J’ACCUSE (Abel Gance, 1938)

I haven’t seen the 1919 silent J’accuse by Abel Gance that is sometimes called a masterpiece.* Alas, Gance’s own sound remake is a mess. Gance correctly sensed that war was brewing in Europe, but it’s unclear whether his anti-war message is for the sake of peace or, treasonously, German ambition. In any case, the French […]

ELENA ET LES HOMMES (Jean Renoir, 1956)

Ingrid Bergman: Jean Renoir wanted to show the warm, glowing, sly, funny, sensual woman he knew as a friend. The result: Eléna et les hommes—a mellow, marvelous comedic romance. At 41, Bergman was at the peak of her charms; François Truffaut described her Eléna as the materialization of Venus, Goddess of Love and Beauty. Bergman’s […]