FATHER (István Szabó, 1966)

Hungary’s István Szabó was still in his twenties when he made Apa, and its ebullient filmmaking and fluent use of camera convey the sheer possibilities of youth. Takó is also in his twenties; his father, like Szabó’s father a doctor, died shortly after the Second World War. The film recollects Takó’s boyhood, connecting personal history […]

JUST BEFORE NIGHTFALL (Claude Chabrol, 1971)

To paraphrase Confucius: “A bit of mise-en-scène is worth a thousand words.”      In Versailles, Charles and Hélène Masson reputedly have a perfect, most loving marriage—only, we cannot help but notice their twin beds, and not once do we see them make love. As it happens, in Paris Charles is having an affair—and it’s a lurid […]