When I saw this desecrated masterpiece for the first time at the age of 13, I could actually feel where Welles' footage stopped and RKO's began: Ambersons is such a profoundly physical experience that the difference is plain.
Essays on retrospectives and repertory films playing at Metrograph
July 26 PG and the Power of Nightmares
Nowadays, the PG rating, one P higher than a G, intimates a family film, not simply a title for which “Parental Guidance” is suggested. This was not the case in the seventies and early eighties.
June 1 Woman Trouble: On the Films of Brian De Palma and Nancy Allen
It is in Allen’s performances that we see the trickiness of De Palma’s play with gender and sex in full, fulsome flower. She is in fact his greatest envoy in the sex wars. She embodies all his work’s contradictions and somehow renders them glorious, delectable, meaningful.
May 25 The Age of Cain
Along with his fellow pioneers of “roman noir,” Cain was the aquifer of viciousness and Weltschmerz from which film noir drank—even before film noir was a thing.
April 20 In the Case with the Insects:
On Fassbinder’s Top 10
On Fassbinder’s Top 10
For Fassbinder, criticism was less an opportunity to develop lucid arguments than a way of directly registering his enthusiasms and disgusts. As they accumulated, his judgments about other people’s films became a kind of roadmap to his taste.
April 13 Vincent Lindon’s Tough Love
Never mind that it was Jean-Paul Belmondo who muttered his awe for “Bogie” in Breathless. It is Vincent Lindon who has truly assumed Humphrey Bogart’s mantle—Jean Gabin’s, too.
April 4 Who Killed Chameleon Street?
The temporal power that turned against CHAMELEON STREET in 1994 knew exactly what to do in order to keep it out of the hands, hearts, and minds of Americans.
March 25 Every Little Detail: The Meticulous Romance of CAROL
The outwardly glamorous trappings hinted at in the film’s publicity materials are occasionally apparent—a pivotal sequence at the Ritz-Carlton; Carol’s fur coat and lipstick; martinis for lunch—but they are etched against the soiled, grainy texture of Ed Lachman’s urban landscape.
March 2 Jean Eustache & the Second New Wave
After Eustache’s death by self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1981, his work in this vein was variously carried by Pialat, Garrel, Gorin, and Akerman, who almost a quarter century later ended her own life.