la-noche-americana
Starring: Jacqueline Bisset, Valentina Cortese, Dani, Alexandra Stewart, Jean-Pierre Aumont, François Truffaut

Day for Night


In Brief: François Truffaut’s Day for Night (1973) is not only a great movie about movies, but it’s fascinating as an example of how international cinema truly is. By this I mean that while we think of foreign film as a separate world, Day for Night is clearly the kind of movie that could only have…
Elizabeth-The-Golden-Age-Gallery-2
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Clive Owen, Abbie Cornish, Samantha Morton

Elizabeth


In Brief: Fie on those who have trashed this entertainingly overheated historical conceit! Yes, it’s completely indefensible as history. So what else is new? Anyone going to a movie like this expecting historical accuracy is in the same unseaworthy vessel as the student who watches James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931) and uses it to turn in a…
Starring: Sergei Dontsov, Maria Kuznetsova, Leonid Mozgovoy, David Giorgobiani

Russian Ark


In Brief: Alexander Sokurov’s Russian Ark accomplishes the not inconsiderable feat of being both fascinating and tedious at the same time. Conceptually, the film is brilliant. Technically, it’s a marvel. Dramatically, it’s about as much fun as an evening with an insurance salesman. That said, Russian Ark boasts enough striking imagery — some of it positively haunting…
4f05ef0f7b8c4d6dbfab4c229aff553a
Starring: Angela Lansbury, Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, Kim Novak, Tony Curtis, Edward Fox

The Mirror Crack’d


In Brief: A diminished budget — and other things — conspire against this attempt at a big-screen Miss Marple movie to accompany successful Hercule Poirot films. It’s not actually bad, it’s just not all that hot. The magnificently catty duels of the divas — Liz Taylor and Kim Novak — are certainly fun, but the…
e2286afe2e9c6b3952ad6e45537dce60
Starring: Ivor Novello, Marie Ault, Arthur Chesney, June Tripp, Malcolm Keen

The Lodger


In Brief: Fresh from his stint in the German film industry, Alfred Hitchcock gave the British movie world a well-needed shot in the arm with The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927) starring the immensely popular Ivor Novello. In so doing, he also gave the world its very first movie that feels like…
teorema1
Starring: Silvana Mangano, Terence Stamp, Massimo Girotti, Anne Wiazemsky, Andrés José Cruz Soublette

Teorema (Theorem)


In Brief: While this surreal — and sexually charged — drama is certainly nowhere near the most unsettling thing Pier Paolo Pasolini ever made (that would be 1975's Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom), Teorema is high on the Not for Everyone list. It's less that the film is upsetting (though some will find…
battleship-potemkin
Starring: Aleksandr Antonov, Vladimir Barsky, Grigori Aleksandrov, Ivan Bobrov

Battleship Potemkin


In Brief: It wasn't that long ago that Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin — then known mostly as Potemkin — was in the top five of nearly all lists of the greatest films ever made. While the 1925 Soviet film seems to have been downgraded in recent years, it remains an essential of cinematic literacy, one of…
23
Starring: Pupella Maggio, Armando Brancia, Bruno Zanin, Luigi Rossi, Maria Antonietta Beluzzi

Amarcord


In Brief: If anyone ever asks why Federico Fellini is one of the greats of filmmaking, all that should be necessary is to direct them to his 1973 film, Amarcord. (If that fails, I suppose you might try 8 1/2 (1963), and if that fails, give up trying to reason with them.) Amarcord and 8…
PenelopCruz-Volver-knife
Starring: Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Blanca Portillo, Yohana Cobo

Volver


In Brief: World Cinema revisits Pedro Almodóvar's Volver (2006) — perhaps the filmmaker's most accessible and mellow work. It should be noted, however, that mellow is a relative term. The film contains child abuse and no fewer than three murders (understandable murders), but when put up against such Almodóvar fare as Bad Education (2004) or…
image-2
Starring: Philippe Noiret, Marco Leonardi, Salvatore Cascio, Jacques Perrin, Roberta Lena

Cinema Paradiso


In Brief: Unabashedly sentimental and nostalgic, Giuseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso (1988) is one of those rare subtitled art-house movies that — at least in its shorter crowd-pleasing version (the one being screened) — managed to enter the broader public consciousness. People who normally say things like, “I don’t go to the movies to read,” have been…
140205-monuments-men-edsel-tease_s1dbdc
Starring: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman

