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19 days to watch
Rediscovered
8.1
/10
309 Ratings

Pharos of Chaos

Leuchtturm des Chaos

West Germany, 1983
Documentary
Rediscovered

Synopsis

Sterling Hayden, the semi-retired actor, war hero, and writer passes his days living on a barge in France. He enjoys telling anecdotes, until finally opening up about his alcoholism, loneliness, “creative impotency,” and deepest shame: publicly naming names in Hollywood during the Red Scare.

Our take

On the birthday of the great Sterling Hayden, see a side you’ve never seen of the actor best known for Asphalt Jungle and his work with Stanley Kubrick. In extended conversations, a bearded, boozing Hayden spins captivating yarns of his extraordinary life: sailing, war, Hollywood, and naming names.

Pharos of Chaos Directed by Manfred Blank, Wolf-Eckart Bühler Watch now
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Critics reviews

[Hayden] may not say much specifically about his life story, but [his] forceful vigor, erudite sensibility, and booze-and-hashish supplemented conversation is as enthralling as it is tragic. As unsparing in his politics as he arrogant of opinion, as self-destructive as he is self-aware, the film finds the man at once at the peak of his power and the depths of his isolated despair.
August 04, 2018
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What are people saying?

  • Patrick's rating of the film Pharos of Chaos

    I liked the tension between the Man and the Actor, the suggestion that his coming before the HUAC was in essence theatre smacks of Arendt. Its ironic hearing Hayden, a supposedly enviable Golden Age leading man, could detest his life so much, call all his movies trash, feel "creatively impotent", and feel terribly lonely and express a desire to live as Che in the mountains. Will definitely deserve a rewatch.

  • Sonia Marybel's rating of the film Pharos of Chaos

    Pelicula muy humana , un hombre dividido y enfrentado siempre a dilemas. Sterling Hayden era un hombre extraordinario. Su vida como marinero, héroe de guerra estrella de cine y ex miembro del partido comunista le dio una rara combinación de experiencias de vida. Puede ser encantadoramente divertido y sabio, a pesar de su alcohol y hachís . Muy buena

  • Tristan Ortega's rating of the film Pharos of Chaos

    Much like his barge, connected to the land by a plank of wood, Sterling exists within two worlds with many manifestations -- his barge, and land; his sobriety and alcoholism; his fame and hermit tendencies; his privilege and his activism. The film treats us to this constant battle between two forces through the most natural way of introducing a character: conversation. This a beautiful human film.

  • Janosch Bela Kratz's rating of the film Pharos of Chaos

    A slow but intensive monologue. Captured in a very neutral and gentle way. Beutiful shots showing him inbetween his life. He is an open book but caged in his alcoholism at the same time. Short interventions give a good overview on his life and work. There is nor a conversation neither any discussions. They just filmed him arguing with himself. This is the most honest thing I have ever seen.

  • Jeff Gay's rating of the film Pharos of Chaos

    So what can you say about this picture, huh? Babbling streams of consciousness from this genuine Hollywood movie star hmm who, in his waning years sails around in his drunk and high barge, huh - for, for, for a documentary film crew to allow him to ramble endlessly about his life, philosophy, movies, his novels, putty boy, etc. Hey? And that’s what’s up. He drinks, he rambles. Hmmm. Huh? What can I say? Let her rip

  • Natalie Hitoun's rating of the film Pharos of Chaos

    Sterling Hayden was an extraordinary man. His life as a seaman, movie star war hero and former member of the communist party gave him a rare combination of life experiences. He can be charmingly funny and wise, despite his alcohol and hashish ridden rambles Patience with his rambling may lead you to discover one possible reason for his alcoholism. Needed directed questions and ruthless editing from the film makers

  • josé neves's rating of the film Pharos of Chaos

    Kino # 3. Staying connected with dedication to its protagonist, inserting images of the spaces that surround and characterize its solitude - of the geographical zone surrounding his boat -, staring with astonishment and accuracy the figure that so clearly exposes himself /performs, is a positive value of a movie that only counts on us, the viewers, as its reverse-shot.

  • Wee Hunk's rating of the film Pharos of Chaos

    It definitely gives you a sense of the man. At a particular age and context. Not necessarily flattering, he acknowledges his faults, like the alcoholism.

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