Tag Archive: Criterion Collection

La Vie de Boheme

BBBB (out of 5) Henri Murger’s novel, most famously adapted as an opera by Puccini and also as the musical Rent by Jonathan Larson, is here given the subtle, wry treatment by Aki… Continue reading

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Ace In The Hole (The Big Carnival)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) A stunning piece of news media satire, told with so healthy a dollop of cynicism that it is no wonder it found itself bereft of any affection from audiences… Continue reading

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The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse)

BBB.5 (out of 5) A ring of jewel robbers confound a city as murders pile up and a police detective is driven crazy trying to figure out the source of all the crime.… Continue reading

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The Lovers (Les Amants)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Jeanne Moreau lives in the aristocratic country home of her boring husband (Alain Cuny) and, like all good women of the upper clutch, keeps a lover in town. When even… Continue reading

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Europa (Zentropa)

BBBB (out of 5) Gorgeous, visionary tale from Lars Von Trier set in postwar Germany. German-descended, American-born Jean-Marc Barr shows up in his father’s destroyed country and, thanks to the connection with his conductor… Continue reading

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The Element Of Crime (Forbrydelsens Element)

BB.5 (out of 5) You’ve rarely seen a more visually intoxicating film than this feature debut by Lars von Trier, but his aesthetic powers are undone by a scattered plot that only touches… Continue reading

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Antichrist

BB (out of 5) Lars von Trier makes his most provocative film yet with this attention-grabbing but empty drama. Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg are a married couple whose child dies in an unfortunate accident,… Continue reading

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The Last Days Of Disco

BBB (out of 5) True to the Whit Stillman mode of filmmaking, this film features young people who talk a lot.  Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny are both excellent in lead roles as two girls,… Continue reading

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Black Moon

BBB (out of 5) A young woman (Cathryn Harrison, granddaughter to Rex) escapes a post-apocalyptic battleground in her car and finds herself in an abandoned mansion in the middle of nowhere, inhabited by an… Continue reading

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Inside Llewyn Davis

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Another terrific example of how magical the Coen Brothers can be when they let go their desire to be cute about their favourite movie genres.  This indelibly perfect tribute… Continue reading

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Grand Illusion (La Grande Illusion)

BBBBB (out of 5) One of the most awe-inspiring war movies ever made is this Jean Renoir classic, one of the few war films not to feature a single battle scene. Instead it… Continue reading

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Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls

B (out of 5) A sequel in name only, this film has no connection with the Jacqueline Susann turkey except that it too is about girls who come to Hollywood to make it… Continue reading

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Suzanne’s Career (La Carriere de Suzanne)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Early chapter in Eric Rohmer’s Moral Tales, a short but sweet little treat about two friends and the lady between them.  One is a shy pharmacology student and the… Continue reading

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Kes

BBBB (out of 5) Billy is often in trouble and not excelling at his studies, the son of a single mother who spends more of his time bearing the brunt of his older… Continue reading

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M

BBBBB (out of 5) Early film noir is considered the most important step in German expressionist cinema. Directed by the incomparable Fritz Lang, the film tells the tale of a serial killer (Peter… Continue reading

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Ministry Of Fear

BBBB (out of 5) Fritz Lang’s powerful visual style has not abated by the time he makes this Hollywood classic, a superbly enjoyable wartime thriller that does not dwindle even when its plotting… Continue reading

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Le Havre

BBBB.5 (out of 5) A shoe shiner lives a sketchy life in the Norman town of Le Havre, completely approved of by his sweet Finnish wife (Kati Outinen) who loves and takes care… Continue reading

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Claire’s Knee (Le Genou De Claire)

BBBB (out of 5) At a beautiful villa in France during the hottest days of summer, a vacationing cultural attache (Jean-Claude Brialy) enjoys his last few days as a bachelor before he will… Continue reading

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My Night At Maud’s (Ma Nuit Chez Maud)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Possibly Eric Rohmer’s finest work, this gorgeous, quiet drama centres around the intellectual and romantic conundrums of Jean-Louis Trintignant as a devout Catholic recently returned to Clermont, France from living… Continue reading

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La Collectionneuse (The Collector)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Another sun-drenched tale of morality, this time set at a vacation home on the Mediterranean. Patrick Bauchau looks forward to a calm and restful summer during which he has… Continue reading

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Chloe In The Afternoon (Love In The Afternoon) (L’Amour, L’Apres-Midi)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Eric Rohmer’s final entry in his Six Moral Tales is up there with My Night At Maud’s as the very best. A married businessman is awaiting the birth of… Continue reading

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The Man Who Fell To Earth

BBB.5 (out of 5) Watch this excellent science-fiction film, but don’t expect to be let off easy. David Bowie plays an alien (hardly any makeup required, ha ha) who finds himself trapped on Earth… Continue reading

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The Tin Drum (Die Blechtrommel)

BBBB (out of 5) Nobel Prize-winning author Gunter Grass’s novel becomes a fascinating, explosively cinematic epic in the hands of director Volker Schlondorff. Oskar is born to a German family in 1924 and,… Continue reading

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Young Torless (Der Junge Torless)

BBB.5 (out of 5) The rigid world of private schools is the setting of this adaptation of Robert Musil’s novel, which also serves as the international debut of filmmaker Volker Schlondorff. Three students… Continue reading

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The Lost Honor Of Katharina Blum (Die Verlorene Ehre Der Katharina Blum)

BBBB (out of 5) Riveting indictment of modern society is still just as meaningful today as it was when originally released in 1975. Katharina Blum (Angela Winkler) is a modest housekeeper who meets… Continue reading

