IL BIDONE (Federico Fellini, 1955)

The following is one of the entries from my 100 Greatest Films from Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal list, which I invite you to visit on this site if you haven’t already done so. — Dennis In The Swindle, one of Federico Fellini’s best films, Augusto fleeces peasants. The con man ends up alone on […]

ROMA (Federico Fellini, 1972)

An inspiration for Woody Allen’s sweepingly nostalgic, hilarious Radio Days (1987), Federico Fellini’s Roma begins objectively, with Fellini’s voiceover intruding on a patently artificial set, and proceeds to vignettes from his childhood in Rimini, which includes his introduction to Rome. Dictator Mussolini still runs Italy when Fellini, now 18, visits Rome, staying at a bizarre […]

AT FIVE IN THE AFTERNOON (Samira Makhmalbaf, 2003)

Written by Iran’s Mohsen Makhmalbaf and daughter Samira, Panj é asr is a compassionate film about post-Taliban Afghanistan that appreciates both religious elders and the young who yearn for self-determination, and a visionary film, a circular “road picture” that keeps returning to the school where girls are encouraged to think about national affairs and how […]

WELCOME TO L.A. (Alan Rudolph, 1976)

Robert Altman protégé Alan Rudolph’s deeply affecting noirish comic rondelay about loneliness and musical beds in Los Angeles, “the city of the one-night stands,” surveys to devastating effect heavily tread-upon hopes, desire, vulnerability. At the center of the film is Carroll Barber, beautifully played by Keith Carradine, who has returned to L.A. after a three […]