Fanny and Alexander may be Bergman’s farewell to film, but it is neither a work of pure nostalgia nor of self- pity and lamentation. It is a loving testament to and celebration of the continuity, infinite possibility, and power of art and the imagination.
Brazil is a tragicomedy about the relationship between imagination and fantasy, and about the ability of a society (“somewhere in the 20th century,” as the opening sequence informs us) to constantly transform the energy of the former into the dead weight of the latter.
Tim Kreider, who also wrote an incisive article on Eyes Wide Shut ("Introducing Sociology"), here takes a brilliant stab at AI in a - rarely mentioned - piece that was originally published in 2002 in Film Quarterly
Since the recognized success of Dr. Strangelove, objections to Kubrick's obscurity, his enigmatic mind, his bleak view of man, his simplistic view of life, his boring mannerisms abound in the reviews of his films. Barry Lyndon seems destined to encourage the same ambivalent critical reaction.
In Taxi Driver, New York City is a steaming, polluted cesspool and Travis Bickle’s cab a drifting bathysphere from which he can peer at the “garbage and trash” which obsess him: whores, pimps, junkies, wandering maniacs, maggotty streets, random violence.
Since propaganda, whether blatant or subtle, and whether “left” or “right,” works primarily through the emotions and not the intellect, it is not necessarily the explicit or easily recognizable elements of a film that produce the strongest effect on the consciousness of the viewer. Such is the case with a film like The French Connection. The explicit values are evident. The film is exquisitely made.
Dan Georgakas argues that even in those films that are more sympathetic to Indians there are fundamental distortions of Native American culture and continuing negative Hollywood stereotypes.
Critical disappointment with Eyes Wide Shut was almost unanimous, and the complaint was always the same: not sexy. The national reviewers sounded like a bunch of middle-school kids who'd snuck in to see it and slunk out three hours later feeling horny, frustrated, and ripped off.
Not since Shakespeare called for “a muse of fire” in Henry V and Olivier provided the light of an arc-rod projector has there been such an interesting opportunity to examine the relations between film and theater as David Lynch’s The Elephant Man.
The conversation which follows did not take place all at once. Although I had known Federico Fellini since 1956, we had not actually sat down to discuss his filmmaking ideas and his life philosophy until a few years before his death.
What is particularly striking about the film, once we get over the sight of Marlon Brando performing anal sex, is that it is, in disguise, the most political of Bertolucci’s films so far—his most ambitious attempt to integrate Marx and Freud.