AMPHIBIAN-MAN (Gennadi Kazansky, Vladimir Chebotaryov, 1962)

When Ichthyandros was a child, his scientist-father Dr. Salvador explains, “he developed an incurable lung disease. To save him, I gave him a transplant of shark’s gills.” The success of the operation launched Salvador’s dream of an underwater republic, with Ichthyandros its “first citizen.” A young man now, Ichthyandros alternates his life amongst his lair […]

FESTIVAL (Rituparno Ghosh, 2000)

“Construction, deconstruction, construction, deconstruction . . .” Winner of best film and best director prizes at India’s National Film Awards, Bengal writer-director Rituparno Ghosh’s Utsab is an exquisite, rich, vibrant tapestry of a mostly middle-class family—two sons, two daughters, spouses and offspring—that has gathered together under matriarch Bhagabati’s expansive roof during Durga Puja, the annual […]

DEMONS OF WAR [BY GOYA] (Władysław Pasikowski, 1998)

Despite the opening montage of trenchant Goya etchings portraying, often phantasmagorically, the inhuman nature of war or of human nature at its worst, Polish writer-director Władysław Pasikowski’s Demony wojny według Goi more or less resolves itself into a conventional actioner whose centerpiece consists of the oversized posturing of Bogusław Linda as Major Edward Keller, the […]