THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (Mario Caserini, Eleuterio Rodolfi, 1913)

An attractive, sometimes captivating series of set-pieces, until the blowup of Vesuvius, which comes as a stagy disappointment, Gli ultimi giorni di Pompeii is an outstanding silent film from Italy.      It is based on Edward George Bulwer-Lytton’s novel The Last Days of Pompeii. Mario Caserini wrote the script and co-directed, along with Eleuterio Rodolfi. The […]

THE 100 GREATEST FILMS FROM FRANCE, BELGIUM, NETHERLANDS AND SWITZERLAND, PART I

THE 100 GREATEST FILMS FROM FRANCE, BELGIUM, NETHERLANDS AND SWITZERLAND. July 2009. Below you will find what I consider to be a a given moment on a given day the one hundred best films from France, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland. Each film is given a 295-300-word entry. The first 15, a stab at my most favorites […]

THE 100 GREATEST FILMS FROM FRANCE, BELGIUM, NETHERLANDS AND SWITZERLAND, PART II

Below is Part II of my list of the 100 greatest films from France, Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland. (Please see the introduction to Part I, which is tagged at the end of Part II for easy access, for an explanation of certain exclusions and inclusions.) This part of the list covers 1961 to the present […]

THE SOUL KEEPER (Roberto Faenza, 2002)

The same year as Elisabeth Márton’s extraordinary documentary My Name Was Sabina Spielrein a fictionalized treatment of Spielrein’s life, including her relationship with psychiatrist, later colleague Carl Jung, also surfaced. This is Italian filmmaker Roberto Faenza’s mostly English-language The Soul Keeper, whose script admits to seven different writers. One of the reasons for this high […]

LETTERS FROM A DEAD MAN (Konstantin Lopushansky, 1986)

A computer error linked to the launch of a space shuttle has brought on nuclear winter, ending the world. In a shelter underneath a science museum and library survivors are either dying or desperately holding onto hope. The protagonist (played superbly by a barely recognizable Rolan Bykov) is a Nobel Laureate, in physics I believe, […]