Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women (2016) is a jewel of the art and craft of filmmaking, an intensely emotional and ultimately heartbreaking study of character and landscape.
More notes on recent viewing, from a sadistic thriller to emotionally resonant anime, from a literary adaptation to two investigations of racism in America.
Two recent releases uncover fascinating fragments of cinema history: G.W Pabst’s dramatically powerful and technically innovative early sound films Westfront 1918 (1930) and Kameradschaft (1931) from Masters of Cinema and Samuel Beckett’s sole foray into movies Film (1965) paired with Ross Lipman’s “kino-essay” about the production Notfilm (2015) together in a dual-format release from the BFI.
The older I get, the more often I hear of the death of people who have touched my life in some way. This summer seems to have been worse than most.
Sacha Guitry’s La poison (1951) is a deceptively light and witty comedy about murder; beneath the surface it is a bitter dissection of a society devoid of morality.
A round-up of recent viewing ranging from classic fantasy to low budget horror to rugged adventure and a western.
An almost lost masterpiece resurfaces in Criterion’s excellent Blu-ray release of Michael Curtiz’ The Breaking Point (1950) starring John Garfield. This Hemingway adaptation fell prey to Hollywood’s post-war Red Scare, but is now revealed as among the director’s and star’s finest work.
Technical accuracy is not necessarily what makes science fiction satisfying; more important is storytelling, as illustrated by two older, and one recent, movies released on Blu-ray: Byron Haskin’s Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964), Joseph Sargent’s Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970) and Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival (2016)..
Criterion’s Blu-ray presents Andrei Tarkovsky’s masterpiece Stalker in a stunning new restoration which does full justice to its rich imagery and subtle soundscape.
George A. Romero, who died on July 16, a master of the horror film, was influential far beyond the movies, having originated the now-ubiquitous zombies of pop culture in his best known films, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead.