Now that Michelangelo Antonioni has departed for Paradise, the greatest living filmmaker is dear Jean-Luc, it seems to me. Dear, dear Jean-Luc! Apart from Godard, perhaps these five, in alphabetical order, round out the half-dozen greatest living filmmakers: Chantal Äkerman Hou Hsiao-hsien Kon Ichikawa Abbas Kiarostami Krzysztof Zanussi At least I think all of these […]


Today is sadder than yesterday. Michelangelo Antonioni has died. With Ozu, Dreyer and Eisenstein, he was one of the four greatest film artists of all time. Antonioni was 94. Just three years ago, he made one of his loveliest works: “Michelangelo’s Gaze.” “L’eclisse,” the single most essential film for understanding the sixties, is among my […]

THE SEVENTH SEAL (Ingmar Bergman, 1956)

In the 1950s a handful of films generated interest among Americans in international cinema: Federico Fellini’s La strada (1954), Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Diabolique (1954), Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries (1957), François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows (1959) and, also by Bergman, The Seventh Seal. These films were largely responsible for creating the “art house crowd” that sought out […]