DEV (Govind Nihalani, 2004)

Born in Karachi, in what was British India and is now Pakistan, Govind Nihalani has directed and cinematographed Dev, a tremendous, sweeping, heart-walloping melodrama about India’s Hindu-Muslim riots, which (contrary to what a good many reviews declare) were still going on in India at the time of the film and after, although India’s government suppressed […]

THE CITY AND THE DOGS (Francisco J. Lombardi, 1985)

Written by José Watanabe and directed by Francisco J. Lombardi (best director, San Sebastián), the Peruvian film La ciudad y los perros is based on Mario Vargas Llosa’s novel, whose Faulknerian presentation, sophisticated and complex, has been replaced by a simplified, linear procedure. The book’s multiple subjective narrations suggest three things at least: Peru’s fractured […]

THE KILLERS (Robert Siodmak, 1946)

Although it pales beside Andrei Tarkovsky’s version of the same 1927 Ernest Hemingway story, “The Killers,” ten years hence, Robert Siodmak’s version is entirely different. Whereas Tarkovsky’s film conforms to the story, exhausting it and being exhausted by it, only the opening of Siodmak’s film conforms to the text, which is a springboard for the […]

UBIYTSY (Andrei Tarkovsky, Aleksandr Gordon, 1956)

Andrei Tarkovsky was a 24-year-old film student when he co-wrote and co-directed, along with fellow student Aleksandr Gordon, this gripping, suspenseful, philosophical version of Ernest Hemingway’s 1927 “The Killers,” a short story that consists almost entirely of dialogue—dialogue so craftily repetitious and, given the deadly situation in which it arises, piercingly comical that one wonders […]