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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Luis Buñuel's brilliant new comedy, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie), is so free in form and yet so lucid and wise that it could give the Surrealists a whole new lease on life.
By setting his film in the surreal world of dreaming, Buñuel casts himself as a jester rather than as an Old Testament prophet, crying "Woe, woe." Awake, this assemblage might have been too much for the old man’s equanimity; while they sleep, it is enough that he skip about them, poking them keenly with his rattle.
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is a cosmic vaudeville show —an Old Master’s mischief. Now seventy-two, Luis Bunuel is no longer savage about the hypocrisy and the inanity of the privileged classes. They don’t change, and since they have become a persistent bad joke to him, he has grown almost fond of their follies—the way one can grow fond of the snarls and the silliness of vicious pets.
I suspect that James Dickey, who adapted his best-selling novel Deliverance for the screen, and John Boorman, who directed it, are trying to tell us something fairly important by subjecting four sober, settled, middle-class gentlemen in their thirties to a series of wilderness trials that test their courage and cunning in a manner we usually associate with the initiation of adolescents into primitive tribes.
Deliverance, which James Dickey adapted from his own best-selling novel, is one of those rare films that resonates like a literary work but that —rarer still—avoids either being or sounding literary.
Jules and Jim is not only one of the most beautiful films ever made, and the greatest motion picture of recent years, it is also, viewed as a work of art, exquisitely and impeccably moral.
As an actor, Eastwood never lets down his guard. His idea of being a real man is that it’s something you have to pretend to be—as Sergio Leone put it, he’s wearing a suit of armor. This actor has made a career out of his terror of expressiveness. Now here he is playing a stiff, a ghost. It’s perfect casting, but he doesn’t have the daring to let go and have fun with it. Even as a ghost, he’s armored.
What keeps Back to the Future from being a comedy classic is that its eye is on the market. Despite Zemeckis and Gale’s wit in devising intricate structures that keep blowing fuses, the thinking here is cramped and conventional. I wish that moviemakers and their designers would stop using old Life magazines for their images of the American past.
It was a bit startling to pick up an English newspaper and see that the review of Victim was entitled “Ten-letter word”—but as it turned out. The Observer was referring not to Lenny Bruce’s much publicized hyphenated word but to the simple term “homosexual,” which it appears is startling enough in a movie to make the Johnson office refuse to give Victim a seal of approval.
The audiences at popular American movies seem to want heroes they can look up to; the audiences at art houses seem to want heroes they can look down on. Does this mean that as we become more educated, we no longer believe in the possibilities of heroism?
Accattone lives as a work of narrow but intense vision—a film about viciousness and criminality that evokes compassion. Its style is neorealist: it was made on locations, not in studios, with nonprofessional performers. Sometimes this method makes merely vernacular films, but it gives Accattone a grainy, gripping authenticity.