FROM THE GROUND UP (Su Friedrich, 2007)

Graceful, witty and, shot in digital video, deceptively casual and relaxed, From the Ground Up is astute about the neo-neocolonialist depravity that is innocently called globalization. Su Friedrich, departing from her superlative autobiographical films and films about gender politics, has dedicated this freshly brewed documentary to the Fair Trade coffee movement. With herself (beginning with […]

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT (Georges Lampin, 1956)

Although it isn’t great like Aleksandr Sokurov’s film drawn from Dostoievski’s novel Crime and Punishment, Whispering Pages (1993), or even as dramatically striking as Pierre Chenal’s stripped-down 1935 Crime et châtiment, Georges Lampin’s modern update/Frenchification doesn’t deserve the oblivion into which it has mostly passed. For some of us, after all, it is the film […]


From Austria and Germany, writer-director Michael Haneke’s 71 Fragmente einer Chronologie des Zufalls pursues a path of clever though heartless contrivance to piece together both the disparate elements of a catastrophe, caused by a 19-year-old student’s opening fire in a bank, shooting to death a lot of strangers (to him, each other and themselves), and […]