BEFORE THE REVOLUTION (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1964)

“Those who didn’t live in the eighteenth century before the [French] Revolution will never be able to know the sweetness of life.” — Talleyrand At 22 Bernardo Bertolucci made Prima della rivoluzione. Fabrizio, his young protagonist, concludes there’s no escaping his bourgeois past, no matter his Leftist political leanings. The oppressed whom he would help […]

ACE IN THE HOLE (Billy Wilder, 1951)

Kirk Douglas, normally not a favorite of mine, gives a finely judged and thrillingly intense performance as Chuck Tatum, an opportunistic newspaper reporter in one of Billy Wilder’s most brilliant films, Ace in the Hole, former newsman Wilder’s maiden effort after breaking with writing partner Charles Brackett. The hostile press and public reception to it […]