THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES (Clint Eastwood, 1976)

Gorgeously photographed in color by Bruce Surtees, son of Robert, so that we never lose sight of the beautiful land that has been and is being bloodily spoiled, The Outlaw Josey Wales is scenarist Philip Kaufman’s veiled meditation on the U.S. war in Vietnam. Set right after the conclusion of the American Civil War, it […]

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 […]