GIMME SHELTER (David and Albert Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin, 1970)

As the culmination of their 1969 U.S. tour, the Rolling Stones offered a free concert at AltamontSpeedway in northern California. Three hundred thousand attended, from as far away as New York. It was only months after Woodstock, and the same optimistic spirit of peace and love was anticipated. There was a serpent in the garden, […]

SIR ARNE’S TREASURE (Mauritz Stiller, Gustaf Molander, 1919)

Co-directed by Mauritz Stiller, who would assist Garbo to stardom, and Gustaf Molander, who would do the same for Ingrid Bergman, Herr Arnes Pengar is a classic of silent Swedish cinema. In the sixteenth century, three cutthroat Scottish mercenaries escape from their Swedish imprisonment and slaughter a prominent family in the countryside, including the vicar, […]

FAUST (Aleksandr Sokurov, 2011)

Unhappy people are dangerous, Russian writer-director Aleksandr Sokurov has opined, and Heinrich Faust, alchemist and dirt-poor scholar, is miserable. In his filthy quarters, Faust’s anticipation of Frankenstein hovers over the cadaver he is dissecting and ruminates about the soul he is unable to locate. Ostensibly, he is talking to his Igor-like laboratory-servant, but, solitudinous, he […]