LES MISERABLES (Raymond Bernard, 1934)

Literary cinema attracts more than academic interest when it derives from a work of such national importance as Victor Hugo’s Les misérables. Indeed, this 1862 novel is regarded worldwide as a monumental work exposing social injustice.      Raymond Bernard’s massive, reverential film is a distinct disappointment showing little, if any, of the flair of his Les […]

THE SCARLET FLOWER (Irina Povolotskaya, 1977)

Partly based on S.T. Aksakov’s nineteenth-century Russian transmutation of “Beauty and the Beast,” with an unwieldy bit of Pushkin’s “Queen of Spades” thrown in, Alenkiy tsvetochek promises a uniquely female perspective on its fairy-tale material. The movie was scripted by Natalya Ryazantseva and directed by Irina Povolotskaya.      Three daughters ask their merchant-father to bring them […]