Bonnie and Clyde is about violence and crime, and the desire of the ego to define itself, to live in violence and crime if it can't in anything else. To this end it remains properly sympathetic to the characters it has plucked from history, the sympathy being given not to crime but to a process in which crime figures, to the action by which the ego displays itself as the embattled source of everything—crime, love, violence, goodness, error, dream.
The movies that split people down the middle, put in the Empire dock... Simon Ingram (Prosecution) and Kat Brown (Defence) on Steven Speilberg's "A. I.: Artificial Intelligence"
The Servant is a genuinely shocking experience for audiences with the imagination to understand the dimensions of the shock. In years to come The Servant may be cited as a prophetic work making the decline and fall of our last cherished illusions about ourselves and our alleged civilization.
2001: A Space Odyssey is fascinating when it concentrates on apes or machines, and dreadful when it deals with the in-betweens: humans. For all its lively visual and mechanical spectacle, this is a kind of space-Spartacus and, more pretentious still, a shaggy God story.
In Leone’s hands, capitalism itself becomes a mythic force, as much a part of the landscape (it’s embodied here by the building of a railroad across the desert) as the horses or mountain ranges. In criticizing the myth — in filling in the economic relationships American westerns have skipped over —Leone expands and enriches it, which is what the best criticism does.
This movie has had the bad judgment to turn Robin Williams into a role model. Good Morning, Vietnam takes a real culture hero and turns him into a false one.
The Killing Fields, which is based on Sydney Schanberg’s 1980 Times Magazine article "The Death and Life of Dith Pran,” is by no means a negligible movie. It shows us the Khmer Rouge transforming Cambodia into a nationwide gulag, and the scenes of this genocidal revolution have the breadth and terror of something deeply imagined.
Will Blow-Up be taken seriously in 1968 only by the same sort of cultural diehards who are still sending out five-page single-spaced letters on their interpretation of Marienbad?
De Palma keeps our senses heightened that way all through Blow Out; the entire movie has the rapt intensity that he got in the slow-motion sequences in The Fury (1978). Only now, De Palma can do it at normal speed.
If John Huston’s name were not on Prizzi’s Honor, I’d have thought a fresh new talent had burst on the scene, and he’d certainly be the hottest new director in Hollywood. The picture has a daring comic tone—it revels voluptuously in the murderous finagling of the members of a Brooklyn Mafia family, and rejoices in their scams.
Rambo: First Blood Part II explodes your previous conception of “overwrought”—it’s like a tank sitting on your lap firing at you. Jump-cutting from one would-be high point to another, Rambo is to the action film what Flashdance was to the musical, with one to-be-cherished difference: audiences are laughing at it.
As a movie, Purple Rain is a mawkish fictionalized bio [...] It’s pretty terrible; the narrative hook is: will the damaged boy learn to love? There are no real scenes—just flashy, fractured rock-video moments.
Gremlins isn’t dull; there’s always something going on. In one scene, we discover that Giz can reproduce musical tones; nothing comes of it. The picture is an unholy mixture—a whimsical pop shocker—and finally nothing comes of any of it.
by Pauline Kael The great thing about a tall tale on the screen is that you can be shown the preposterous and the implausible. In Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the director Steven Spielberg is like a magician whose tricks are so daring they make you laugh. He [...]
One of the worst failures of the movie is, implicitly, a rather comic modern predicament. Huston obviously can't make anything acceptable out of the Bible's accounts of sinfulness and he falls back upon the silliest stereotypes of evil
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey took five years and $10 million to make, and it’s easy to see where the time and the money have gone. It’s less easy to understand how, for five years, Kubrick managed to concentrate on his ingenuity and ignore his talent.
The Godfather II is a sequel to a film whose narrative drive and choreographed violence made it one of the better genre films of recent years. It is colder, more severe, less violent and much more ambitious than the original The Godfather.
