The Other Side of the Wind (2018)

ORSON WELLES Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.  France/Iran/USA, 2018.  Royal Road Entertainment, Les Films de l’Astrophore, SACI, Americas Film Conservancy.  Screenplay by Oja Kodar, Orson Welles.  Cinematography by Gary Graver.  Produced by Frank Marshall, Filip Jan Rymsza.  Music by Michel Legrand.  Production Design by Polly Platt.  Film Editing by Bob Murawski, Orson Welles.  Orson Welles filmed roughly one hundred hours of footage…

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The World of Jacques Demy (L’univers de Jacques Demy) (1995)

AGNES VARDA Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.  France/Belgium/Spain, 1995.  Canal+ Espana, Canal+, Centre National De La Cinematographie, Ciné Tamaris, DocStar, Institut National de L’Audiovisuel, La Sept-Arte, Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres et du Developpement International, Sofica Valor 2.  Screenplay by Agnes Varda.  Cinematography by Stephane Krausz, Peter Pilafian Georges Strouve.  Music by Michel Colombier, Michel Legrand. Film Editing by Marie-Josee Audiard.  Agnes…

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Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? (Qui etes-vous, Polly Maggoo?)

BBB (out of 5) William Klein’s satire of show business has a suspicious attitude towards mid-sixties fashion trends and celebrity culture that the future will bear out in almost exact detail.  A French television crew doing a reality-based program on Brooklyn-born model Polly Maggoo (Dorothy McGowan) asks about her life, her inspiration and her true self…

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The Swimming Pool (La Piscine)

BB (out of 5) This erotic drama likely became as popular as it did because of the ripe sexuality on display, as the story contains little else to recommend it. Alain Delon and Romy Schneider are at the peak of their physical appeal and enjoying an idyllic summer at their St. Tropez home indulging in it.  Their days…

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The Young Girls Turns 25 (Les Demoiselles Ont Eu 25 ans) (1993)

AGNES VARDA Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.5.  France, 1993.  Ciné Tamaris.  Screenplay by Agnes Varda.  Cinematography by Alexandre Auffort, Stephane Krausz, Patrick Mounoud, Georges Strouve, Agnes Varda.  Music by Michel Legrand, Jacques Loussier.  Cannes Film Festival 1993. It’s astounding how much love and affection Agnes Varda packs into 64 very short minutes. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary…

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The Go-Between

BBBB (out of 5) The aristocratic gentry play host at their sprawling estate to Leo, a young boy who goes to school with the family’s youngest son and immediately becomes the pet of his friend’s older sister (Julie Christie).  Leo is enamored of the gorgeous young woman, and thinks nothing of it when she begins…

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F For Fake (Verites Et Mensonges)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Orson Welles concludes his rich and varied career with a meditation on fakery, which to him is an essential part of storytelling.  This is, after all, the man whose fame began with a broadcast of War Of The Worlds that had radio listeners running into the streets in a panic, terrified that…

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Yentl

BBB (out of 5) Barbra Streisand fans will no doubt have nothing but the highest praise for this film, while those who are picky about either her or musicals are advised to look elsewhere. She plays the titular Eastern European girl at the turn of the century (who is obviously older than a girl and has…

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Summer Of ’42

BB.5 (out of 5) Coming-of-age schmaltz about a teenaged boy who falls in love with a war widow during summer break. Told in haltingly mushy, sentimental tones, the film follows the boy and his friends as they discover their sexuality and their bodies. Then, when he meets Jennifer O’Neill, he grows truly fond of her…

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Madeline

BBBB (out of 5) Spirited big-screen version of Ludwig van Bemmelmans’ charming books is perfectly directed by Daisy Von Scherler Mayer until the disappointing conclusion. Pretty much all of the adventures written in the original books about Madeline’s life in a Parisian boarding school are brought to life intact, but the filmmaker’s addition of a…

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Eva

BB.5 (out of 5) Even fans of Jeanne Moreau might not want to get too close to this one. An early Joseph Losey production, before his superb The Servant, it’s a typically misogynistic tale of a strapping hunk of a successful writer (Stanley Baker) whose engagement to a sweet Italian girl (Virna Lisi) is ruined by…

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Never Say Never Again

BBBB (out of 5) Years after Saltzman and Broccoli began the mega-successful James Bond franchise, writer-producer Kevin McClory decided to start his own rival series of Bond films, managing to accomplish only this one, a remake of Thunderball (he had worked on a screenplay treatment of the story with Fleming before it was a novel…

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