THE LAVENDER HILL MOB (Charles Crichton, 1951)

In the late forties and fifties, Alec Guinness acted brilliantly in a series of superlative British comedies, including Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), The Man in the White Suit (1952) and The Horse’s Mouth (1958). Beautifully written by T. E. B. Clarke, Charles Crichton’s Lavender Hill Mob may be the most cherished of them.      “Dutch” […]

BROKEN SKY (Julián Hernández, 2006)

Sadly reminiscent of another insufferable Mexican film, Alfonso Cuarón’s Y tu mamá también (2001), Broken Sky (El cielo dividido) lays claim to being 2006’s worst film. Its subject matter is the idyllic launch and then painful disintegration of a romantic relationship between two teenaged boys at college. They are shown extensively in bed doing all […]

PHILADELPHIA (Jonathan Demme, 1993)

Once, Jonathan Demme seemed modestly gifted and humane (Handle with Care, 1977; Melvin and Howard, 1980). The Silence of the Lambs (1991), however, exposed Demme’s audience-rousing bent and depraved personality while imposing on us the bizarre histrionics of Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster, each of whom, absent acting ability, at least absent acting ability applicable […]

NUMERO DEUX/ESSAI TITRES (Jean-Luc Godard, Anne-Marie Miéville, 1975)

With A bout de souffle (1959) Jean-Luc Godard gave the nouvelle vague its most formative practical definition and, as time has shown, made the single most influential film of all time. In the 1960s Godard came up with one brilliant work after another, including the fierce, stunning Weekend (1967). Expanding on the experimental nature of […]