MANITO (Eric Eason, 2002)

About an impoverished Dominican-U.S. American family in Washington Heights, Eric Eason’s Manito won a slew of festival prizes. It’s a good treatment of struggling Latino life in an urban environment.      It was shot using hand-held digital video cameras, and I have to tell you something about this. When I first saw Lars von Trier’s The […]

FILM (Alan Schneider, 1965)

Film, written by Irish playwright and novelist Samuel Beckett, is one of the greatest American films of the 1960s. The nominal director is Alan Schneider, the stage director of Edward Albee plays, and it’s doubtful that he made the slightest artistic contribution to the film apart from the considerable one of suggesting the casting of […]

VOYAGE IN ITALY (Roberto Rossellini, 1953)

Apart from Michelangelo Antonioni, whose filmmaking in part derives from his, Roberto Rossellini is Italy’s preeminent film artist. His career comes to us in overlapping phases. A Fascist filmmaker, Rossellini shifted to the side of the angels with one of the most important political films ever, Rome, Open City (1945), whose co-scenarist, Federico Fellini, was […]

HEDD WYN (Paul Turner, 1992)

The first Welsh film nominated for a foreign-language Oscar, Hedd Wyn is nearly as good as the best fictional U.S. war films, John Ford’s They Were Expendable (1945) and Sam Fuller’s The Big Red One (1980). Hollywood, of course, has scarcely enhanced the genre. Lewis Milestone’s All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), studied and […]