“Samapti” from TEEN KANYA (Satyajit Ray, 1961)

From Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, writer-director Satyajit Ray’s “Samapti” starts out hilarious and troubled and turns tender and joyous. Characters learn to bend to others, to stop being stubborn and to allow others to choose what they want for themselves. Ray, Jean Renoir’s assistant on The River (1951), beautifully alludes (with his girl on a […]

SSAKI (Roman Polanski, 1962)

Co-written by Andrzej Kondratiuk, Roman Polanski’s beauteous comical silent Mammals, ten minutes long, crosses Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Polanski’s own The Fat and the Lean (1961), tossing in another Absurdist inspiration, the myth of Sisyphus, as well as a brief parody of Maciek’s lumbering animal death in Andrzej Wajda’s Ashes and Diamonds (1958). […]

A CRY IN THE DARK (Fred Schepisi, 1988)

Engrossing, riveting, heart-battering, Fred Schepisi’s A Cry in the Dark (a.k.a. Evil Angels) dramatizes the most infamous case in Australian legal history. It swept the Australian Film Institute’s major prizes: best film; direction; script, Robert Caswell, Schepisi; actor, Sam Neill; actress, Meryl Streep.      Streep (best actress, also, Cannes, New York critics) is complex and poignant […]