A look back at this day in film history
August 22
BreakingTheWaves October 4, 1995
Breaking the Waves opens

With his 1996 film, Breaking the Waves, Lars von Trier took a left turn from sumptuously shot earlier works like Europa, embracing a new, handheld, more visceral shooting style to tell the story of Bess, a wife of a paralyzed oil drilling worker who submits herself to a gang rape in a holy appeal for his recovery. Set in 1970s Scotland, the movie contained nudity, shocking sex scenes and a revelatory performance by Emily Watson, who projected an altruistic innocence with such conviction that the director’s various audience provocations were perfectly counterbalanced. Breaking the Waves, which played the New York Film Festival October 4, 1996, is a religious film for our times in that, whatever the motives of its director, it practically begs the audience to dismiss the wife’s divine convictions while her performance urges us otherwise. Wrote Roger Ebert in his review, “Not many movies like this get made, because not many filmmakers are so bold, angry and defiant. Like many truly spiritual films, it will offend the Pharisees. Here we have a story that forces us to take sides, to ask what really is right and wrong in a universe that seems harsh and indifferent. Is religious belief only a consolation for our inescapable destination in the grave? Or can faith give the power to triumph over death and evil? Bess knows.”

More Flashbacks
pump up the volume August 22, 1990
Pump Up the Volume released

On this day in 1990, a rousing cinematic anthem to unlikely teenage rebellion hit theaters Stateside. Not only was the hero of Pump Up the Volume somewhat unlikely, but the fact that the movie was being made at all was also surprising, as its director, Allan Moyle, had retired from directing 10 years previously.

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August 22, 1971
And Now for Something Completely Different opens in US

Perhaps the most ingenious transitional device in the history of TV belongs to Monty Python, the British comedy troupe who'd blithely cut from one unrelated sketch to another with the words, "And now for something completely different."

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22 August 1971
And Now For Something Eerily Familiar

For fans of Monty Python, their first film simply restaged their favorite skits. But for the US and the world, the film introduced a new generation of comedy stars.

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