Shortly before filming was to begin on "Rashomon,"
"Annie Hall" contains more intellectual wit and cultural references than any other movie ever to win the Oscar for best picture, and in winning the award in 1977 it edged out "Star Wars," an outcome unthinkable today. The victory marked…
I don't have the slightest idea whether Oliver Stone knows who killed President John F. Kennedy. I have no opinion on the factual accuracy of his 1991 film “JFK.” I don't think that's the point. This is not a film…
Umberto is upright, neat, exact, and the cut of his clothes
Happy people are pleased by the happiness of others. The miserable are poisoned by envy. They vote with Gore Vidal and David Merrick, both credited with saying, "It is not enough that I succeed. Others must fail." Milos Forman's "Amadeus"…
The Grapes of Wrath
John Ford's "The Grapes of Wrath" is a left-wing
I love it, God help me, I do love it. I love it more than my life.
The Right Stuff
Two men haunt Philip Kaufman's "The Right Stuff" (1983), the story of America's first steps into space. One speaks little, the other hardly at all. The laconic one is Chuck Yeager, generally acknowledged as the best test pilot of all…
The Fall of the House of Usher
The great hall in Jean Epstein's "The Fall of the House of
Then first time Lloyd Dobler calls Diane Court to ask her out on a date, he dials all but one digit of her phone number, then looks in the mirror and brushes his hair with his hand before dialing the…
On good days I consider "Citizen Kane" the seminal
I've seen Otto Preminger's “Laura” three or four times, but the
Children of Paradise
All discussions of Marcel Carne's Children of Paradise begin
My Neighbor Totoro
Here is a children's film made for the world we should live in, rather than the one we occupy. A film with no villains. No fight scenes. No evil adults. No fighting between the two kids. No scary monsters. No…
A Tale of Winter
Eric Rohmer is the romantic philosopher of the French New Wave, the director whose characters make love with words as well as flesh. They are open to sudden flashes of passion, they become infatuated at first sight, but then they…
John Ford's “The Searchers” contains scenes of magnificence, and
The Earrings of Madame de...
Unhappiness is an invented thing.
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia
I think I can feel Sam Peckinpah's heart beating and head pounding in every frame in ''Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia'' (1974), a film he made during a period of alcoholic fear and trembling. I believe its hero,…
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
If Walt Disney's “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” had been
Lawrence of Arabia
What a bold, mad act of genius it was, to make “Lawrence of
The Seven Samurai
Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai" (1954) is not only a
Juliet of the Spirits
Fellini lore has it that the master made “Juliet of the Spirits”
There is a melancholy gulf over the holidays between those who
There is a point in ''Hoop Dreams'' where the story, about two inner-city kids who dream of playing pro basketball, comes to a standstill while the mother of one of them addresses herself directly to the camera.