WEDDING IN BLOOD (Claude Chabrol, 1973)

James M. Cain-ish adultery/murder mystery by writer-director Claude Chabrol, Les noces rouges boasts three superlative achievements: a powerful performance by Mme Chabrol, Stéphane Audran (watch for the moment when Audran’s Lucienne grabs her neck in anticipation of her likely guillotining—the audience gasps!); a terrific scene of passion between the two killers after a terrific scene […]

SEVEN YEARS’ BAD LUCK (Max Linder, 1921)

France’s silent comic Max Linder was highly influential. Chaplin, for instance, referred to himself as Linder’s pupil and borrowed Linder’s cane—though of course this brought a more complex association of meanings when accompanying Charlie’s Tramp than when accompanying Linder’s dapper millionaire beneath a silk hat. Also, Clair’s silent and early sound comedies reflect Linder’s pace […]

CHRONICLE OF AN ESCAPE (Adrián Caetano, 2006)

Signed with his full name, Israel Adrián Caetano, the superlative Uruguay-born Argentinean filmmaker of Pizza, Beer, Cigarettes (1998) and Bolivia (2001) this time has made a film that has considerably less to recommend it—that is, apart for us Americans, a reminder of what evils the current U.S. administration has embraced. In Buenos Aires in 1977, […]