Barry Lyndon non ha bisogno di chiamarsi Settecento. Se il titolo in Bertolucci indica l’intenzione astratta di definire storicamente quello che – dalla schematica situazione iniziale – si è riproposto come un film dai personaggi classici e «umani»; un film in cui della grandezza e casualità della Storia c’è solo la fluvialità del tempo e l’ampiezza della produzione (la storia economica del film), in Kubrick il nome – come si accennava – deve definire lo sparuto soggetto che è protagonista.
So Barry Lyndon is a failure. So what? How many “successes” have you seen lately that are half as interesting or accomplished, that are worth even ten minutes of thought after leaving them? By my own rough count, a smug little piece of engineering like A Clockwork Orange was worth about five. I’m reminded of what Jonas Mekas wrote about Zazie several years ago: “The fact that the film is a failure means nothing. Didn’t God create a failure, too?”
By far his most ambitious film to date technically and in the scope of its references, Taxi Driver shows Scorsese's urgency working at full throttle—to the film's considerable success and less considerable failure.
French director Alain Resnais’ remarkable film, Providence (1977), based upon a screenplay by British dramatist David Mercer, is a powerful but subtle exploration of the creative process. In its concern with the intertwining of past and present and their meeting ground in memory, Providence confirms that Resnais is the filmmaker whose work most closely corresponds to that of literary modernists such as James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Dorothy Richardson.
Crimes and Misdemeanors, written and directed by Woody Allen, is a sad, censuring look at the world-famous doctor and other crooks in high places who (in Allen’s view) have convinced themselves that they can do anything, because they don’t think God is watching.
Pauline Kael reviews 'New York Stories', the 1989 anthology film consisting of three shorts with the central theme being New York City. Episodes directed by Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Woody Allen.
What saves Munchausen from mediocrity is that you sense that Gilliam is brainstorming. He goes hippety-hoppety all over the place. The picture is too dry and too busy to be considered merely mediocre. And he has his gifts. He retains an edge of Monty Python’s cranky, warped slapstick, and he has a painter’s eye.
In Last Tango there is a quite plain idea—it’s very nearly a film with a message: sex as an instrument of power divorced from tenderness or curiosity results in chaos and despair.
Da Nang è lontana da Montelepre. La storia di Salvatore Giuliano e la guerra del Vietnam non si consumano sotto lo stesso cielo. Ma, forse, le traiettorie della "blindatissima" Full Metal Jacket e la parabola fatale del Siciliano attraversano lo "stesso" cinema.
Possibly there’s no way to make a picture this fast (it was shot in ten weeks) and achieve something comparable in greatness to the elegant comedy of evil that Laclos left us.
The director Alan Parker likes to operate in a wildly melodramatic universe of his own creation. In Mississippi Burning, which is set during the Freedom Summer of 1964, he treats Southerners the way he treated the Turks ten years ago in Midnight Express.
Pedro Almodóvar may be the only first-rank director who sets out to tickle himself and the audience. He doesn’t violate his principles to do it; his principles begin with freedom and pleasure.
BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID: THE BOTTOM OF THE PIT (also EASY RIDER, MIDNIGHT COWBOY, ALICE’S RESTAURANT) – Review by Pauline Kael
Butch Cassidy will probably be a hit; it has a great title, and it has star appeal for a wide audience.
In an exclusive interview, Michael Mann analyses the creation of his crime classic 'Heat': "I never thought of it as doing a genre piece.."
Meeting John Huston in Rome, where he was shooting The Bible, turned out to be easier than meeting any other director I had ever interviewed. On the set, among the giraffes and the peacocks, the lions and the Himalayan goats, I asked Huston how he made films.
In this exclusive interview, Stephen King discusses his past work, his inspirations, his attitudes toward the genre, and his future projects.
Roma, città aperta (Open City) is widely regarded as the most important film in Italian cinema history. Hence, a great deal of commentary has arisen concerning it, including a whole mythology of originality and difference.
Stanley Kubrick has topped a masterpiece with a masterpiece. A Clockwork Orange is not the best Anglo-Saxon language film of 1971, it is the best film of 1971, and there are so many masterful things in it that I hardly know where to begin.
Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is remarkable on a number of counts. Firstly, it is perhaps the first multi-million-dollar supercolossal movie since D. W. Griffith’s Intolerance fifty years ago which can genuinely be regarded as the work of one man.
This view of the Satyricon is proof positive that the golden resources lavished on Fellini by his trusting producers can be reduced to brightly-colored but unenriching fare.
Talking with the creators of Alien (1979). Interviews with Ridley Scott (Director), Walter Hill (Producer), David Giler (Producer), Carlo Rambaldi (Creator of Alien Head Effects), Bolaji Badejo ("The Alien"), Michael Seymour (Production Designer), Ivor Powell (Associate Producer), Roger Dicken (Creator of Small Alien Forms), H.R. Giger (Alien Designer)
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.