The human misery incurred by brutal globalization: this is the premise of young writer-director Mangesh Hadawale’s Tingya (best film, Maharashtra State Film Awards), from India. Tingya is a 7-year-old boy who begs for the life of his pet bullock, Chitangya, which his father, a poor farmer, feels he must sell to the butcher if his […]
Until the contrived ending where vicious young gangster Chick Williams turns sickeningly cowardly, Chester Morris gives a crackerjack performance in Roland West’s engrossing, visually exhilarating Alibi. Indeed, one of the things that interferes with our pleasure while we watch this famous film is precisely the play on which it is based: Nightstick, by John Griffith […]
Please see my piece on William Wyler’s first version of Lillian Hellman’s play The Children’s Hour, which is called These Three, and which Hellman herself adapted for the screen—in particular, paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6, and also the asterisked note at the end.
There is considerable discussion in (500) Days of Summer, which Marc Webb directed from a script by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, about coincidence versus destiny, which is to say, fate, as they apply romantically to what brings a couple together. It is all nonsense and a total distraction in this rueful, wonderful comedy, […]
Many of us recall the scandal. Vincente Minnelli, who had such high hopes that A Matter of Time would be his masterpiece, repudiated the result after the studio re-edited his material, making nonsense of the plot, which became a string of loose beads revolving around an ornate hand mirror, which more or less became the […]
Händler der vier Jahreszeiten filters most everything through economic arrangements. One might assume that something suiting this description would be dry, offputting, schematic; yet writer-director Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s film is humane, moving, rich. It ends with a veiled suicide, a night’s drinking by a man whose recent heart attack requires him to refrain from alcohol; […]
Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss, writer-director Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s penultimate film, concludes his Bundesrepublik Deutschland (BRD) Trilogy addressing the spiritual and moral price that West Germany had paid for its postwar economic recovery and its military revival, ironically, at the behest of the U.S. and Western Europe, which felt threatened by Soviet communism. Adenauer, Eisenhower, […]