SHAME (Steve McQueen, 2011)

Intensely lonely and forlorn in an impersonal urban environment (ah, the cliché of it all), yuppie Brandon Sullivan is addicted to sexual pornography and to sexual encounters of his own that conform to the impersonality and meaninglessness—in both senses, the rush—this pornography provides. However, none of this is the “shame” to which the title of […]

A DELICATE BALANCE (Tony Richardson, 1973)

“We’re not a communal nation, dear; giving, but not sharing, outgoing, but not friendly.” — Claire, well-named, in Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance   After Ingmar Bergman turned him down,* playwright Edward Albee chose Tony Richardson to direct A Delicate Balance for Ely Landau’s American Film Theater series. The 1966 tragicomedy had won Albee the […]

MARY OF SCOTLAND (John Ford, 1936)

In addition to being a great actress, Katharine Hepburn was one of the most beautiful women to appear on-screen; and nowhere else is she quite so beautiful as she is in Mary of Scotland, based on Maxwell Anderson’s play, where (following Helen Hayes, for whom the part had been written) she plays Scotland’s ill-fated Mary […]