FIVE CONTENTIOUS GIRLS (Evald Schorm, 1967)

Beautifully written by Iva Hercíková, Evald Schorm’s Pět holek na krku, which may be set in Prague—my guess, because Schorm is a native of Prague—opens with a montage of shots of old city architecture and sculpture. The narrative centers on five fifteen-year-old or so schoolgirls, whose modernity tilts at times towards the past: for instance, […]

THE DIARY OF A CHAMBERMAID (Jean Renoir, 1946)

In introducing, on VHS, the fourth of Jean Renoir’s five Hollywood films, The Diary of a Chambermaid, Roddy McDowall assures us it is “lighthearted.” The style of this tragicomedy, based on Octave Mirbeau’s novel as midwived by André de Lorde and André Heuzé’s play, may indeed be “lighthearted”; but (except for the momentarily happy ending) […]