With a profusion of often specious interviews and anecdotes, facetious speculation, convivial discourse, edited artifice and the allure of his leggy trophy wife Oja Kodar, Welles plumbs the mythoi of his subjects with relative indifference to veracity, knowingly betraying the fine if extant line delineating art and entertainment from skulduggery. Natheless, his excursive narrative is neither nugatory nor exclusively preoccupied with matters duplicitous: from one brilliantly cut sequence in which Hory and Irving shot individually appear tensely discordant as the former struggles to extenuate, Welles deftly segues to a profound meditation on the universal transience of life and attainment alike.
Few filmmakers have showcased themselves with such indulgence or substance, surpassing most of his contemporaries and rivalling the visionary New Hollywood successors who esteemed him in veneration. Never mind what's authentic or counterfeit herein; for every ball in each of the obese master's dexterous hands, he's three lofted, and the assiduous craft evident in his intriguing disquisition, painstaking conjoint editing and prestidigitation verify the playful prowess of an interdisciplinary veteran prone to draw the curtain back, as likely as not to disclose what may be another illusion.
Recommended for a double feature paired with A Man Vanishes. Cinematic melodrama has seldom if ever felt so plausible as when wrought by one of the medium's few remaining great storytellers, whose diegesis subtly predicates willing purblindness as a result of anonymity and rigidity. Secrets regarding authenticity, identity and infidelity are implied with gestures and aspects shortly preceding their revelations, but these are mere MacGuffins designed to conduce far more substantial realizations of love incipient and unrequited. Paredes' middle-aged resemblance to Lauren Bacall is terribly felicitous to their affinities of charisma and nice delivery; she emotes a sweep of elation, resentment, reflection, heartbreak without overplaying a frame.
Pedro's devotees will immediately recognize the sordid premise of a purloined manuscript and a provincial Almagran locality, both of which were reused in one of his best ulterior movies. Recommended for a double feature paired with Volver. T and a grisly menagerie of faunal hybrids are among the multifarious choleric, conflated, fanged, feral, foul, gawky, ghoulish, gratuitous, grungy, malign, meshuga, mutinous, nauseant, obstreperous, outrageous, perverse, precipitous, pugnacious, savage, shameless chimeras who run amok in this theatrical follow-up to Winter's and Stern's goofy televised sketch series, The Idiot Box.
- Year-End Cinema Survey, 2015;
- David Copperfield (Classici) (Italian Edition).
- Key to the Kingdom!
After befriending a pretty yet peevish environmental activist Ward under starkly false pretenses, both the reprobate duo and their censorious acquaintance are seized by a redneck mad scientist and theme park proprietor Quaid who bestows the aforementioned goop to metamorphose his many captives into themed monstrosities.
Stern and Winter sustain the brisk pace of this unabashedly antic farce with an abundance of sight gags, hammy acting, recurrent tumult and nauseating special effects. Alas, Peter Chernin spoiled this picture's potential success by slashing its post-production budget and limiting its distribution to a paltry pair of theaters in the worst executive sabotage of a substantial project since Dawn Steel undermined Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen , but even the debased theatrical cut reflects more inspiration in the style of Mad magazine than a score of contemporary comedies.
It's as ludicrous as humor comes, but if you care to gauge your maturity, just try to suppress your giggles through its duration. Images Directed by Robert Altman Written by Robert Altman, Susannah York Produced by Tommy Thompson, Al Locatelli Starring Susannah York, Marcel Bozzuffi, Rene Auberjonois, Cathryn Harrison, Hugh Millais Schizoid episodes to which a children's authoress York succumbs over the span of a holiday weekend vividly manifest her indignation, execration and sundered psychological dualism when progressively salacious and inimical interactions with an insufferable male trio comprising her smug, deceased lover Bozzuffi , heedless husband Auberjonois and his lascivious, boorishly embittered friend Millais furnish insight to her frustrations and desiderata Eschewing flashy effects for tart and urgent personations by his gifted cast and narrative legerdemain effected with adroit editing, Altman ingeniously surveys the topography of his protagonist's immediate environs and pathology alike, exploiting the gorgeous vales, peaks, cascades and capes of Powerscourt Estate in Leinster, Ireland for a setting as alluring yet implicitly forbidding as its subject.
