Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune are the stars of Hell in the Pacific, and there’s nobody else in the movie — just this American soldier and this Japanese soldier stranded on a Pacific island during the Second World War, and neither speaking a word of the other’s language.
Visually, the movie is without depth or shading, and often the compositions seem cramped; possibly the chalky, off-key look was by choice, but, if so, I'm not sure what dictated it. This is Kurosawa's first period film in color, and he has used color in an eerily unrealistic, painterly way.
2001 no less than Dr. Strangelove is an apocalyptic vision: it i is an alternate future but no less pessimistic. Beneath its austerely beautiful surface an alarm is sounded for us to examine a problem of which Dr. Strangelove was a pronounced symptom: the possibility that man is as much at the mercy of his own artifacts as ever he was of the forces of nature.
Louise Sweeney, New York-based film critic for The Christian Science Monitor, wrote a generally favorable review following the New York premiere of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Boston staff critic John Allen’s full-page review appeared in the Monitor a month later and M-G-M reprinted it as an ad in a Sunday edition of The New York Times.
Any annoyance over the ending—if indeed it is widely felt—cannot really compromise Kubrick’s epic achievement, his mastery of the techniques of screen sight and screen sound to create impact and illusion.
Sometimes the components of a picture seem miraculously right and you go to it expecting a magical interaction. That's the case with Popeye. But it comes off a little like some of the Jacques Tati comedies, where you can see the intelligence and skill that went into the gags yet you don't hear yourself laughing.
After we have seen a stewardess walk up a wall and across the ceiling early in the film, we no longer question similar amazements and accept Kubrick's new world without question. The credibility of the special effects established, we can suspend disbelief, to use a justifiable cliche, and revel in the beauty and imagination of Kubrick/Clarke's space.
As part of a police effort to suss out the workings of serial killer Buffalo Bills mind, rookie FBI Agent Clarice Starling (Foster) is assigned the task of interrogating Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter (Hopkins). Having extracted the information that she suffered verbal abuse from fellow prisoner Miggs (Stuart Levine) on the way in (“I can smell your cunt,” he hisses charmingly), the good Doctor turns the conversation towards fragrances of a less personal nature...
Polanski's Tess is Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles under sedation. The film has a penitential attitude toward the suffering that men inflict on women. This Tess becomes a tribute to women's dear weakness.
We Still Kill the Old Way is an unusual thriller, for it’s not about a big heist or a cute gang of thieves and it doesn’t ingratiate itself by making things easy for the hero or the audience.
I think If . . . . will be a success, but I think it’s far from a masterpiece, and I should like to make this distinction, because so many people are beginning to treat “youth” as the ultimate judge — as a collective Tolstoyan clean old peasant.
CLASS AND ALLEGORY IN CONTEMPORARY MASS CULTURE: ‘DOG DAY AFTERNOON’ AS A POLITICAL FILM – by Fredric Jameson
Dog Day Afternoon seems to have a great deal more overt political content than we would normally expect to find in a Hollywood production.
Far from showing an ignorance of horror, as King asserts, the film shows Kubrick's depth of knowledge of film form and its possibilities.
Hurricane Marlon is sweeping the country, and I wish it were more than hot air. A tornado of praise—cover stories and huzzahs—blasts out the news that Brando is giving a marvelous performance as Don Corleone in The Godfather, the lapsed Great Actor has regained himself, and so on. As a Brando-watcher for almost 30 years, I’d like to agree.
Spartacus ha il pregio di inserire una voce autentica nella grande produzione di Hollywood e dunque di incidere sul gusto di milioni di spettatori e di dimostrare che incassi ed impegno d’arte non sono per forza in contraddizione fra loro.
With 2001, we learned the real depth and mass of space, and discovered that “The Ultimate Trip” was going to be a cold, lonely one—an adventure more daunting to the psyche than the body.
Jean-Luc Godard intended to give the public what it wanted. His next film was going to be about a girl and a gun—”A sure-fire story which will sell a lot of tickets.” And so, like Henry James’ hero in The Next Time he proceeded to make a work of art that sold fewer tickets than ever. What was to be a simple commercial movie about a robbery became Band of Outsiders.
POLTERGEIST (1982): HOOPER’S VISION & SPIELBERG’S CHARM CREATE A GREAT GHOST STORY – Review by Kyle Counts
Spielberg, as co-author/producer (and some say director), has tempered Hooper’s harsh, visceral style with folksy humor and near-bloodless titillation, while Hooper has underscored Spielberg's conservative, child-at-play consciousness with dark touches of Grand Guignol.
The Deer Hunter is a brilliant epic about the simple things of life. To its director Michael Cimino they are 'friendship, courage, dignity, grace' and through them the movie's Vietnam veterans turn into Homeric heroes. Chris Auty pays his respects, but wonders if this catalogue of rituals hasn't tried to make time stand still.
Something ominous has been going on since The Deer Hunter first made its appearance, and especially since it won an Academy Award: Certain activist groups, in an unfortunate misunderstanding of the film, have protested it as a kind of racist document that, as a New York Post article summarized it, “ . . . contrasts the innocence of American GIs . . . with the savage Vietnamese enemy they meet on the battlefield.”
Kubrick’s original plan was to open 2001 with a ten-minute prologue (35mm film, black and white) — edited interviews on extraterrestrial possibilities with experts on space, theology, chemistry, biology, astronomy. Kubrick says that he decided after the first screening of 2001 for M-G-M executives, in Culver City, California, that it wasn’t a good idea to open 2001 with a prologue, and it was eliminated immediately.
The popular and critical success of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven (1992) has prompted a number of discussions about the status of the Western, Eastwood’s cinematic persona, and the currency of each in a changing cultural landscape. An accepted critical reading of the film that has already emerged suggests that it revises the Western genre.
Ingmar Bergman—the Swedish creator of The Seventh Seal—long ago abandoned his interest in the mysterious ties between God and man in favor of a broader humanism. His latest film, Cries and Whispers, confronts the realities of the human condition—man’s destiny on "the dark, dirty earth under an empty, cruel Heaven.” Now Bergman seeks his answers in the workings of the human heart alone.
Director Benjamin Ross, whose debut feature is The Young Poisoner’s Handbook, celebrates the drama of failure in Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon
With Frenzy, its director, Alfred Hitchcock, is said to have returned to form, but to what form has he returned? To a resounding orchestral accompaniment, so different from the anxiety-producing music with which Bernard Herrmann contributed so much to Vertigo and Psycho, we move from a panoramic view of the city of London to a Thames-side gathering at which a politician's speech about progress against the river’s pollution is interrupted by the discovery of a floating corpse.
The aging Hitchcock's accomplishment in Frenzy is astonishing, coming after his poor-quality Torn Curtain. This sense of nationality always gave his English work a pungency and a warm swiftness.
In Ingmar Bergman’s latest film, Cries and Whispers, the predominant tones are red, and from the very beginning of its production he did not hesitate to explain why this is so. He had a dream, he said, and in the dream he saw a group of women dressed in white, whispering together in a room bathed completely in red.