Archive for the 'Movies' Category

 Motherless Brussels: Notes on Chantal Akerman’s ‘No Home Movie

Sunday, October 8th, 2017

Click Here to Read:   Motherless Brussels: Notes on Chantal Akerman’s ‘No Home Movie’: Thirteen ways of looking at the great filmmaker, two years after her death by suicide By J. Hoberman on the Tablet website on October 4, 2017.

“The Remains of the Day”: The Tragic Solution

Sunday, October 8th, 2017

This is the second of three articles comparing three films, It Can Happen to You (posted October, 2010), The Remains of the Day (posted November, 2010) and It’s a Wonderful Life (to be re-posted December, 2010)

Both It’s a Wonderful Life and It Could Happen to You provide us with gratifying fantasies that allow us to feel, through identification, that we have overcome our limitations.  George Bailey and Charlie the cop are trapped by circumstances and conscience.  George must overcome his idealization of his father and his reluctance to overcome his male rivals.  His father dies, his rivals step aside, and he becomes a hero to the town.  Charlie is trapped in a marriage to a woman he does not love by a conscience that will not allow him to be unfaithful.  The film allows him to leave his wife and to find the woman of his dreams without his ever having to cross the boundaries of his conscience.  There is another solution, the tragic solution.  In The Remains of the Day , Stevens the butler is trapped by his position and his idealization of his father and his employer.  He loves a woman, but unlike George Bailey he cannot pursue her and unlike Charlie the cop he does not have her thrown into his arms.  He remains hopelessly trapped by his circumstances and his character, and we, the viewers, are trapped vicariously with him. (more…)

Spellbound: In the world of psychoanalyses

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

Click Here to Read:  Spellbound: In the world of psychoanalyses by Rammath N Pai Raikah in the Navhind Times on September 9, 2017.

The ‘greatest film-maker who ever lived’

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Click Here to Read:  The ‘greatest film-maker who ever lived’ It’s not right that the Swedish master Ingmar Bergman is always described as dark and gloomy. He was a deeply humane artist with great empathy, writes Benjamin Ramm. 31 July 2017.

Interactive Documentary on “Comfort Women” Asks You to Listen to Victims of Sexual Violence

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Click Here to Read:  Interactive Documentary on “Comfort Women” Asks You to Listen to Victims of Sexual Violence: Tiffany Hsiung’s The Space We Hold spotlights the stories of three women held in sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II by Allison Meier on the HyperAllergic website on August 29, 2017.

Still from The Space We Hold interactive documentary (screenshot via National Film Board of Canada)

How Do You Make a Movie in a Language You Don’t Speak?

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Click Here to Read:  How Do You Make a Movie in a Language You Don’t Speak?: Filmmaker Joshua Z. Weinstein overcame social, cultural, and linguistic barriers to make his heartbreaking new film, “Menashe,” about the Hasidic community BY Saul Asterlitz on the New Republic Website on August 28, 2017.

A New Video Starkly Illustrates the Impact of Climate Change

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Click Here to Read: A New Video Starkly Illustrates the Impact of Climate Change: Finnish researcher Antti Lipponen’s recently released video presents a century’s worth of data on global temperatures in just 30 seconds by Diana Sett on the HyperAllergic on August 24, 2017.

Jerry Lewis, comic and filmmaker, dead at 91

Friday, August 25th, 2017

Click Here to Read:  Jerry Lewis, comic and filmmaker, dead at 91 by David Walsh on the World Socialist Web Site on August 23, 2017.

Stella Stevens and Lewis—as Buddy Love—in The Nutty Professor (1963)

Fools, Cowards, or Criminals?

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Nazi leaders accused of war crimes during World War II standing to hear the verdict in their trial, Nuremburg, October 2, 1946. Albert Speer is third from right in the back row of defendants; Karl Dönitz is at the far left of the same row.

Click Here to Read:  Fools, Cowards, or Criminals? Review of The Memory of Justice: a documentary film directed by Marcel Ophuls, reviewed by Ian Buruma in The New York Review of Books on August 17, 2017 ISSUE.

