LETTER TO JANE (Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin, 1972)

Following her starring role in Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin’s Tout va bien (1972), Jane Fonda was invited to Vietnam. A photograph of her there was published, captioned, in the French news magazine L’Express and reappeared throughout the West. Analyzing this photo, Godard and Gorin’s Letter to Jane appeared shortly after.      This amazingly astute film […]

GOING MY WAY (Leo McCarey, 1944)

Only a Hitler or a Scrooge could resist Leo McCarey’s warm, genuinely funny Going My Way, a sentimental entertainment that garnered seven Oscars, including best picture. For me, this musical-dramedy provides merry and melodious viewing every Christmastime.      Elderly Father Fitzgibbon is failing to keep afloat St. Dominic, the working-class New York City church he built […]

GINGER AND FRED (Federico Fellini, 1986)

There are films by Federico Fellini that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy (8½, for instance); but Ginger and Fred, about a dance team reunited for a Christmastime television special after a thirty years’ separation, is wonderfully entertaining and deeply affecting. Compounding its rich nostalgia is the casting of the two lead roles: Giulietta […]