THE LONG ABSENCE (Henri Colpi, 1960)

Delicate and exquisite, Une aussi longue absence, Henri Colpi’s first film as director (Colpi edited Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima, mon amour, 1959, and Last Year at Marienbad, 1961), is a dream of a film. From France and Italy, written by Marguerite Düras and Gérard Jarlot, it shared the top prize at Cannes with Luis Buñuel’s Viridiana. […]

JENNIE GERHARDT (Marion Gering, 1933)

Sylvia Sidney, here exquisitely lovely as well as delicately poignant, gives her finest performance in the title role of Jennie Gerhardt, based on Theodore Dreiser’s 1911 novel. Dreiser, who didn’t think much of the novel, his second, nevertheless admired the film, which he described as “beautifully interpreted.” Director Marion Gering gave this piece of work […]


I WAS AN ADVENTURESS (Gregory Ratoff, 1939) Devoid of any sort of charm, acting ability or sex appeal, dancer Vera Zorina comes to precise and electrifying life all too briefly in an excerpt from the ballet Swan Lake, where to Tchaikovsky’s phenomenal music, here on speed, she is choreographed by spouse George Balanchine, who doubles […]

THE MINERS’ HYMNS (Bill Morrison, 2011

Haunting as well as most impressive, British documentarian Bill Morrison’s The Miners’ Hymns mines black-and-white archival material from one hundred years earlier, and more, to assemble a portrait of workers—coal miners—lost to time, and to juxtapose their permanent anonymity with the expanses of land in northeast England below which the mines, long since permanently shut […]