SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS (Sergei Parajanov, 1964)

Armenian filmmaker Sergei Parajanov’s tribute to Ukrainian mentor Aleksandr Dovzhenko, Tini zabutykh predkiv draws upon weirder, denser visual material than does the master’s beautiful piece of Ukrainian folklore, Zvenigora (1928). I find Parajanov’s film remarkable but also, because I can only imperfectly follow it, frustrating.      There is a melodramatic plot in the Carpathian Mountains a […]

LOVE UNTO DEATH (Alain Resnais, 1984)

A frantic Elisabeth struggles with Simon on their bedroom floor. Apparently Simon has had a heart attack. Dr. Rozier pronounces him dead.      After the doctor has left, though, light as air Simon descends the corkscrew staircase that reminds us of the spiral staircase encapsulating the mysteries of Time in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958). Simon, we […]

MARCH TO ALDERMASTON (Lindsay Anderson, Karel Reisz et al., 1959)

On Good Friday 1958 they gathered in Trafalgar Square and began their four-day march to the atomic weapons factory in Aldermaston, Berkshire. They kept to their mission despite, weather-wise, the century’s worst Easter Saturday, and their numbers grew along the way. Organized by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the peaceful protest led to subsequent marches […]