Despite the absence of the kind of imaginative spectacle or battle sequences that galvanised Spirited Away (2001) and Princess Mononoke (1997), When Marnie Was There is expertly atmospheric. Its action is all contained within its emotional ebb and flow, as fierce as the tides that lap at Marsh House.
There’s nothing fun or funny to be found here. It offers us only the absorption of good acting and good storytelling combined with a plausible anthropology of a strange, terribly relevant culture. What more could we possibly want from a movie? How often, these days, do we get anything like all that?
And then there was Marion Brando, against all the odds, cast in one of filmdom’s juiciest roles, as mob chief Don Vito Corleone. He was eased in, despite stiff opposition from the studio brass, because of the advocacy of a thirtyish fan, Francis Ford Coppola, an Italian-American who happened to be the director of The Godfather. Once he got the part, Brando in turn helped Coppola maintain camaraderie during the frenzied three-month shooting by kibitzing with the cast and establishing a fatherly relationship.
THE GODFATHER PLAYS ON OUR SECRET ADMIRATION FOR MEN WHO GET WHAT THEY WANT – by Arthur Schlesinger Jr. [Vogue]
Inflation does not always assure survival. My guess is that three years from now we will still remember scenes from Raoul Walsh’s The Roaring Twenties (1939) while The Godfather will have become a vague memory.
The Godfather is, furthermore, and by critical consensus, a stunning confirmation of my claims for Coppola's talents: vividly seen, richly detailed, throbbing with incident and a profusion of strikingly drawn characters
Blasphemy is by no means dead in Britain, as the recent condemnation of Gay News, for publishing a poem portraying Christ as homosexual, reveals. But The Life of Brian has nothing about it as shocking to the faithful as this, and is saved indeed from blasphemy by its sheer vulgarity.
Escape from Alcatraz opens with the camera panning across San Francisco Bay and the bridge, and then to the grim, gloomy island of Alcatraz. The first sequence, as the credits come up, shows the arrival, through rain and darkness, of a prisoner for the "Rock": it is shot in tight, constricted close- up and mostly in shadow.
Lontano dal cinema di formule e procedimenti a cui rimanda soltanto per la sua mole produttiva, Barry Lyndon si situa in quella zona dove il cinema è invenzione, ricerca, esperimento. Ma dove tutti, coraggiosamente e confusamente, cercano, Stanley Kubrick trova. Non domanda, risponde.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind is the most innocent of all technological-marvel movies, and one of the most satisfying. This film has retained some of the wonder and bafflement we feel when we first go into a planetarium: we ooh and aah at the vastness, and at the beauty of the mystery. The film doesn’t overawe us, though, because it has a child’s playfulness and love of surprises.
Bertolucci is trying to transcend the audience appeal of his lyrical, psychological films. He is trying to make a people’s film by drawing on the mythology of movies, as if it were a collective memory. 1900 is a romantic moviegoer's vision of the class struggle—a love poem for the movies as well as for the life of those who live communally on the land.
Angst-dark primary colors—reds and blues so intense they’re nearpsychedelic, yet grimy, rotting in the thick, muggy atmosphere. Cities that blur into each other. Characters as figures in cityscapes or as exiles in rooms that are insistently not home. And, under it all, morbid, premonitory music.
The Taviani brothers have learned to fuse political commitment and artistic commitment into stylized passion. Their film Padre Padrone has the beauty of anger that is channelled and disciplined without losing intensity.
An extraordinarily well-made new thriller gets the audience sky-high and keeps it up there—The French Connection, directed by William Friedkin, which is one of the most “New York” of all the recent New York movies.
In this film, one knows that Bertolucci knows who he is and what he’s doing; young as he is, he's a master director. Except for the unconvincing and poorly staged concluding sequence, the flaws in The Conformist are niggling.
This movie expresses what it means to be young with the lyricism and narcissism and self-consciousness of the intelligent young.
Some of the trick effects might seem miraculous if the imagery had any lustre, but Return of the Jedi is an impersonal and rather junky piece of moviemaking.
