A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (Steven Spielberg, 2001)

The title of Steven Spielberg’s film A.I.: Artificial Intelligence echoes that of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, an hysterical fable fueled by his penchant for seducing members of audiences to yield their individuality in favor of realizing a truer identity through a group, the audience they are part of—a crowd this director seeks to control. Spielberg has […]

I AM CUBA (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1964)

Written by Yevgeni Yevtushenko and Enrique Pineda Barnet, and directed by Mikheil Kalatozishvili (a.k.a. Mikhail Kalatozov), and brought to the U.S. belatedly—by thirty years—by enthusiasts Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese, Soy Cuba will have to do until Chris Marker’s legendary documentary ¡Cuba Sí! (1961) greets our eyes. More operatic than analytical, Kalatozishvili’s Soviet-Cuban co-production […]

CLOUDS OF MAY (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 1999)

In Clouds of May (Mayis Sikintisi), Turkey’s Nuri Bilge Ceylan honors a filmmaker, a contemporary of his, and a century-earlier writer both of whom he loves—and whom I also love. One is Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, whose Through the Olive Trees (1994) his film echoes, and the other is Russian author Anton Chekhov, whose final […]