Suspense by peradventure concerning transgressions real or delusory is elegantly sustained by a script that nimbly balances thrill and drama whilst showcasing histrionic flair to illustrate scenarios in which a woman burdened by acuity struggles to tolerate and contend with the superficiality of her relations. John Williams' memorably minacious motifs performed on strings and piano are frequently punctuated by Tsutomu Yamashita's cacophonous percussion in a fresh collaborative score that emphasizes without ever diverting from the picture's proceedings.
York narrates key scenes with excerpts from her debut juvenile fantasy novel In Search of Unicorns that beseem her character's deranged transports. Recommended for a double feature paired with Let's Scare Jessica to Death. Rived by tragedy and accompanying acrimony, their ardency seems stinted well ere his betrothal to a pristine, virtuous yet insipid noblewoman Mesquida with whom his devotion is reciprocal, but this renewal may not long survive a quiescent warmth for or the resolution of the foxy virago he thought he'd forsaken. Rococo costumery, hairstyling and Parisian venues of Breillat's greatest critical and commercial success prove vivid 19th-century accoutrements to complement emotive niceties and incandescence educed from familiar players.
As often before and since, she inspires treasures in redoubtable veterans and relative neophytes as Mesquida, her most frequent favored actress alike, but under her command, Argento's coruscation as the fast and fickle noblewoman nearly eclipses her co-stars, consummating what may prove the role of her career -- a fantastic feat that she'd never achieve under her father's baton.
Recommended for a double feature paired with Barry Lyndon. Mauvais Sang Directed and written by Leos Carax Produced by Denis Chateau, Philippe Diaz, Alain Dahan Starring Denis Lavant, Juliette Binoche, Michel Piccoli, Hans Meyer, Julie Delpy, Carroll Brooks Verbally and visually, Carax's sophomore feature film is among the most beautiful yet produced, a tragic masterwork comprehending the auteur's conceptions of impassioned folly personified by a brilliant cast and exquisite composition conveyed via Jean-Yves Escoffier's photography of supreme resolution and bursting chromatic vibrancy.
Exorbitantly indebted to a crime boss Brooks , a career criminal reduced to recreance Piccoli and a natty former physician Meyer contrive to filch from the French branch of an American pharmaceutical multinational their culture of a lethal virus afflicting loveless coital partners with debilitating symptoms akin to those of AIDS, so to sell it to a rival firm.
To circumvent the target corporation's security measures, they enlist the abetment of a late accomplice's son Lavant , an alacritously adroit conman who exploits this engagement to desert his devoted dulcinea Delpy , only to stumble into true love with his lesser employer's lovely, kindly girlfriend Binoche, as much a jewel of fragile pulchritude in her youth as she's remained in middle age. This premise constitutes the plot's nigh-entirety, but that vaccinal culture's a mere MacGuffin of thematic accordance impelling characters yet never diverting Carax's audience from so many crucial cesuras of ardent silence portending grief, disconcertion and adoration too infrequently depicted in cinema.
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Lavant's withy, vital yet crude physicality artfully belies his recidivist's romantic heart, betrayed by stirring soliloquies and the music of Prokofiev, Britten, Bowie and Chaplin to signify inexpressibly perfervid amatory swells. Not a frame of this picture isn't gorgeously shot to beautify its localities and plurality of slickly executed devices: staggering smash cuts, decelerated and accelerated shots, momentary morsels of reverse footage, focal variance, an aerial stunt as flurrying as any from a Bond flick, and striking close-ups of shoelaces, tissues, telephones, elevator numerals, nimbly shuffled playing cards and every expressive physiognomy of its photogenic players.
Curiously, many of of Carax's early exponents derided and dismissed this love letter to the evanescent New Wave as a glossy pastiche of those most experimental styles prosecuted by its ornaments during that summit, disregarding that Godard's contemporaneous output hadn't a smidgen of the ambition evinced here. Nathless, Carax tantalizes eyes and emotions only to emphasize the fruitless fervor of unrequited love, caprices of which illustrate how those most indomitable obstacles crumble before obstinacy, terror neutralizes affection, inhibition relents before infatuation, and all probity is voided by these passions.
