JUNIOR BONNER (Sam Peckinpah, 1972)

In Sam Peckinpah’s heart-grazing Junior Bonner, Steve McQueen, achingly sweet and complex, gives the performance of a lifetime as Junior “JR” Bonner, a rodeo circuit cowboy visiting hometown Prescott, Arizona, for its Fourth of July Frontier Days, which gives him another shot at lasting eight seconds on bucking Sunshine and at seeing his estranged parents, […]

KATYŃ (Andrzej Wajda, 2007)

In August 1939 Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed their mutual non-aggression pact. A week later, beginning September 1, both German and Soviet armies separately invaded Poland; on Poland’s border the Soviets imprisoned more than 10,000 Polish officers and soldiers, all of whom they executed in April 1940. Following Germany’s invasion of Russia, canceling […]

MY LOVE HAS BEEN BURNING (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1949)

Dark, visually bold, sometimes borderline delirious, more often, I am afraid, plodding, Kenji Mizoguchi’s Waga koi wa moenu draws upon turbulent late nineteenth-century Japanese history and a novel by Kôgo Noda, Yasujiro Ozu’s writing partner. The story begins in Okayama in 1884 during the Meiji period, which is meticulously detailed. Kinuyo Tanaka plays Eiko, whose […]