AEROGRAD (Aleksandr Dovzhenko, 1935)

Thematically, Aleksandr Dovzhenko’s stunning Aerograd (Frontier) is a sequel to his staggering Earth (1930). The connection is this: both films assault kulaks, “Old Believers”—Christians—whose selfish desire to maintain private ownership of land contests the Soviet people’s right, by virtue of the Bolshevik Revolution, to claim this land as theirs. Of course, in Earth “land” specifically […]

LITTLE CHILDREN (Todd Field, 2006)

Little Children confirms what In the Bedroom indicated about Todd Field: he has nothing to contribute to anyone’s understanding of the human condition. Neither the Bergmanian opening, with its cache of clocks, nor the film’s Altmanian procedure (possibly by way of Paul Thomas Anderson) amongst various and variously crisscrossing lives is used toward any productive […]

MURIEL OR THE TIME OF A RETURN (Alain Resnais, 1963)

Written by Jean Cayrol and directed by Alain Resnais, Muriel ou Le temps d’un retour takes place during two weeks mostly in early October 1962, that is to say, after Algeria’s achievement of independence in July following war between France and its colony that had begun in 1954. Information about the French military’s widespread use […]