SUMMERSKIN (Leopoldo Torre Nilsson, 1961)

From wife Beatriz Guido’s short story “Convalescencia,” but suggesting also Henry James’s The Wings of the Dove, Leopoldo Torre Nilsson’s Piel de verano is both languid and prickly. It is headed to the kind of point-making suicide that might work in a short story, where it becomes a form of moral punctuation, but which feels […]

MOTHER OF GOD

Is the uneven circle of pale yellow floating over the bits of city map, where all of us somewhere live, or consuming these and consuming us? Its uneven shape teases into being an optical illusion it is ever growing, perhaps with child, as Rauschenberg’s title whispers to the eye. I say yellow; others, white— perhaps […]

DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (Rouben Mamoulian, 1931)

Nearly all of Georgia, Russian-born Rouben Mamoulian’s films creak today, like old doors or (myself included) old people. Mamoulian was never a “natural” in cinema, rendering claims made on his behalf that he directed much of the silkeny Laura (1944) that producer Otto Preminger signed suspect. But he was an experimenter in a place called […]