Robert Bresson’s Arthurian Lancelot du Lac, from Chrétien de Troyes, was meant to follow immediately Diary of a Country Priest (1950); by the time Bresson realized his dream project nearly a quarter-century later, his work had passed from black and white into color—color, here, rich, mysterious, hauntingly beautiful. Still, this isn’t a period film in […]
In Franco’s fascist Spain, María José and Juan are having a secret affair. María José is the wife of Miguel, an industrialist who benefited from supporting Franco; María José never loved her husband, but Miguel was her ticket to the sweet life, because money stays current even while class loses its grip. For his part, […]
Strenuously overdirected (to cover a want of imagination and humanity), Julian Schnabel’s La scaphandre et le papillon surveys the reality and fantasies/dreams of an actual person, Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor of the fashion magazine Elle, whose 1995 massive stroke left him in “locked-in syndrome.” Only his left eyelid survived paralysis, and it is with this that […]
Order means a continuous battle with chaos. Writer-director Krzysztof Zanussi’s grave, mysterious Zycie jako smiertelna choroba przenoszona droga plciowa revolves around Dr. Tomasz Berg (Zbigniew Zapasiewicz, tremendously moving), who is dying of lung cancer, casting him in double roles: doctor, patient; observer, one who experiences; nonbeliever (“ . . . grace has bypassed me”), yet […]
Sunlight on wings balances sky, including the earth, effortlessly.
Behavioral comedy, his forte, is suffocated by nastiness and sentimental antics in Milos Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a simplistic melodrama based on Ken Kesey’s novel by way of Dale Wasserman’s play. Its mawkish antiestablishmentarianism is passé now, and its misogynism remains strident and reprehensible. Forman manipulated audiences toward an expression of their […]
The following is one of the entries from my 100 Greatest Films list, which I invite you to visit on this site if you haven’t already done so. — Dennis Written and directed by Ermanno Olmi, Lunga vita alla signora is Italy’s most brilliant film comedy. The “lady” in question, decrepit though still holding on, […]