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 […]

ERASERHEAD (David Lynch, 1977)

Exquisite and yet somehow, simultaneously, luxuriant, writer-director David Lynch’s first feature, Eraserhead, announces, in gorgeous black and white, an intuitive artist. What precisely does this mean? If you have seen Charlie Rose interview him, you know that Lynch is incapable of “explaining” whatever it is that he is doing in his films; he becomes bashfully […]

MULHOLLAND DR.—TV pilot (David Lynch, 1999)

Elsewhere on this blog you will find my entry on David Lynch’s 2001 theatrical film Mulholland Dr. This, below, refers instead to the TV pilot that predated the film. Well, a few comments about the unaired partial television predecessor of possibly the most brilliant American movie since Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941). Obviously, since it […]

WILD AT HEART (David Lynch, 1990)

“Seems we broke down somewhere on the yellow brick road.” Among cinema’s most passionate romances, David Lynch’s southern “road picture” Wild at Heart (Palme d’Or, Cannes) tests a number of assumptions and activities, their interactivity and mutual compatibility, in the American landscape: individualism, personal freedom, social compassion, violence and other antisocial behavior (including ultra-liberated sex), […]