IRMA VEP (Olivier Assayas, 1996)

“I like the silence in a silent movie. . . . You must respect the silence.” The source of these two comments is René Vidal, whose career as a filmmaker has deteriorated—a reflection of a national phenomenon following May 1968: the disillusionment of France’s political Left. In truth, French cinema has always had its diversions […]

100 GREATEST FILMS LIST (Part II, entries 51-100)

1953 (cont’d) 51. VOYAGE IN ITALY (Roberto Rossellini, Italy). Ingrid Bergman gave her most probing, penetrating performance in husband Roberto Rossellini’s Viaggio in Italia. The film surveys a faltering marriage. Rossellini described its subject matter as “a couple’s relationship under the influence of a third person: the exterior world.”       Alex and Katherine Joyce, a British […]


Last Chants for a Slow Dance, Jon Jost’s “Gary Gilmore film” (metaphorically, not literally), proceeds by set-pieces, switching between color and black and white, sound and silence, static and moving camera, realism and moody dreaminess, script (by Jost and Peter Trias) and improvisation. A haunting evocation of some interior male American landscape, the film follows […]