Così come il mito americano C'era una volta in America è crudele e sentimentale, come gli anni ’30 è più reale di un sogno ed è solo un sogno.
«Credevo fosse un’avventura. E invece era la vita... » (J. Conrad) ... Riprendendo questa frase nel corso di un’intervista, Sergio Leone si riferiva al tempo trascorso da quando ebbe l’idea di trarre un film dal libro di Harry Grey A mano armata a quando, finalmente il film è riuscito a farlo
Eighty thousand years ago, on broad primeval plains, Naoh (Everett McGill), the bravest warrior of the spear-carrying Ulam tribe, and two fellow-warriors, Amoukar (Ron Perlman) and Gaw (Nameer El-Kadi), are sent out on the sacred mission of finding fire and bringing it back to the Ulam.
Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets is a true original of our period, a triumph of personal filmmaking. It has its own hallucinatory look; the characters live in the darkness of bars, with lighting and color just this side of lurid. It has its own unsettling, episodic rhythm and a high-charged emotional range that is dizzyingly sensual.
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.
L’ironia di Kubrick resta sempre fredda, il suo umorismo sereno, forse perciò più toccante. Si limita a prospettare l’eccezionale come raggiunto e quindi divenuto usuale, quotidiano, fine a se stesso.
If you're among the millions of people who have read the book, you probably expect the actors to be more important than they turn out to be. The movie is amorphous; it’s a pastoral about the triumph of the human spirit, and it blurs on you.
The best thing about Eyes Wide Shut may be its title, but anyone planning to see Stanley Kubrick's long-awaited, posthumously released swan song is advised to go with their eyes open.
Full Metal Jacket is not cold. It is not bitter. It is not distanced from its subject. It does not suffer from too many retakes, nor from an excess of directorial control. It is moving. It is angry and fast. It is, at times, hilarious.
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.
A wide, startlingly vivid view of a Mafia dynasty, in which organized crime becomes an obscene nightmare image of American free enterprise. The movie is a popular melodrama with its roots in the gangster films of the 30s, but it expresses a new tragic realism, and it's altogether extraordinary.
It may be about time for movies to realize that they aren’t realistic. They are, for all the reality of their locales and of their actors and of their circumstances, only representations of reality and nothing more.
Although Peckinpah’s general attitudes turn out to be reactionary to the point of madness, he has never functioned better as a filmmaker: Straw Dogs is a hateful but very exciting movie.
Boorman doesn't bother with episodes that don't stir him; there’s no dull connective tissue. The film is like Flaubert’s more exotic fantasies—one lush, enraptured scene after another.
Let me report simply that A Clockwork Orange manifests itself on the screen as a painless, bloodless, and ultimately pointless futuristic fantasy.
Once Upon a Time in the West is Sergio Leone’s most American Western, but it is still dominantly and paradoxically European in spirit, at one and the same time Christian and Marxist, despairing and exultant, nihilistic and regenerative.
The Elephant Man is a very pleasurable surprise. Though I had seen Eraserhead, which is the only other feature directed by David Lynch, and had thought him a true original, I wasn't prepared for the strength he would bring out of understatement.
Bergman is not a playful dreamer, as we already know from nightmarish films like The Silence, which seems to take place in a trance. He apparently thinks in images and links them together to make a film.
I kept my eyes wide open all through Eyes Wide Shut and saw more control-freak unreality than visual genius around the edges of the cluttered compositions.
The movie works because it has the Mary Shelley story to lean on: we know that the monster will be created and will get loose. And Brooks makes a leap up as a director because, although the comedy doesn’t build, he carries the story through.
Throughout the three hours and twenty minutes of Part II, there are so many moments of epiphany — mysterious, reverberant images, such as the small Vito singing in his cell — that one scarcely has the emotional resources to deal with the experience of this film.
La Grande Illusion is a perceptive study of human needs and the subtle barriers of class among a group of prisoners and their captors during World War I.