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Grey Gardens

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Is it possible that the old adage that “truth is stranger than fiction” could be better proved anywhere else than in this film? David and Albert Maysles, after having… Continue reading

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Salesman

BBBB (out of 5) The Maysles Brothers have made some of the best documentaries ever committed to film, and this is one of their finest achievements. It follows four travelling salesman around the… Continue reading

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Gimme Shelter

BBBB (out of 5) Often labeled the greatest rock and roll film of all time and it is easy to see why. Woodstock, Monterey Pop and The Last Waltz all have much more music… Continue reading

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The Beales Of Grey Gardens

BBB (out of 5) More nuttiness from the Beales gals, Big and Little Edie, as the Maysles Brothers return to one of their biggest successes for a follow-up. In the decades since the… Continue reading

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The Ruling Class

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Brilliantly perverse observation of the upper classes, and one of the most enjoyably blasphemous films you’ll ever see. When a member of the House of Lords and the 13th… Continue reading

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George Washington

BBB (out of 5) Atmospheric, taut drama about young children growing up in the modern south.  Tim Orr’s honey-dipped cinematography brings the story, minimal as it is, to vibrant life, aided by terrific performances… Continue reading

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Paris Belongs To Us (Paris Nous Appartient)

BB.5 (out of 5) Several giants of French cinema claim that this film, the debut feature by the brilliant Jacques Rivette, is responsible for giving birth to the Nouvelle Vague. I dare not… Continue reading

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Bed And Board (Domicile Conjugale)

BBBBB (out of 5) The adventures of plucky, adorable Antoine Doinel continue, and they are just as delightful as they were in Stolen Kisses.  Doinel (the continually amiable Jean-Pierre Léaud) is now married… Continue reading

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Stolen Kisses (Baisers Voles)

BBBBB (out of 5) The second feature concerning Antoine Doinel, the hero of The 400 Blows and the short film Antoine Et Colette, this marvelous comedy starts with the optimistic Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud)… Continue reading

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A Hard Day’s Night

BBBB (out of 5) Superjollyfun musical starring The Beatles as themselves, giving us a glimpse into a “typical” day in their lives. Not typical at all, actually, because this hilarious comedy (scripted with… Continue reading

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Clean Slate (Coup De Torchon)

BBBB (out of 5) Stunning on both the visual and narrative front, this is Bertrand Tavernier’s French adaptation of the American pulp novel Pop. 1280 by Jim Thompson (The Grifters). Philippe Noiret is… Continue reading

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Vanya On 42nd Street

BBBB.5 (out of 5) A very simple concept makes for the most compelling viewing. Louis Malle stages and directs a filmed dress rehearsal of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya in an abandoned Manhattan theatre. Julianne… Continue reading

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Au Revoir, Les Enfants

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Instant classic by the magnificent Louis Malle, based on his own memories of growing up in Nazi-occupied France. A young boy lives at his Catholic boarding school in the… Continue reading

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Lacombe Lucien

BBBBB (out of 5) Possibly Louis Malle’s masterpiece, a superb film about a restless young man who ends up dancing with the devil because of his desire for adventure. The title character is… Continue reading

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Murmur Of The Heart (Le Souffle Au Coeur)

BBBBB (out of 5) Louis Malle captures the wicked, wild vibrance of youth with this marvelous film, about a young boy (Benoit Ferreux) growing up as the last of three spoiled rotten sons… Continue reading

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The Fire Within (Le Feu Follet)

BBBB (out of 5) Louis Malle goes deep into the soul with this beautiful look at the life of a hopeless man. Maurice Ronet is terrific as a blocked writer, recently returned to Paris… Continue reading

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Zazie Dans Le Metro

BBBB (out of 5) Zazie is excited to come to the big city of Paris for a weekend with her uncle because she wants to ride the subway; huge disappointment, then, when it… Continue reading

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Elevator To The Gallows (Ascenseur Pour L’Echafaud)

BBBB (out of 5) Louis Malle got his brilliant career off to a great start with his first feature film (he’d already been making documentaries including the highly successful Oscar-winning The Silent World).… Continue reading

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My Dinner With Andre

BBBB (out of 5) This wonderful movie actually recreates the great sensation of having a wonderful meal with a stimulating companion. Wallace Shawn reluctantly agrees to have dinner with actor and theatre director… Continue reading

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Cleo From 5 To 7 (Cleo De 5 A 7)

BBBB (out of 5) Fantastic entry in the French New Wave genre filmed by Agnes Varda, Jacques Demy’s equally talented wife. She uses real time to tell the story of a sexy cabaret… Continue reading

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La Pointe-Courte

BBB (out of 5) Agnes Varda, the Emily Carr of the Nouvelle Vague, made her feature debut with this unenthusiastic but poignant film.  Taking a page from Visconti, she employs non-professional actors from… Continue reading

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Vagabond (Sans Toit Ni Loi)

BBBBB (out of 5) Agnes Varda makes a stunning portrait of recklessness with this fascinating, compelling and sometimes hard to watch drama. Sandrine Bonnaire is exceptional as a middle-class, working woman who drops… Continue reading

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Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams

BBB.5 (out of 5) Japan’s most celebrated filmmaker, Akira Kurosawa, delves into the world of the subconscious for this loosely-plotted, visually stunning film. Taking images from his own dreams, he strings together a… Continue reading

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The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

BBBBB (out of 5) Having returned from service in the Korean War, Frank Sinatra is plagued by bad dreams in which he sees his former war buddy Laurence Harvey being brainwashed into becoming… Continue reading

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