NOTRE MUSIQUE (Jean-Luc Godard, 2004)

After Jean-Luc Godard’s masterpiece, Eloge de l’amour (2001), Notre Musique is, for me, a major disappointment. It’s exquisite, dotted with brilliant insights, but patchy, schematic and lightweight. Its principal source of humanity is Godard playing himself, but on this occasion his filmmaking is so-so. Also, I must confess I don’t “get” the third segment, “Paradise.” […]

TONY TAKITANI (Jun Ichikawa, 2004)

Haruki Murakami’s short story “Tony Takitani” has been turned into a lovely, fragile film by writer-director Jun Ichikawa—as far as I know, no relation to the great Kon Ichikawa. It is a film about contemporary loneliness and the toll it takes, the way it can be allowed to govern one’s life. Indeed, this perceptive and […]

PRIVATE LIVES (Fito Páez, 2001)

From Argentina, a fine romantic melodrama and backdoor national historical tragedy, Private Lives—Vidas privadas—suggests the work of a more politically minded, less theatrical Pedro Almodóvar. The source of the resemblance may be the film’s star, Cecilia Roth, who has since starred in Almodóvar’s All About My Mother (1999) and Talk to Her (2002). Roth, giving […]