Both Kubrick and King merit congratulations for making The Shining one of the most overpowering experiences of horror ever committed to celluloid. It manages to treat intangible, elusive subjects—ghosts, demons, spirits and the like—as if they were as real as this morning's headlines.
The thaw in the Soviet Union made it possible for new filmmakers, although not without difficulty, to assert their personal vision. The most striking of these was indisputably Andrei Tarkovsky, Emmanuel Carrère discusses the grandeur of Stalker.
by Pauline Kael In Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands, the towers and spires of a medieval castle rise high in the air right out of the end of a bare, flat suburban street. The houses and cars in the suburbs are in a comically limited palette of pastels; the dark castle [...]
In this review of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Tom Milne dismisses Spielberg's classic as dross. In a scathing review he objects to the film's many flaws, including its 'simple-mindedness' and its reliance on 'limp clichés'.
Buñuel attacks the Church as the perverter and frustrater of man—the power trying to hold down sexuality, animality, irrationality, man’s “instinctual nature.’’
Dr. Strangelove developed in us an embryonic skepticism for what was beginning to be called the "military establishment," and it fostered a growing skepticism about authority everywhere.
The movie—Costner’s debut as a director—is childishly naïve. When Lieutenant Dunbar is alone with his pet wolf, he’s like Robinson Crusoe on Mars. When he tries to get to know the Sioux, and he and they are feeling each other out, it’s like a sci-fi film that has the hero trying to communicate with an alien race.
This excruciatingly violent, three-hour Viet Nam saga demolishes the moral and ideological cliches of an era: it shoves the audience into hell and leaves it stranded without a map.
The Deer Hunter has done what The Green Berets could not do more than a decade ago: it has moved audiences to actively root for the American military fighting the Vietnam war.
For all its pretensions to something newer and better, this film is only an extension of the old Hollywood war-movie lie. The enemy is still bestial and stupid, and no match for our purity and heroism; only we no longer wipe up the floor with him—rather, we litter it with his guts.
by Andrew Sarris I It came over the car radio while I was driving out to wintry, stormy Long Island for the Memorial Day weekend. The Conversation had won the Grand Prize at Cannes, The Sugarland Express had been singled out for its screenplay, and Jack Nicholson had been named [...]
I am convinced that The Godfather could have been a more profound film if Coppola had shown more interest (and perhaps more courage) in those sections of the book which treated crime as an extension of capitalism and as the sine qua non of showbiz.
The key of the brilliant comic tone of the film is in the title. What makes the picture so funny, terrifying and horribly believable is that everyone in the film really has learned to stop worrying, as smokers do about lung cancer after living with the statistics for a bit.
Last Tango in Paris is an important film because of the way it deals with film history. By showing the inadequacy of and parodying two recent influential film styles, 1950s Hollywood and French New Wave, Bertolucci critiques and condemns the outmoded ideas and attitudes which informed these styles.
In this review of Last Tango in Paris, Norman Mailer offers an extensive critique of Bertolucci’s film on the basis of Marlon Brando’s compromised acting.
Some people want to call this art in the postmodern age, but no matter how inflated with esteem Lynch becomes, his art isn’t so great that it transcends political reading or vicious, regressive, conservative meaning.
Imagine The Wizard of Oz with an oversexed witch, gun-toting Munchkins. and love ballads from Elvis Presley, and you’ll get some idea of this erotic hellzapoppin from writer-director David Lynch.
The movie is a disgrace: an ugly, incoherent, dishonest piece of work. The original picture, directed by a skillful journeyman, J. Lee Thompson, is memorable without being especially artful.
Tullio Kezich recensisce "Per un pugno di dollari", primo capitolo della "trilogia del dollaro" di Sergio Leone. Articolo pubblicato sulla rivista 'Bianco e Nero'
Much of the humor in David Lynch’s reworked fifties crime thriller/horror/gothic film Blue Velvet comes from mundane statements which, when filtered by his personal vision, appear weird, but still oddly familiar.
