These films are paired in a program on Germany viewed "from without."
Night And Fog is a classic short documentary constructed of landscapes and narration that deals with the Holocaust -- one of the first films to do so and still among the most haunting.
Germany Year 90 Nine Zero, from Godard the year after the Berlin Wall fell, is an hour of film so dense that it induces brain fatigue.
Secret agent Lemmy Caution -- from Godard's Alphaville and still played by Eddie Constantine, an actor who's incompetent in three languages -- wanders the desolate wastes of the erstwhile East Germany, asking people which way to the West. In between, Godard meditates on the end of the Cold War, the free-market economy, the relationship between pre- and post-war Germany, and the nature of political resistance.
This is not easy viewing. It is challenging, metaphoric and intensely allusive. It helps to know, for example, that the White Rose was the name of a small and desperate anti-Nazi group within Germany during the war, and that the phrase "Arbeit Macht Frei" ("Work will make you free") was inscribed over the gates of Auschwitz. (October 3, Kinowelt Hall)
NIGHT AND FOG (Alain Resnais, 1955) and GERMANY YEAR 90 NINE ZERO (Jean-Luc Godard, 1991) Rating: NNNN