It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
Italy's Taviani brothers are almost alone, in the fragmented Italian film world, in their attempts to make thoughtful films about everyday people living ordinary lives. With the rush of financing out of Italy in the 1970s, Italian filmmakers either left, became comparatively inactive, or turned to television. (Fellini, as always, is an exception.)
The Tavianis turned to television. The Italian television network financed their "Padre Padrone," the 1977 Cannes grand prize winner. To almost everyone's surprise, the movie went on to become a modest hit in the United States, for its elegiac portrait of life in the Italian countryside.
Three years ago, they finished another film that examined some of the same small-town ways. "The Night of the Shooting Stars" played film festivals in 1982 (it won the special jury prize at Cannes) and pulled an upset by being voted the best film of the year by the National Society of Film Critics.
It's beautiful film, but it's a disappointment, a series of scenes in which peasants to wartime Italy seem to be posing for heroic post office murals. The movie tells the story of a small village that refuses to cooperate with the occupying Nazis forces.
Some of the villagers don't exactly seem to have ideological objections to the Nazis, however. With the exception of a few brave partisans, the citizens seem to be holding out for the best deal they can get; that means waiting to surrender to the Americans. (In the movie's funniest scene, a practical jokester plays "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" over a loudspeaker to trick everyone into thinking the Yankees have arrived.)
This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...
Chaz Ebert highlights films with the potential to get us through the confusing political times of the Trump presidenc...
A review of Netflix's new series, Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events," which premieres January 13.
One of the most audacious American films from the 1960s is now available via the Criterion Collection.