THE BROWNING VERSION (Mike Figgis, 1994)

Mike Figgis is a director known for flash and dash (Stormy Monday, Leaving Las Vegas), as befits a career that began with pop music videos; so the restraint of his version of The Browning Version surprises. Terence Rattigan’s famous 1948 play, as well as the famous 1951 Anthony Asquith film that Rattigan himself wrote, have […]

BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA (Francis Ford Coppola, 1992)

Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula is the basis for two outstanding films, both from Germany, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922), about which I have already written, and Hans W. Geissendörffer’s Jonathan (1970). Tod Browning’s 1931 Hollywood Dracula and, like Jonathan, from West Germany, Werner Herzog’s 1978 Nosferatu are of some substance, and star, respectively, Bela […]

EMAK-BAKIA (Man Ray, 1926)

Mesmerizingly, hauntingly lovely, Dadaist Man Ray’s “cinépoéme” Emak-Bakia is a series—by associations among them, also a collage—of images spinning off the idea of dance. Its centrifugal image amidst constant and continuous motion shows a dazzling pair of short-skirted woman’s legs engaged in a Charleston; they move almost frenetically (almost: the definite steps impose some structure, […]