Word has arrived that director Sidney Lumet, 86, has died. A dozen reasons to honor the late Sidney Lumet: Henry Fonda and E. G. Marshall in “12 Angry Men” Joanne Woodward and Anna Magnani in “The Fugitive Kind” Dean Stockwell, Katharine Hepburn and Jason Robards Jr. in “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” Juano Hernandez in […]

TWO IN THE WAVE (Emmanuel Laurent, 2010)

Its journalistic approach helps make Emmanuel Laurent’s documentary about the rise and demise of François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard’s friendship, Deux de la Vague, dry as dust; nor is it helped by frequent inserts of young French actress Isild Le Besco reading clippings and such to underscore the momentous, somewhat academic history that the bleeding […]

CINEVARDAPHOTO (Agnès Varda, 2004)

Cinévardaphoto comprises a trio of documentaries by Agnès Varda, each of which involves photographs. These short films were made at different points in Varda’s career.      The first one is amazing. “Ydessa, the Bears, and Etc.” revolves around Toronto curator Ydessa Hendeles, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, whose exhibit of voluminous photographs including teddy bears, especially […]

WE WERE STRANGERS (John Huston, 1949)

After witnessing the assassination of her younger brother, a college student activist, by the chief of President Gerardo Machado y Morales’s secret police, China Valdés joins a group plotting the assassination of the two men, and other high officials they also deem reactionary, at a state funeral they themselves have pressed by assassinating a legislator. […]