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City—Documentary on the life and times of urban activist Jane Jacobs

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Click Here to Read:   Citizen Jane: Battle for the City—Documentary on the life and times of urban activist Jane Jacobs By Clare Hurley on the World Socialist Web Site on July 17, 2017.

Film poster for Citizen Jane: Battle for the City

“The Graduate” As Seen 50 Years Later

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

by Herbert H. Stein

“Hello Darkness my old friend …”

This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Graduate. Benjamin Braddock is 71 years old. He had his 21st birthday one week after coming home from college. He flew home alone to his parents in southern California. It’s not clear if they simply did not attend the graduation or if he took some extra time in the east after the ceremony.

As I recall it, for those of us who were part of Ben’s generation, the film was spellbinding. I remember my classmates in medical school talking about it long after having seen it, and I presume I saw it more than once. One class- mate pronounced excitedly that he had fig- ured it out. “He’s schizophrenic!”

I decided to see it again with a hope that I might gain some additional understanding of its impact. I don’t think I succeeded in that, but I did see, or perhaps imagine, something that would never have occurred to me in 1967.

(more…)

The Snake in the Schoolhouse

Monday, July 10th, 2017

Click Here to Read:   The Snake in the Schoolhouse by J. Hoberman in the New York Review of Books on July 6, 2017.

American Zoetrope/FR Productions/Focus Features  Nicole Kidman as Miss Martha, Colin Farrell as Corporal McBurney, Elle Fanning as Alicia, and others in Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, 201

A conversation with award-winning cinematographer Tom Hurwitz

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Click Here to Read: A conversation with award-winning cinematographer Tom Hurwitz By David Walsh on the World Socialist Website on June 29, 2017.

Alice Guy-Blaché, the First Woman Filmmaker

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

Click Here to Read: Alice Guy-Blaché, the First Woman Filmmaker: Alice Guy-Blaché is recognized as the first woman filmmaker, going back to an 1896 silent short, but her career remains unsung in the history of cinema on the HyperAllergic website on June 1, 2017.

Lobby card for The Pit and the Pendulum directed by Alice Guy-Blaché (1913) (via Wikimedia).

Netflix’s War Machine

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

Click Here to Read: Netflix’s War Machine: A hard-hitting attack on America’s military madness By Joanne Laurier on the World Socialist Web Site on May 30, 2017.

Brad Pitt in War Machine

A German Life: A glimpse into the Nazi inner circle

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

Click Here to Read: A German Life: A glimpse into the Nazi inner circle By Bernd Reinhardt and Verena Nees on the World Socialist Web Site on May 27, 2017.

Brunhilde Pomsel in A German Life

“We” and “I” in “Don’t Think Twice”

Friday, April 28th, 2017

“We” and “I” in Don’t Think Twice by Herbert H. Stein

“Okay, a little bit of history. In 1955, a group of actors in Chicago invented the idea that improvisational theater could be an art form unto itself, not just a warm-up for other theater.”

Those are the opening words of the film, Don’t Think Twice, spoken in a woman’s voice, probably Samantha, one of the central characters in this fictional work about an improvisational group. The opening, a brief history of improvisational theater, is accompanied by scenes and spoken words from early improvisational artists, starting with The Second City, and of quick peeks at the members of the film’s fictional improv group, the Commune.

They go on to give us the fundamental rules of improvisation, which will prove crucial to the film’s central conflict.

(more…)

Seeing “Moonlight” in China by Arlene Kramer Richards

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Click Here to Read:  Seeing “Moonlight” in China by Arlene Kramer Richards

San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 1

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Click Here to Read:  San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 1 By David Walsh on the World Socialist Web Site on April 26, 2017.

The Handmaid’s Tale

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

Click Here to Read:   The Handmaid’s Tale: It’s a terrifying dystopian drama about systemic murder and rape. It’s also somehow a pleasure to watch By Willa Paskin on the Slate.com website.

Elisabeth Moss in The Handmaid’s Tale.