The Monuments Men


In Brief: Despite the general run of critical opinion, The Monuments Men (2014) isn’t a bad movie. Had it been signed by, say, Brett Ratner or McG, it would be judged as pretty good. But it’s from George Clooney, and we expect more than “pretty good” out of Clooney (whether or not we should). We also expect…
king-of-hearts-2
Starring: Alan Bates, Geneviève Bujold, Adolfo Celi, Jean-Claude Brialy

King of Hearts


In Brief: This early cult classic (maybe the first film deserving that accolade) seems a little less of a groundbreaker today, and its soft tone has caused it to be severely downgraded in many quarters, but that doesn’t keep the film from having its charms — nor does it keep modern viewers from being able…
Annex - Lombard, Carole (My Man Godfrey)_01
Starring: William Powell, Carole Lombard, Eugene Pallette, Alice Brady, Gail Patrick, Jean Dixon, Mischa Auer, Alan Dinehart

My Man Godfrey


In Brief: Gregory La Cava’s My Man Godfrey (1936) is one of the essential “screwball” comedies. It may even be the essential one. From its glossy credits (probably the most striking title design of the decade) onward, it’s a slick, rich-looking production (despite its Depression-era setting) taking place in that movie-world version of New York…
m-1931
Starring: Peter Lorre, Otto Wernicke, Theodor Loos, Ellen Widmann

M


In Brief: Yes, Fritz Lang’s first sound film, M (1931), has a few awkward moments, in which Lang hasn’t quite mastered the new medium, but this old warhorse of art cinema works more than it doesn’t and still registers as a compelling work by one of the undisputed masters of film. And calling it an…
love
Starring: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Marie-France Pisier, Claude Jade, Dani, Dorothee, Daniel Mesguich

Love on the Run


In Brief: François Truffaut's sixth and final film of his Antoine Doinel series that began with Truffaut's first film, The 400 Blows, in 1959 is mostly a pure delight and a fine conclusion to the series. The only problem with Love on the Run (1979), which catches up with the 30-something Antoine for the first time…
9da5a3202e324b4cdf1c2fd5a577fdf0
Starring: Max von Sydow, Birgitta Valberg, Gunnel Lindblom, Birgitta Pettersson

The Virgin Spring


In Brief: Highly regarded, but little loved, Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring (1960) was a title the director himself seems to have had little fondness for. I tend to agree with that. The fact that it was successfully marketed on the exploitation value of its story — rape and revenge — should perhaps tell you that…
MV5BMjEzNTYxNjE3N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzg4MTM5Ng@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1391,1000_AL_
Starring: Orson Welles, Oja Kodar, Joseph Cotten

F for Fake


In Brief: The Hendersonville Film Society returns this week with Orson Welles' F for Fake (1973), the great filmmaker's last properly completed work. Welles' look at two famous fakes is a playful film — as much a feat of cinematic sleight-of-hand, laced with autobiography as anything else. At the time, Welles thought he'd found a brand-new…
Annex - Cooper, Gary (Meet John Doe)_03
Starring: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Arnold, Walter Brennan, James Gleason

Meet John Doe


In Brief: The great Frank Capra’s most ambitious and disturbing film, Meet John Doe is possibly more relevant today than when it first appeared in 1941. The idea of a completely media-fabricated celebrity — raised almost to the level of deity and used as a tool for political gain — probably seemed pretty fantastic then. Of…
2015-12-02
Starring: Josef Köstlinger, Irma Urrila, Håkan Hagegård, Elisabeth Erikson

The Magic Flute


In Brief: You can probably bump Ingmar Bergman’s 1975 film up a half star if you happen to like the opera by Mozart. I have to admit that I’m not fond of it, and that prevents me from fully enjoying this unquestionably brilliant version of the work. It does not prevent me from admiring Bergman’s handling…
tripletsofbelleville11
Starring: Michele Caucheteux, Jean-Claude Donda, Mari-Lou Gauthier, Michel Robin

The Triplets of Belleville


In Brief: The specters of Max Fleischer, Tex Avery, Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Jacques Tati hang heavily over Triplets (there’s even a poster for Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday on the wall of an apartment); it’s the mixing of these elements that’s unique, and clearly Chomet’s vision. The director doesn’t merely copy his inspirations; he creates his own takes…
Good Night And Good Luck 2
Starring: David Strathairn, George Clooney, Jeff Daniels, Frank Langella, Robert Downey Jr.

Good Night, and Good Luck


In Brief: Good Night, and Good Luck marked George Clooney's second time as a director — and taken in connection with his first film, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002) — it seemed to firmly establish Clooney as a major filmmaker. Then came Leatherheads (2008), The Ides of March (2011) and this year's The Monuments…