THE WITMAN BOYS (János Szász, 1997)

János Szász’s Woyzeck (1994) is brilliant; but how good a filmmaker would Hungary’s Szász prove to be without the Büchner to work with? Answer: damn good. Evidence: Witman fiúk.      At the turn of the century, two bourgeois schoolboys, János and Ernö Witman, lose their father. They more or less also lose their mother, who either […]

CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON (Ang Lee, 2000)

His Sense and Sensibility (1995) crackled with such emotional excitement some of us mistakenly concluded that Taiwan’s Ang Lee could direct. Since then, his papier-mâché Wo hu cang long, for all its martial-arts spectacle, has proven otherwise. Plainly, the earlier wonderful film owed more to Jane Austin, Emma Thomson’s script and the performances of his […]