KIPPUR (Amos Gitaï, 2000)

Amos Gitaï (pronounced with a hard “g” and long “i,” gi-tie, with the accent on the second syllable), perhaps the most widely known Israeli filmmaker, was born in Haifa in 1950. He based the stunning Kippur, which he directed from his and Marie-Jose Sanselme’s script, on his own combat experience in the 1973 Yom Kippur […]

BROKEN WINGS (Nir Bergman, 2002)

What does a fictional filmmaker do? Outstanding ones attend to giving form, most notably visual form, to ideas they have that contribute to a work’s thematic development. This involves filling and composing frames (mise-en-scène) expressively rather than perfunctorily (to advance a plot) or decoratively (to create attractive visual designs). It also involves choosing how to […]

LOVE AND ANGER (Marco Bellocchio, Bernardo Bertolucci, Jean-Luc Godard, Carlo Lizzani, Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1968)

There is generally good cause when a filmmaker apologizes for a film and repudiates it. Consider, for instance, Stanley Kubrick, who repudiated A Clockwork Orange (1971) and even took the unprecedented step to suppress it in the only arena where he could muster the clout to do so—at home, in Britain. There is also good […]

L’ENFANT (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, 2005)

If memory serves, only three other filmmakers, Francis Ford Coppola, Emir Kusturíca and Shohei Imamura, had won the top prize at Cannes twice when the Dardennes, Jean-Pierre and Luc, entered this highly exclusive circle. Their L’enfant won the world’s most prestigious film prize, the Palme d’Or, as had, earlier, their Rosetta (1999). A Belgium-France co-production, […]