A DOUBLE TOUR (Claude Chabrol, 1959)

From his and Paul Gégauff’s cunning script, Claude Chabrol directed this semi-delirious adaptation of Stanley Ellin’s mystery novel The Key to Nicholas Street. It opens with a bravura pan of artist Leda Mortoni’s cottage in Aix-en-Provence; highlighted by Leda’s absence, the passage projects the stillness of death. Seemingly confounding this, the film plunges into sexy […]

LE CORBEAU (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1943)

Inspired by an actual series of events that occurred in Tulle in 1922, Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Le corbeau—The Raven—likewise unfolds in a provincial village. Poison-pen letters, taking initial aim at Dr. Rémy Germain (Pierre Fresnay, solid) for being an abortionist and an adulterer, neither of which is the case (it turns out he isn’t even Rémy […]

HARLOW (Alex Segal, 1965)

Shot in eight days on a threadbare budget, in the same video-to-film process, “electronovision,” that had been used for Richard Burton’s dress-rehearsal Hamlet (Bill Colleran, John Gielgud, 1964), Alex Segal’s Harlow, from a script by Karl Tunberg (William Wyler’s Ben-Hur, 1959, don’t-you-know), succeeded in beating to exhibition by one month Joseph E. Levine’s much more […]

SUMMER WITH MONIKA (Ingmar Bergman, 1952)

Sweden’s Ingmar Bergman and actress Harriet Andersson helped each other to become international celebrities with Sommaren med Monika, which Per Anders Fogelström and Bergman adapted from the former’s novel about a couple in their late teens, Harry and Monika, who abandon their families and stockroom jobs and take off to live and love together on […]

SPIRAL (Krzysztof Zanussi, 1978)

Mesmerizing and deeply affecting, Polish writer-director Krzysztof Zanussi’s Spirala so closely attends to a single character that it evolves into a spiritual as well as psychological portrait of the young man. Tomasz Piątek, although he hasn’t booked a room, enters a ski resort. He behaves enigmatically, accosting other guests with rude, personal remarks and interrupting […]