PERFORMANCE (Donald Cammell, Nicolas Roeg, 1970)

James Fox gives a scalding, brilliant performance as Chas, a vicious East London enforcer hiding in a faded rock star’s mansion following a killing that his boss had warned him not to commit, in Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg’s Performance. Chas becomes unexpectedly helpless as he more deeply enters the drugged, delirious, androgynous realm of […]

YOL (Serif Gören, 1982)

Heavy, tedious Turkish arthouse melodrama, The Road is more interesting for its history than in and of itself. Scenarist Yilmaz Güney, an ethnic Kurd, could not film The Road because he was a political prisoner of Turkey’s military regime. Therefore, his assistant, Serif Gören, shot the film. Turkey had had a military coup in 1960 […]

SWEET ADELINE (Mervyn LeRoy, 1934)

Count this one of the great Hollywood musicals of the 1930s. You may recall that Andrew Sarris, disparaging Mervyn LeRoy’s filmography in general, considered Irene Dunne’s performance in his turn-of-the-century Sweet Adeline as being “worth any number of clinkers.” Indeed, Dunne is magnificent as Adeline Schmidt, who, following her father’s foolish advice, trades in a […]