PELLE THE CONQUEROR (Bille August, 1987)

Prosaic, pictorial rather than visually expressive, richly photographed in color by Jörgen Persson and beautifully acted by 12-year-old Pelle Hvenegaard in the title role (best young actor, European Film Awards), Pelle erobreren is based on the first of the four 1906-1910 novels by future communist Martin Andersen Nexø. His namesake, modeled on Nexø, is indeed […]

PRECIOUS (Lee Daniels, 2009)

To prevent its being confused with another 2009 Push, Lee Daniels’s film is being called Precious: Based on the [1996] Novel Push by Sapphire. Mindful of Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel Invisible Man, one might instead call the film Invisible Girl. Sixteen-year-old Claireece Precious Jones is an illiterate, overweight junior high school girl in 1987 Harlem. […]

SPARE PARTS (Damjan Kozole, 2003)

Absent any analysis of causes for recent refugeeism in Europe, writer-director Damjan Kozole’s Rezervni deli is more unpleasant to watch than it is edifying. This drama about the clandestine transportation of illegal refugees, for 1,000 euros a head, from Croatia, through Slovenia, and across Italy’s border, and the toll this takes on both refugees and […]