ADAM’S RIB (George Cukor, 1949)

Defense attorney Amanda Bonner, speaking for her gender, tells her husband, assistant district attorney Adam, “We don’t want advantages—or prejudices.” Adam is prosecuting Doris Attinger (Judy Holliday, sensational), who (with her eyes closed!) shot at her husband’s mistress but critically wounded her children’s father instead; exasperated by the unequal application of “the unwritten law,” Amanda […]

ALMANAC OF FALL (Béla Tarr, 1984)

Béla Tarr’s Öszi almanach is beautifully crafted, but it is so unpleasant, so nasty and pessimistic, I ended up hating it. The entire action, much of which consists of intimate two-person conversations and (verbal, physical) confrontations, unfolds in Hédi’s flat—an intricately detailed, occasionally mysterious, half-expressionistic space. Hédi (Hédi Temessy, impressive), who is about sixty, lives […]