When you come out of the theatre after seeing David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, you certainly know that you've seen something. You wouldn’t mistake frames from Blue Velvet for frames from any other movie. It’s an anomaly—the work of a genius naif.
by Flo Leibowitz and Lynn Jeffress To all appearances, The Shining is simply a hopelessly clichéd gothic horror film. Can this be serious? A lonely house on a hill haunted by ancestral ghosts that curse successive generations and force them to re-enact the original horror. It is not even redeemed [...]
by Pauline Kael There is a brief passage in Ingmar Bergman's Persona - Bibi Andersson tells about a day and night of sex - that is so much more erotic than all of Ulysses that it demonstrates what can be done on the screen with told material. We do not [...]
EPIC FILMS ANCIENT AND MODERN A week of epics. It is true that neither Spartacus (Gaumont) nor The Guns of Navarone (Regal) conform to Bible thumping traditions but as both last for over three hours, including intermissions for the audience to recuperate on orange squash, and are littered with stars, [...]
by James Kerans All the Fellini virtues are here: the fluent camera, the wit, the elegant composition, the theme-and-variations style, the melange of theatrical and religious symbol, the parabolic eloquence, the vocabulary of private motifs. La Strada is more exciting, because it calls for the management of material more coarse, [...]
by Bosley Crowther Old age has never been a topic of particular interest to makers of films for a very obvious reason: It is not one that particularly appeals to the vast majority of moviegoers, not even to those who are old. Age, at best, is a condition that merely [...]
by Bosley Crowther The vast attention that Bernardo Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris received while it was several months in the making and when it opened in the fall of 1972 was not due to the prospect of its being a likely worldshaking film. It was because Marlon Brando was [...]
by Gerard Fay Stanley Kubrick is unusual among American film directors for a complete lack of flamboyance. He dresses without distinction, talks quietly and modestly, eats and drinks frugally, reads and thinks a lot. He is not an Austrian or even an Hungarian but was born in the Bronx, New [...]
by Don Daniels Stanley Kubrick's films seem to provoke the kind of mindless praise and attack that is called 'controversy' these days. In the case of A Clockwork Orange, the responses have ranged from 'brilliant' to 'boring', with special attention to the film's depictions of violence. If the viewer responds [...]
"When the legend becomes fact," says the canny newspaper editor in John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, "print the legend." Sam Peckinpah is a filmmaker dedicated to telling truths and still preserving the legend of the American West. In feature films (Ride the High Country, Major Dundee) and [...]
by Pauline Kael A friend of mine who’s in his early fifties and is eminent in his field says that when he grows up he wants to be Sean Connery. He doesn’t mean the smooth operator James Bond; he means the bluff, bare-domed Connery of The Man Who Would Be [...]
by Pauline Kael At the end of The Godfather Part II (1974), the story was complete—beautifully complete. Francis Ford Coppola knew it, and for over a decade he resisted Paramount’s pleas for another sequel. But the studio’s blandishments became more honeyed, his piggy bank was smashed, and late in 1988 [...]
by Pauline Kael Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas has a lift. It’s like Raging Bull, except that it’s not domineering. It’s like Raging Bull made in a jolly, festive frame of mind. It’s about being a guy and guys getting high on being a guy. In the Nicholas Pileggi book Wiseguy, which [...]
by Michael Dempsey In director Ridley Scott’s $30-million noir thriller, Blade Runner, set in Los Angeles 36 years from now, sophisticated new robots known as “replicants” have drastically narrowed the gap between humans and machines. Prize creations of the cadaverous, ironic Dr. Eldon Tyrell and his superconglomerate, they not only [...]
by Richard Schickel FIRST PARADOX: Barry Lyndon, a story of an 18th century Irish gentleman-rogue, is the first novel of a great 19th century writer, William Makepeace Thackeray. It shows early signs of a genius that would nourish only after creative struggle and personal adversity. In time, this forgotten book [...]
For a director like Stanley Kubrick, a novel like Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange must have seemed an irresistible challenge. Kubrick is essentially a daring imagist, yet he has twice before been tempted by projects that pose powerful problems of language for the film maker.
A tragedy of false security by Richard Schickel The film looks as if it had been photographed through the mists of time. Often its characters seem to move with the strange deliberation of figures in a dreamed memory, their outlines softened by the years. Yet its images, its language (and [...]
After nearly thirty years, then, of playing one character in one set of clothes, Chaplin takes on a double role. The subject of the film is thus new to him, or shall we say it is a new and advanced branch of his old subject, the dictatorship of the powerful and cruel over the humble and the dispossessed?
di Paolo Taggi A quattordici anni un ragazzo decide di scegliere il silenzio. Da quel momento può fare a meno delle proprie parole e comunica soltanto attraverso i testi scritti da altri. Recita, e sul palcoscenico si esprime attraverso copioni già scritti, che non gli appartengono, nei quali può soltanto [...]
di Pietro Bianchi È difficile dire quale fosse la precisa intenzione del regista Stanley Kubrick quando decise di fare un film, Arancia meccanica, dal romanzo di Anthony Burgess dallo stesso titolo. Per Burgess non ci sono dubbi. Cattolico, avendo sfiorato la morte per una grave malattia, desiderava mostrare i pericoli [...]
Shoeshine, written by Cesare Zavattini, is a social protest film that rises above its purpose. It is a lyric study of how two boys betrayed by society betray each other and themselves
Pauline Kael reviews "Planet of the Apes", a 1968 science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner. Published in 'The New Yorker', February 17,1968
Ingmar Bergman ha definito il suo ultimo film, che ha per titolo Skammen (La vergogna) una storia di gente che non ha nessuna fede, nessuna convinzione politica, che non agisce secondo canoni e regole politiche
2001: IL FILM DI STANLEY KUBRICK Il viaggio interplanetario è un viaggio biologico di Lino Curci Sono giorni di scienza, non di fantascienza. Per la prima volta, con l’«Apollo 8», ritorno ha varcato il confine che separa il campo gravitazionale della Terra dalla zona in cui agiscono le forze dì [...]
The view of the future offered by Ridley Scott's muddled yet mesmerizing 'Blade Runner' is as intricately detailed as anything a science-fiction film has yet envisioned
by Pauline Kael Taxi Driver is the fevered story of an outsider in New York—a man who can’t find any point of entry into human society. Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), the protagonist of Martin Scorsese’s new film, from a script by Paul Schrader, can’t find a life. He’s an [...]
by Pauline Kael The marketing executives are the new high priests of the movie business. It's natural. They’re handling important sums of money. And they dispense the money dramatically, in big campaigns that flood out over the country. It’s not unusual for more to be spent on marketing a picture [...]
by Pauline Kael As Jake la Motta, the former middleweight boxing champ, in Raging Bull, Robert De Niro wears scar tissue and a big, bent nose that deform his face. It’s a miracle that he didn't grow them—he grew' everything else. He developed a thick muscled neck and a fighter [...]
Taking a best-selling novel of more drive than genius (Mario Puzo's The Godfather), about a subject of something less than common experience (the Mafia), involving an isolated portion of one very particular ethnic group (first-generation and second-generation Italian-Americans), Francis Ford Coppola has made one of the most brutal and moving chronicles of American life ever designed within the limits of popular entertainment.
Sight and Sound review of 'The White Balloon', a 1995 Iranian film directed by Jafar Panahi, with a screenplay by Abbas Kiarostami
by John Wrathall Homicide detective William Somerset is joined for his last seven days on the job by his replacement, David Mills, who has just moved to the city. When the discovery of a man who has apparently been forced to eat until he bursts (Gluttony) is followed by the [...]
di Giovanni Grazzini Con Sedotta e abbandonata gli affezionati spettatori di Divorzio all'italiana si ritrovano in una Sicilia dominata da un grottesco senso dell'onore, nuovamente si muovono in un clima cupo e afoso con bagliori terrificanti, in cui scoppiano feroci contrasti familiari, e per la seconda volta s'imbattono in una [...]
