THE SILENCE (Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 1998)

Certain references in this old piece pertaining to people’s ages no longer apply. Time marches on for all of us, even the filmmakers among us. It’s a miracle that the Iranian cinema is currently one of the world’s richest. Freedom of expression, sadly, has been as discouraged by political authority there as it is by […]


One of the most electrifying thrillers ever made, Louis Malle’s first film, Elevator to the Gallows (Lift to the Scaffold; Frantic), opened up to me recently, revealing a depth of concerns that, during five or six previous viewings, had somehow been lost to my too-often-too-complacent head. Why I missed so much probably owes something to […]

THE DELTA (Ira Sachs, 1996)

The Delta, a good first feature, was shot on a shoestring, in 16mm. Ira Sachs directed from his own script. A “gay film” insofar as the two lead characters are young homosexuals (I know nothing about Sachs’s own sexual orientation), The Delta is in fact a study of the impingement of raucously contemporary issues on […]

JUNEBUG (Phil Morrison, 2005)

We each have our different tastes and just as others, I’m sure, are appalled by mine from time to time, I am appalled by the praise that has been heaped on Junebug, the sentimental union of soap opera and farce that first-time scenarist Angus MacLachlan and first-time director Phil Morrison have wrought, to my taste, […]