, the film never collapses totally in that direction, but at 106 minutes, does not do enough to thoroughly deal with the material, making it just another film on the subject that few will remember down the line.

 

The actors (including Moritz Bleibtreu of Run Lola Run and Spielbergís Munich, both reviewed elsewhere on this site) give good performances and Goldblum is believable in the role of the damaged title character, but Schrader just cannot pull off a film on the subject that can work and for a serious, gritty filmmaker, the fantasy/imaginary elements are atypical of his output, though this is no fantasy genre film.However, he has lost his edge since his failed Exorcist prequel from 2005 and it is hard to see if heíll get it back.Here, he is just too out of his element to make this material work if he ever could to begin with.

 

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image was shot in the Super 35mm film format and offers a mixed result with some good shots, some stylized shots that do work, some that donít and a variant of black & white that never totally works.However, the softness and lack of detail, along with some Video Black limits, hold this transfer back.The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 is a dialogue-based mix and considering Schraderís films are sometimes as monophonic as Woody Allenís, it is noteworthy that it sounds as good as it does.Extras include the original theatrical trailer, Deleted Scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette, Haifa International Film Festival Q&A and feature length audio commentary track by Schrader.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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