FRANKENSTEIN (James Whale, 1931)

It is a great pity that Peggy Webling’s stilted, stupid 1927 play midwived James Whale’s Frankenstein, thus robbing the film of considerable intellectual merit from the get-go and ill serving the brilliant 1818 novel by Mary Shelley upon which the film was ostensibly (at whatever remove) based. Praising the thin, if evocative, and slightly mawkish […]

SISTERS, OR THE BALANCE OF HAPPINESS (Margarethe von Trotta, 1979)

Imagination, encapsulated by a spooky fairy tale about two sisters depending on one another in a dark forest, joined sisters Maria and Anna Sündermann in childhood. Now, adults, they live together. Maria (Jutta Lampe, excellent) is a supremely competent, efficient executive secretary in a high-powered business firm; Anna, who is younger, is pursuing a science […]