Saggio critico di Fernaldo Di Giammatteo su "Full Metal Jacket", pubblicato nel numero monografico su Stanley Kubrick della collana Il Castoro Cinema
by Richard T. Jameson Camera comes in low over an immense Western lake, its destination apparently a small island at the center that seems to consist of nothing but treetops. Draw nearer, then sweep over and pass the island, skewing slightly now in search of a central focus at the [...]
EYES WIDE SHUT: WHAT THE CRITICS FAILED TO SEE IN KUBRICK’S LAST FILM – by Lee Siegel [Harper’s Magazine]
Not a single critic, not even those few who claimed to like Eyes Wide Shut, made any attempt to understand the film on its own artistic terms. Instead, the critics denounced the film for not living up to the claims its publicists had made for it.
by Timothy J. Gilfoyle In December 2002, Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York opened to critical acclaim. The Chicago Tribune’s Michael Wilmington described the motion picture as “a period epic of hatred and fire,” “a movie of grand reckless ambition,” and “a film burning with creative passion, over-reaching, magnificently wild.” [...]
by Dilys Powell The Grapes of Wrath is not just a film, not just a tragedy, not just a social indictment even; it is an experience; it is history unfolding like a terrible fungus; it is America. Not the cinema America; no lovely silk legs, no Civil War; not the [...]
C'è un patto di non aggressione tra la polizia e gli «anziani» della comunità cinese di Chinatown. Ma quando al posto dell'opimo William McKenna arriva l'agile Stanley White le cose cambiano.
«Cambiano le regole. Quando si fanno le ore piccole è zona franca», dice il simpatico barista a Marcy e Paul, offrendo loro la consumazione, per divenire di lì a poco il burbero, inesorabile proprietario che impone al giovane l’ordinazione.
To a certain extent, this forthright picture has the impact of hard reality, mainly because its frank avowal of agonizing, uncompensated injustice is pursued to the bitter, tragic end.
Stanley Kubrick's new film, called Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, is beyond any question the most shattering sick joke I've ever come across.
Unquestionably one of the most highly anticipated films of modern times due to its high-powered talent combo, protracted and secrecy-enshrouded shoot, rumored racy content
Chances are that when Stanley Kubrick’s Vietnam film Full Metal Jacket is at midpoint a lot of moviegoers will be asking themselves what it’s going to be about, and when it’s over they still won’t know.
I cancelli del cielo si aprono sull’inferno. Il film è il crack economico più disastroso di tutti i tempi e gode di un efferato ostracismo critico indigeno
Nella Terra di Mezzo, il Male sta dilagando; le sue schiere si rafforzano e si infittiscono, mentre il minuscolo esercito del Bene è disperso e confuso.
"A.I." delinea l'immagine di un mondo (futuro?) in cui "nascere" robot aiuta forse a capire, ma non a sconfiggere il destino di solitudine e silenzio che incombe sulla specie umana
Cimino fa sollevare le comunità cinesi d’America per la sua ritrattistica di una mafia gialla che tesaurizza tutta l’iconografia hollywoodiana in materia, da Fu Manchu in poi
I am not certain what it means to call Stanley Kubrick's The Shining "the first epic horror film," as the ads are quoting Jack Kroll of Newsweek, but surely it is one of the strangest of them.
Full Metal Jacket certainly isn’t what we expect a Vietnam movie to be. Then again, it’s only secondarily a movie about the war. First and foremost, this is a Kubrick movie
How do you make a good movie in this country without being jumped on? Bonnie and Clyde is the most excitingly American American movie since The Manchurian Candidate.
Forse l'America ha trovato il sistema per esorcizzare una guerra dolorosamente perduta: basta continuare a combatterla al cinema, all'infinito.
