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Inspired by the haunting music of composer Franz Liszt, Liebestraum is an ominous tale (Time Out) of lust, jealousy and murder. Award-winning* writer/director Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas) brilliantly weaves a 'smoldering blend of sex, death and music (Janet Maslin, TheNew York Times) into a 'satisfyingly dark (The Hollywood Reporter), 'sophisticated, seductive [and] romantic thriller (Village View)! What begins as a passionate crusade to save a landmark building turns into a passionate love affair with dire consequences. Nick (Kevin Anderson), a professor of architecture who's come home to visit his dying mother (Kim Novak), knows he must preserve a cast-iron building marked for demolition by Paul (Bill Pullman), a ruthless developer andformer friend. But when he falls for Paul's wife, Jane (Pamela Gidley), Nick unwittingly tempts fate with his own life. For buried within the walls of the landmark lies a dark secreta murderous history which is linked to Nick and now may find him as its next victim! *1995: Director, IndependentSpirit Award, LA Film Critics Circle and National Society of Film Critics, Leaving Las Vegas
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Characters return, converging to the site of the crime: the Ralston Department Store, now closed and being torn down. Unfortunately, the movie plods along much too slowly. Clues are too slow in coming and too abstractly cloaked in artsy film making. It isn't until the last 20 minutes that things begin to fall into place; The matter of the lone survivor of the crime leaves a problematic element if one accepts the premise of possible reincarnation - maybe transmigration of a soul was intended?
Strangely, the film does pull you to it after you've watched it once and understand what it was trying for. The problem is the lack of action and plodding pace can't hold the attention long enough for most to want to watch it through to the end the first time around.....