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Mr. Turner

Filmmaker Mike Leigh's biography of the landscape painter J.M.W. Turner is what critics call "austere"—which means it's slow and grim and deliberately hard to love—yet…

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Annie

The new version of "Annie" is fashionably artificial and not very well directed, but its unabashed good cheer is very welcome.

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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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Close Up: The movie

Words are linear. Movies not so much, even though they are encoded onto strips of celluloid or served up as streams or spirals of digital bits.

The web is not so linear, actually. Hyperlinks in all directions are more like the interconnected synapses of the human brain than any other technology or art form I can think of. But sometimes when I try to convey something about my experience of movies — filtered, as always, through reflections and contrasts between images, memories, themes, styles what I really want to do is make a movie about it. That seems like the shortest, most direct way from imagination to articulation. The movie itself (as Godard famously suggested) is the criticism, the analysis.

Here's a link to my little (six-minute) movie / dream sequence / commentary on the theme of some of my favorite close-ups from some of my favorite films. If you want to know who's who and what's what, watch the end credits (which make up about one-sixth of the movie!)

:http://www.rogerebert.com/scanners/close-up-the-movieessaydream

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