Stanley Kubrick, once again leaves his audiences asking a familiar question: How can anyone make a film so fastidiously beautiful and still leave so many loose ends?
The Shining, Stanley Kubrick's spellbinding foray into the realm of the horror film, is at its most gloriously diabolical as Jack and Wendy Torrance take the grand tour.
Porteremo a lungo nella memoria l’enigma di questo film, che è come una dolce e vaga serata d’addio di un nostro misterioso amico settantunenne, che ci ha lasciato per sempre senza svelarci quasi nessuno dei suoi segreti.
Uno dei più clamorosi film di fantascienza che si siano visti negli ultimi anni, una delle più sgomentevoli profezie sull'imminente medioevo, uno dei frutti più maturi del cinema spettacolare.
L'operazione dei distributori americani di tagliare e rimontare cronologicamente il film di Sergio Leone, C’era una volta in America, è un atto di violenza che riduce in polvere, cancellandolo, il cuore narrativo stesso di questo film
Blade Runner doesn’t engage you directly; it forces passivity on you. It sets you down in this lopsided maze of a city, with its post-human feeling, and keeps you persuaded that something bad is about to happen.
Francis Coppola's Apocalypse Now lives up to its grand title, disclosing not only the various faces of war but also the contradictions between excitement and boredom, terror and pity, brutality and beauty.
È il male del secolo, tutti ne siamo affetti. Matti incurabili, l'unico conforto ci viene dal tenere per mano un bambino e dall'avere coscienza della nostra condizione. La colpa di tutto? Innanzi tutto, della civiltà industriale.
Much of the confusion about "Once Upon a Time in America" stems from a certain critical inability to understand why the film is structured the way it is, and why Leone chooses to conclude the fiction with such a supposedly enigmatic scene.
Non siamo soli nell'universo. Per convincercene, e umiliare il nostro orgoglio, Stanley Kubrick ha scritto e diretto il più clamoroso e agghiacciante film di fantascienza, o come lui dice, di "prescienza", che sinora sia apparso sugli schermi del sistema solare.
Oliver Stone’s Platoon, about a group of American infantrymen in Vietnam between 1967 and 1968, is the first Hollywood film about this country’s Southeast Asian adventure that’s just a war movie
A ogni altra considerazione sul film che Pasolini ha tratto dal Vangelo secondo Matteo bisogna avanzare una premessa: l'azzardo ha avuto già il suo premio nel coraggio, nella buona fede, nella rigorosa aderenza al testo sacro.
Il caso di 2001: A Space Odyssey, film di enorme successo e di enorme sfortuna, è uno dei più clamorosi. Tanti furono i sofismi che ne accolsero l’uscita da indurre lo stesso Stanley Kubrick a fornire, un poco infastidito, la sua semplice spiegazione
2001: A Space Odyssey, a film in which infinite care, intelligence, patience, imagination and Cinerama have been devoted to what looks like the apotheosis of the fantasy of a precocious, early nineteen-fifties city boy.
di Giovanni Grazzini Il tempo passa ma Kubrick non cambia idea: fra tutte le maniere di morire la guerra continua a sembrargli la più cretina. A trent'anni esatti dal suo Orizzonti di gloria, che resta un pilastro del cinema antimilitarista, e a una ventina da Stranamore, eccolo ancora sparare a [...]
Heaven’s Gate non è solo un film. È un affair, uno scandalo, un trauma. Un fatto che trascende il mondo del cinema. Forse un banco di prova o addirittura un nodo cruciale.
Christopher Hitchens’ review of the German film The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008) which portrays the terrorist group operating in West Germany known as the Red Army Faction
Contributi critici del regista cinematografico Michelangelo Antonioni, del critico letterario Giulio Cattaneo, dello storico del cinema Fausto Montesanti e dello sceneggiatore Giorgio Prosperi. Con una nota critica di Lino Del Fra.