Sterritt *** After losing her memory in a Los Angeles car crash, a young woman comes under the care of a wannabe actress who agrees to help her discover who she is and figure out why her purse is crammed with cash. That's just the bare bones of the plot, which also includes a cynical cop, a hit man who can't shoot straight, and others too numerous to mention. The movie is closer to a delirious dream than a conventional thriller. It will frustrate viewers who like stories to make instant sense, but fans of provocative puzzles will have mind-teasing fun if they can stomach Lynch's trademarked outbursts of sex and violence.
Director: Béla Tarr. With Lars Rudolph, Hanna Schygulla, Peter Fitz. (145 min.)
Sterritt **** Apocalypse is in the air as the residents of a poor Hungarian town cope with their unhappy lives, engage in petty disputes, and await the arrival of an enigmatic prince who travels with a wandering circus and may have a redeeming message to reveal. Tarr wants to stir the imagination and awaken the conscience of his audience rather than divert us with easy entertainment, so be ready for another of his dense, meditative parables filmed in long, slow-moving shots. This is as challenging as movies come, alluding to everything from philosopher Thomas Hobbes to the history of Western music. But compared with Tarr's legendary "Sátantángo," which clocks in at seven hours, it's almost a quickie. In Hungarian with English subtitles
Director: Gary Fleder. With Michael Douglas, Brittany Murphy, Sean Bean, Famke Janssen. (110 min.)