THE IDIOT (Akira Kurosawa, 1951)

There are some things we will never see. One is the complete, 9½-hour version of Erich von Stroheim’s Greed (1924), which Irving Thalberg, at M-G-M, had slashed to 2¼ hours, with the studio destroying for all time the balance of the footage during the Eisenhower era. Another is the complete, 4½-hour version of Hakuchi, Akira […]

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS (Gabriele Muccino, 2006)

Despite Laura Morante’s wonderful acting, Gabriele Muccino’s Ricordati di me (2003) proved a moribund family drama, and Muccino’s first American film, The Pursuit of Happyness, is much, much worse. Loosely based on an actual pilgrim’s progress in the 1980s, it flashes hope that it will be critical of Reaganism but collapses (perhaps unintentionally) into a […]

MASCULIN-FEMININ (Jean-Luc Godard, 1966)

Time is being very good to Jean-Luc Godard, whose films reveal one of the great humanistic intelligences of the twentieth century. (Monsieur Godard is still going strong in another century.) While certainly his films provide sociopolitical snapshots of their particular day, they remain also fresh, contemporaneous to the moment as well as to their own […]