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.
Dirty Harry is obviously just a genre movie, but this action genre has always had a fascist potential, and it has finally surfaced. Since crime is caused by deprivation, misery, psychopathology, and social injustice, Dirty Harry is a deeply immoral 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.
If anybody is looking for a film which will embody and reinforce his worst moments of panic, it is available in Stanley Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange.
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.
Barry Lyndon is the loveliest of Stanley Kubrick’s films. Indeed, it’s the one Kubrick movie that could even invite that adjective (or epithet).
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.
Though The Killing is composed of familiar ingredients and it calls for fuller explanations, it evolves as a fairly diverting melodrama.
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.
It is hard to think of a recent American film which has been as classically and persistently misread as The Deer Hunter.
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.