THE BITTER TEA OF GENERAL YEN (Frank Capra, 1933)

Frank Capra directed partner Barbara Stanwyck in religious roles twice: as The Miracle Woman (1931), a crowd-manipulating evangelist based on Aimee Semple McPherson, and as a quiet missionary who believes herself principled, in The Bitter Tea of General Yen. Once kidnapped in Shanghai amidst the chaos of civil war, and finding herself unexpectedly drawn to […]

THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS (Denys Arcand, 2003)

The French-Canadian The Barbarian Invasions (Les invasions barbares) won the Oscar as best foreign-language film of 2003. Prize-wise, 2003 was indeed the year of Barbarian Invasions. Its Québec-born filmmaker, Denys Arcand, won for his script at Cannes, where one of his actresses, Marie-Josée Croze, also placed first for the trenchant role of a young drug […]

THREE LIVES AND ONLY ONE DEATH (Râúl Ruiz, 1996)

Chilean emigré Râúl Ruiz had been living in Paris for about twenty years when he made his surreal, intricate Trois vies & une seule mort about split identity and various forms of separation. It consists of three episodes, in each of which a major character looks identical (Marcello Mastroianni, captivating) while living a different life; […]