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Citizenfour

Though superlatives can mischaracterize any movie’s qualities, it is not an overstatement, I think, to call “Citizenfour,” Laura Poitras’ film about Edward Snowden, the movie…

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Private Violence

A look at the complexity of domestic violence, especially when it comes to the difficulty of prosecuting abusers in a court of law, "Private Violence"…

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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'Citizen Kane' and 'Chimes at Midnight'

From Michael Carlton, Norman, OK:

Thank you so much for including "Chimes at Midnight" in your Great Movies series and asking for its home video release in the United States. When I decided to write my MA thesis on two films by Orson Welles, I wanted to work on two masterpieces from radically different parts of his career - "Citizen Kane" and "Chimes at Midnight." I also had to order a DVD from Spain, though due to its incompatibility with most American players I was unable to share this wonderful film with friends and colleagues.

While Welles has often been given the credit he deserves for his earlier triumphs, his later and more independent films include such gems as "Mr. Arkadin" and "The Trial" (both of which play like a blending of the early Welles and someone like David Lynch or Luis Bunuel). Yes, he was badly treated by the system but he did not stop making art on his own terms. Unfortunately, for a long time the later films have been treated to indifferent or completely inadequate home video distribution in terms of both availability and picture quality. Criterion and other such series have helped with this (their recent release of "F for Fake" is incredible) but more attention like this could really help to encourage more recovery efforts for this American master.

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