who is dead?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #52
Who is dead?
Who is dead?
    Simply leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the ‘Leave a comment’ at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it’s the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I’ve approved a comment, your next ones won’t be held, but published immediately by the system.]

UPDATE 1 (07 December 2012):
Who is meeting in front of that church?
As nobody seems fit to guess anything when Google’s image search fails, here’s another hint. I also could’ve asked: Who is meeting in front of that church? No, the painter from the first screencap doesn’t meet anyone there. He already is dead by the time. But the two people meeting there are intertwined with the story of his death.

UPDATE 2 and solution (08 December 2012):
Kojak at the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave, Manhattan, New York City in 'The Belarus File' (Markowitz 1985).

Kojak (Telly Savalas) at the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine—1047 Amsterdam Ave, Manhattan, New York City in ‘The Belarus File’ (Markowitz 1985).

Mona cleverly solved the riddle and correctly answered both questions. The first one by citing the New York Times: ‘an elderly Russian, who may or may not have been a Nazi war criminal,’ and the second one directly: ‘Kojak [Telly Savalas] meets Elissa Barak [Betsy Aidem].’
    The movie is ‘Kojak: The Belarus file’ (Markowitz 1985) which originally aired in the US on 16 February 1985. An alternate title is ‘The Return of Kojak’ [aptly chosen, as zeph’s pop culture quiz began with Kojak], because this television movie, running 95 minutes, was made seven years after the famous original TV-series had ended.
    Compared to the latter, the atmosphere of ‘The Belarus File’ is much darker, more serious, menacing even—I definitely would describe it as neo-noir. The saxophone soundtrack induces a matching mood. Engulfed by that soundscape, created by Joseph Conlan and Barry de Vorzon, you’d hardly be surprised if Mike Hammer would walk around a corner and onto the scene. An associative connection to Germany, and in consequence to the Third Reich, is accomplished by Max von Sydow impersonating Peter Barak, one of the leading characters.
    The whole cold war plus Third Reich heritage story is a bit reminiscent of ‘The Odessa File’ (Neame 1974), based on Frederick Forsyth’s novel of the same name (1972), ‘Marathon Man’ (Schlesinger 1976), based on William Goldman’s novel of the same name (1974), and ‘The Boys from Brazil’ (Schaffner 1978), based on Ira Levin’s novel of the same name (1976). But in contrast to these movies, ‘The Belarus File’ is based on a non-fiction book, John Loftus’ controversial ‘The Belarus Secret’ (1982)—the text on its cover reads:

The first full account of an extraordinary clandestine operation carried out in direct defiance of presidential orders: How certain government agencies, in the aftermath of World War II, smuggled into the United States hundreds of Nazi collaborators from Eastern Europe—and have continued to protect them from investigation and deportation

FORSYTH, FREDERICK. 1972. The Odessa file. London: Hutchinson.
GOLDMAN, WILLIAM. 1974. Marathon man. New York: Delacorte Press.
LEVIN, IRA. 1976. The boys from Brazil. New York: Random House.
LOFTUS, JOHN JOSEPH. 1982. The Belarus secret. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
MARKOWITZ, ROBERT. 1985. Kojak: The Belarus file [TV movie]. New York: CBS.
NEAME, RONALD. 1974. The Odessa file [motion picture]. Culver City: Columbia Pictures.
SCHAFFNER, FRANKLIN JAMES. 1978. The boys from Brazil [motion picture]. Century City: 20th Century Fox.
SCHLESINGER, JOHN RICHARD. 1976. Marathon man [motion picture]. Hollywood: Paramount Pictures.
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Comments
  • Alexander Rabitsch Tuesday, 4th December 2012 at 09:19

    ..the painter .. ? :D

  • Alhambra Tuesday, 4th December 2012 at 14:26

    Don’t the shoes look ways too clean for a painter …?

  • Alexander Rabitsch Tuesday, 4th December 2012 at 17:13

    Hm … dunno … maybe he mixed all colours … shouldn´t that effect some black colour? My printer does it that way :D

  • zephyrin_xirdal Tuesday, 4th December 2012 at 21:29

    Well, yes, among other things, he was a house painter, but that has nothing to do with his death. His demise is rooted in other dimensions of his biography. The condition of his shoes doesn’t lead up to anything—they’re still clean, because he was just about beginning his work in that room, when fate struck.

  • Alhambra Tuesday, 4th December 2012 at 23:01

    Once again not the faintest idea … A hint would be nice, but tomorrow is soon enough :-) ‘nite!

  • Alexander Rabitsch Saturday, 8th December 2012 at 08:59

    So, the people meet in NY … the movie does also play in NY?

    • zephyrin_xirdal Saturday, 8th December 2012 at 11:12

      This is correct, the movie plays in New York City. But the reasons behind the death of the painter go back to earlier events in Europe.

  • Mona Saturday, 8th December 2012 at 14:19

    The answer to the first question is probably “an elderly Russian, who may or may not have been a Nazi war criminal” (http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/27647/Kojak-The-Belarus-File/overview). The second question is answered on imdb’s page to the Movie: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0089434/locations (did you put it there, zeph? ^_^): Kojak meets Elissa Barak. Btw, thank you for using screenshots from the trailer, otherwise it would have been impossible for me to verify my suspicion :)

    • zephyrin_xirdal Saturday, 8th December 2012 at 14:28

      Wonderful, everything is absolutely correct—congratulations, Mona! And, yes, I on purpose took screencaps which in a similar way pop up in the usual ‘Tonight on Kojak’ trailer of times gone by. Else I thought it to be too hard. And no, I didn’t put the information on imdb, it was already there. Fine work, well done! Your solution was a proof of concept for people with brains still being superior to those with keyboard and mouse only ;)