L’ARGENT (Marcel L’Herbier, 1928)

“Money passed through like a cyclone.” Marcel L’Herbier’s dazzling assault on capitalism updates Émile Zola’s 1890-91 novel Money, part of the Rougon-Macquart series, from the 1860s to the 1920s and, alas, remains current. The plot turns on the rivalry between Saccard and Gunderman, two financiers. They operate in a world that reeks of money—wealth without […]

TRAFFIC (Jacques Tati, 1971)

Jacques Tati’s final film finds Monsieur Hulot employed—surprisingly, as an automobile designer for Altra Motors. His camper is fitted with a dizzying variety of ingenious gadgets and features. Now its show model is headed for an international auto show in Amsterdam. Also making the trip, in their own cars, are Hulot and Altra’s public relations […]

RED (Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1994)

“Who are you?” Valentine Dussaut (Irène Jacob, incandescent), a young model, asks Joseph Kern, a much older man she wonders about. His answer, “A retired judge,” tells her what she already knows. Is he more than that?      The conclusion of a trilogy, Krzysztof Kieślowski’s last film, Trois couleurs: Rouge, takes as its principal motif the […]