Opening Night Directed and written by John Cassavetes Produced by Sam Shaw, Al Ruban, Michael Lally Starring Gena Rowlands, Ben Gazzara, Joan Blondell, John Cassavetes, Paul Stewart, Laura Johnson, Zohra Lampert The sudden death of an especially frantic fan Johnson following a theatrical performance is the catalyst that triggers its famous, jaded leading lady's Rowlands inevitable midlife crisis, prompting increasingly aberrant dysfunction, oppugnance to her role of a woman suffering the wane of her allure and all its associated power, and delusive encounters with the deceased as a reflection of her teenage self: initially affectionate visitations that lapse by realization to violent confrontations.
Even as the volatile actress struggles by rationalization to deny all affinity to her wholly apposite persona during a succession of ebullitions and collapses, she's perforce the precessing lynchpin around which everyone in her compass revolves: the veteran playwright Blondell torn between fascination and frustration in observance of this tempest and equanimous producer Stewart who patiently weathers it, a former lover and co-star Cassavetes wisely distanced to sustain their professional relationship, her rock of a director Gazzara scarcely at amorous arm's length from the star he adores, and his quietly long-suffering wife Lampert , whose envy of her is tempered by respect.
Cassavetes' sixth collaboration with his spouse and most disastrous flop is one of his very finest films, shot in Pasadena with moderate experiment to maximize its evocation of shock, intimacy and the disquiet thrill of dramaturgy. By relegating himself to an imperative yet fittingly unflattering character, the independent icon situated himself optimally to work his experient cast to their utmost, substantiating both his trademark verisimilitude -- essentially a motional still-life in close-up -- and the veneer of staged artifice as parts parallel personalities.
More indisposed than incapable of tackling her role's rigors, the frailties of Rowlands' lead dissolve the fourth wall to her attendees' mixed disdain and ovation -- indulgences culminating at the contemporaneity of her drunken prostration and the play's premiere in New York as an extemporary episode of unexpectedly triumphal compliance to her production's burden and audience's appetites. Regrettably, this feature's transient, overlooked theatrical runs in L. Though a rehearsal hall's vitreous fourth wall, the ensemble's spry amanuensis and factotum Zuanelli at the threshold of his retirement is first to bespeak the audience with a history of the hall now deconsecrated from its former glory as a church and auditorium, before the musicians follow suit ere their rehearsal and during a breather following one of their musical director's diatribes.
In gregarity, societal variety's personified and contrasted, and idiosyncrasies evinced in interviews with an unseen television crew: a burly yet gentle bass tubist Javarone depicts the selection of his instrument as a commitment predicated as much on ruth as affinity; talkative percussionists avouch their exceptional frolic; neuroses and transports are ascribed alike by trumpeters Mazzieri, et al.
Throughout, recurrent tremors forebode a tumult to which the unruffled musical director repairs: a protest in which mutinous instrumentalists degenerated into a doggery vandalize the hall with graffiti and rhythmic cacophony first divides the orchestra into their conductor's silent supporters and chanting dissidents; the schismatic broken consort's rebels again predictably split into proponents of absolute meter purposing to supplant the maestro with a massive metronome, countered by wilder apostles of individualistic naturalism.
Armageddon's by demolition typed at this riot's climax before order's restored for the sake of survival, affirming the harmonious necessity of tradition, unity and authority. Less dynamic than his masterpieces, Fellini's brief feature's composed primarily of expositive static shots and elegant pans in swift time with Nino Rota's lilting passages or slow scans of speculative significance.
It's nearly more abrupt than its substance can afford, but Rehearsal 's scale and parabolic profundity exceeds the usual proportion of a duration shy of 70 minutes. An accomplished cast makes the most of their unidimensional roles: Deneuve is as beguiling and bleached! No less diverting is a fine production design, replete with homemade mechanisms and agriculture demonstrating the inspired functionality of this hermit's insular lifestyle.
It's as compelling, riotous and romantic as French genre pictures come, parrying prognosis with a novel plot twist every twenty minutes, though its leads' destined denouement is as ineluctable as satisfying.
