Seasonal Special Happenings

High-stake Thrills

When: Thu., July 18, 5:30 p.m. and Sat., July 20, 7 p.m. 2013

The Lives of Others sets you down in 1980s East Berlin, where a straight-laced agent of the secret police — but weren’t they all so straight-laced? — becomes increasingly absorbed in the lives of a suspicious writer and his lover while conducting covert audio surveillance. It won the Oscar for best foreign film in 2007 and deserved it. It’s incredible. The lead actor, Ulrich Muhe, turns in a performance of such compelling, quiet conviction and transformation that you'll likely be moved to both shouts and tears! The circumstances make for the type of high-stakes thrills that don't require explosions to keep you engaged. The only downside is that masterful director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck went on to excrete The Tourist in 2010. The Lives of Others plays at the Cleveland Cinematheque at 5:30 tonight and at 7 p.m. on Saturday as part of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Film Fest. (Sam Allard)

Price: $9

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