Parillaud enacts a slimmer, sexier Breillat simulacrum with correspondent coiffure and sable ensemble, wrangling her onerous pair of pouting young actors: an insubordinate leading man Colin, presumably interpreting Libero De Rienzo opposite frigid Mesquida as herself, essentially , whose mutual enmity discomfits their director's undertaking and especially her ambition to actualize an exquisitely unsavory scene of seduction and sodomy. Channeling her directress, the Parisian player exactly exhibits her anxieties, adamance, longanimity, vagaries, prejudices and voracity to bare her unexpurgated temperament and experience to an audience with uncommon, commendable candor.
Some of the Fat Girl staff were again employed here, and crew members are often featured in histrionic capacities performing their designated tasks. Nigh so amusing as illuminating, Breillat's budget masterwork relates the delicate, deviling trials of filmmaking, and the thrilling triumph of a conception committed to film by one of the most pertinacious living auteurs. Smith Starring Roy Scheider, Francisco Rabal, Amidou, Bruno Cremer From the flagrant wreckage of a sabotaged oil well in an unspecified South American jungle spans two hundred miles of muddy, rocky, rugged, flexuous road fraught with slaughterous rebels, ramshackle platforms and bridges, and seemingly insurmountable obturations to a sordid slum where an unstable cache of nitroglycerine selected to extinguish that site's unrelenting blaze is loaded onto two battered, refurbished cargo trucks driven by a quartet of lammed malefactors: a Latino hitman Rabal , French banker Cremer , Palestinian terrorist Amidou and American mob driver Scheider.
Friedkin's sweaty, savage adaptation of Arnaud's The Wages of Fear is at least as enthralling as Clouzot's chef-d'oeuvre, embracing profuse excitation and substance in equal measure by grippingly graphic depictions of desperate men galvanized by the challenges, frustrations and fatal rigors of their supremely exigent enterprise and all its attending cruel vagaries to perseverance, greatness, furor and madness. Exploiting his chief assets -- an eximiously expressive lead cast and locations of Elizabeth, Veracruz, Jerusalem, Paris, La Altagracia, New Mexico's Bisti Badlands and the wilds of the Dominican Republic -- to amplify the realism of this fantastic conveyance, Hurricane Billy judiciously curbed most of his cinematic flourishes and resorted to an unobtrusively observational style, his every shot maximizing harrowing tension and suspense of a potency that persists in repeat viewings.
Withal, those thrills of parlous remotion and transport constituting the picture's second half are anteceded by expository turpitudes: a contumeliously unorthodox heist, the fulmination of an Israeli bank inciting the IDF's blistering reprisal, and a fiery provincial riot provoked by the unceremonious delivery of rig laborers' weltered and charred corses to their village.
A soaring synthesized score of pulsing arpeggiation by Tangerine Dream underscores apprehension and anticipation in sparing application, never diverting viewers from the pitfalls its protagonists hazard. Regrettably, this beau ideal of action cinema was eclipsed by the grand umbra of George Lucas' coterminous and pivotal phenomenon to evanesce, but contemporary acclaim by cineastes and Friedkin's faithful swell its revival annually Isolated by and persecuted for his exogenous condition, this chary outsider finds little more camaraderie among his bawdily contumelious colleagues Fresson, Bouteille, et al.
His sole cordial connection's established by romancing a gorgeous, genial friend Adjani of the hospitalized anterior lessee, who he visits under friendly pretenses to sate his curiosity As fine in the lead as his picture's most surreal flourishes, the auteur's very nearly upstaged by his fantastic cast, all clownishly dubbed in English to emphasize their characters' essential shallowness. Almost incalculable in its influence most famously manifest in certain pictures by Lynch and the Coens , Polanski's refracted exposure of collective animus and the persecution complex submits in Kafkaesque candor a critical question concerning character: exactly what measure of one's identity is informed and defined by perceived persecution?
Renowned for his snarling, fulminatory histrionics, Oldman perforce forbears his overwrought M. Whenever pensive, imperiled or distraught, every counterspy and infiltrator's framed in Alfredson's fastidious composition through apertures, windows and enfilades, architectural rectilinearity signifying the sacrifices and social constraints they suffer to affirm their immurements of vocation and circumstance. If it's not the finest espionage picture, Tinker Tailor 's elegance and insight is nearly unparalleled in the genre: no other movie's so thoroughly yet inexplicitly described espionage as a deficient succedaneum for a legitimate lifestyle, nor its artful agents and officers as so blindly fallible in spite of their perspicacity.
Full text of "The French procession; a pageant of great writers"
The Triplets of Belleville Directed and written by Sylvain Chomet Produced by Didier Brunner, Viviane Vanfleteren, Paul Cadieux, Regis Ghezelbash, Colin Rose Corsican mobsters abduct three cyclists competing in the Tour de France to exploit their stamina in a backstair gambling scheme; in pursuit athwart the Atlantic, one contender's dogged Portuguese grandmother and her constant, corpulent canine enlist the aid of the titular Triplets, erstwhile music hall chorines turned bricoleur musicians, to rescue her thewy grandson and his rivals.
Lavish with period detail, Chomet's fictive reminiscence of inter- and postwar France graphically celebrates two eras' Gallic zeitgeist with an incisively parodic peculiarity lampooning French and American cultures while belying the gravity of its protagonists' poverty and peril. Howbeit, nary a single satiric nor nostalgic facet of this cunning animation occupies the viewer as may its grotesque character design: slumped, steatopygous and orthogonal figures, grossly magnified lineaments and bizarre physical disproportions denote ethnicities, vocations and conditions with a lucidity equaling exposition, and congruous with its virtual absence of dialogue.
As both a charming yet unsentimental story of suspense and homage to the unique ambiances of the Third Republic and late years of Pompidou, it's matched by few features and mayhap no other cartoon. This party peregrinating the Amazon upon rafts suffers attrition by ambuscades of autochthonic assailants, natural perils, mishaps, disease and treachery: resolute in his quest, Aguirre soon wrests command of the troop by suasion, slaughter and cajolery, appointing Guzman nominal governor of their band and emperor designate of El Dorado in defiance of the Habsburg crown.
Savagery internecine and otherwise is beheld through the same precise and dispassionate lens as meditative lingering shots of rapids, placid waters, the conquistadorial train wending along precipices and its expedition's restive members, whose passage was perceived by Herzog an obverse to that of his tiny crew, a dedicated ogdoad who abetted the realization of his vision in a wilderness ranking among this world's most dangerous.
Dread and madness glaring onscreen reverberate in the baleful tonal sonority of Popol Vuh's music; in this miasma, Germany's most accomplished living filmmaker submerged himself to incarnate a primal depravity as historic figures whose evanescence was sped by the Amazon's ravages in equipollence to its lowliest creatures. Recommended for a double feature paired with Apocalypse Now.
Nearly a half-century since its thorny release, Suzuki's silly, sexy, stunning crime thriller has long since been acknowledged a masterpiece of madcap cinema, but Japanese theatergoers in '67 were initially as unimpressed as Nikkatsu president Kyusaku Hori, who sacked his most erratic talent for shooting pictures that, in his undervaluation, made neither sense nor profit.
LAS LISISONS FAROUCHE: THE PROFESSIONAL, VERITY
How could anyone misprize Suzuki's ingenious segues, mesmerizing pans, masking monochromatic animation, pricelessly impossible gunplay and chic interiors? Every other shot engages the eye: a showerhead's efflux obfuscates marital copulation, negative footage of cityscapes radiate danger, and spotlit subjects loom larger than death. All of his supporting castmates serve as deadpan foils for Shishido, as magnetic for his sweeping range -- from blase equanimity to bibulous paranoia to feverish triumph -- as those surgically swollen cheeks, among the most remarkably individual lineaments yet adopted by a leading man.
Suzuki's transparent weariness of the Yakuza genre's institutionalism spurred satirical pokes, deviant gimmickry, a willfully offbeat pace and extempore execution that urged his idiom to the brink of surrealism, yet were merely intended to maximize his project's entertainment! Fixated on their homicidal expertise and its attendant rank, these hitmen demonstrate that life's hardly cheap for its expendability, but the substantial conflict and success transpired in reality: Suzuki's victorious lawsuit against Nikkatsu for wrongful dismission and breach of contract, and protests organized by partnerships of students, cinephiles and peers such as Shinoda and Oshima in response to the studio's petty abstraction of his feature catalog from private and theatrical distribution cemented the significance and enlarged the popularity of his output, and established the industry oddball as a cult hero Polanski's jet-black comedy first pits natural nebbish Pleasence against raspy Stander's buirdly barbarism, but both the characters' and audience's sympathies are twisted by actions wholly dictated by fancy and umbrage, relating a common superficiality between perpetrator and bourgeois.
When a drug dealer whom the former has long befriended secretes himself after cozening his rivals, the aging investigator assigns his inconstant junior to guard this fugitive's family as he pursues his marital treasure, whose desolation may impel her to receptivity. Despite her characters' concupiscence and vulgarity, Rohmer's idiom is palpable in the thoughtful and realistic deliberation of Breillat's final contrivance in concern of flics, handily juggling the drama of both police procedure and assignations as she delineates them beyond initial expectations; Brasseur's cantankerous cop unearths a dormant, uncharacteristic tenderness, and Lio plays the demure object of his jaundiced affections as neither a retiring mouse nor one of Breillat's usual brooding coquettes.
Both the weathered leading man and pop star turned histrionic neophyte do their immersive script justice, rendering mutual seduction to adoration through vituperation with praiseworthy plausibility. Autumnal Paris's cozy milieu and a potentially inceptive conclusion amplify the perverse appeal of this lubricious dissentient's most restrained project to date.
Recommended for a double feature paired with 36 Fillette. Melford was a veteran of the silent era whose broad framing better exploited the magnitude and stygian severity of those gloomiest stage settings than Browning's efforts, and a latitude consequent of his movie's secondary priority and the liberality of its intended demographic enabled him to intimate the tacit salacity of Stoker's romance and define his characters with greater depth in a running time exceeding that of its similitude by near twenty minutes.
Contemporary reappraisal often favors this as the superior picture; while its comparative merits are contestable, no viewer can deny that Melford's vision disbosoms far more of Stoker's spirit. Recommended for a double feature paired with Dracula. His last extravagant production succeeds as both an oneiric expression of Kurosawa's apprehensions and admirations, and a cinematic model for adaptation in this mode.
Essays on Pierre Bayle and Religious Controversy
Ever poignant for and despite its curiosities and hazy beauty, the burden herein concerns AK's reverence and fear for nature, a preoccupation articulated more in observation than didacticism. Opulent production values are musically complemented by Chopin's Raindrop prelude, In a Village from Ippolitov-Ivanov's first Caucasian Sketches suite and a slyly stirring and effectively applied score by Shinichiro Ikebe surpassing anything he composed for Imamura.
Clearly, Kurosawa grasped the significance of the dream as a distorting or refracting window through which reality's scrutinized; bookending with cavalcades in commencement of a wedding and conclusion at a funeral, the aging Emperor strove in his final decade with an ambition worthy of Fellini to synopsize life through that sleeping veil. Less an adaptation than a subtilized impression of Wedekind's novel Mine-Haha , Hadzihalilovic's analytic celebration of juvenile vim and natural splendor resonates with the unlikely realism resident in equivocacy: unlike too many of her peers, she treasures and masterfully exercises diegetic enigmas.
Never pampered, little sylphs skylark within their orphanage's forested, halcyon grounds, autonomous whenever unattended by their chief pedagogue Fougerolles or ballet instructor Cotillard. Their ages are chromatically denoted by ribbons securing pigtails, and the eldest preteens among them are empowered the charge of their juniors - a representation that exhibits how maturation commences as a facile mimicry of adulthood.
An aqueous significance exceeds rural and recreational contexts as an emblem of transience, incandescence and danger. Metaphors interspersed for the attentive gracefully reveal and prefigure implications abundant, as the callow whims, perturbations and aspirations of budding filles chastened and conformed by reliance and peer pressure vividly recall the wonder and impetuosity and impenitence of youth.