Tag Archives: Film classics

The best heist films

A heist film involves a crime, dastardly characters, some of whom with hearts of gold, and an often comic/violent resolution. In the nineties, thanks to Quentin Tarantino, Hollywood inundated audiences with terrible imitations. As usual I wasn’t looking for a … Continue reading

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The best of Jean-Luc Godard

Michael Gebert’s “He made sense when you or the whole world was twenty-one,” is the best line of criticism I’ve read about the restless innovator, still making movies that defy categorization and narrative. He’s the benign ghost in Agnes Varda’s … Continue reading

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The best of Paul Verhoeven

A prankster whose skill at manipulating a number of tones in mainstream films, Paul Verhoeven is only getting started if last year’s Elle was any indicator. In a spectacular example of missing the point, Siskel and Ebert dismissed Showgirls for … Continue reading

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The best of Spike Lee

Spike Lee presents me with a conventional obstacle: his most characteristic films often contain his most regrettable material, while on first glance the hack work like Inside Man doesn’t honor him. But the first decade’s work remains astonishing. If anything, … Continue reading

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The best of the Coen brothers

Nine’s a good number, and notice that five of the finalists the Coens released in the last decade, during which their mordancy and fetish for concision meshed with their sharpening tragicomic sense. For a time Barton Fink, the first one … Continue reading

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The best of Brian De Palma

“A Filmmaker by Pauline Kael,” an ancient joke went, but she’s dead and Brian De Palma undead. To make grand claims for him these days is as unfashionable as beef Wellington, but no reason to poo-poo his impressive record of … Continue reading

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Harry Dean Stanton — RIP

He had a face like a map: flat but riven with the topography of many lands, in his case states, for Harry Dean Stanton was as American as the interstate system. Paris, Texas made this clear. The 1984 Palme d’Or … Continue reading

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The best of Ingmar Bergman

A man of the theater as much if not more than of the cinema, Ingmar Bergman was once shorthand for Foreign Film. The three-count’em-three nominations for Best Director — only Fellini surpassed him as a director of non-English films — … Continue reading

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The best of Richard Linklater

Several dozen college aged and younger women staggered out of the theater in February 1995, as glum as if they’d watched Schindler’s List for a project. Before Sunrise wasn’t an Ethan Hawke movie. Before Sunrise was like no American film … Continue reading

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Best Orson Welles films

I’ve written often enough about Orson Welles to create a tag. Fortunately, you young people don’t have to depend on shitty reel-to-reel transfers to VHS as I did when watching Chimes at Midnight in the mid nineties (forget F for … Continue reading

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‘CQ’ an affectionate homage to ’60s sci-fi

Coppola wines were doing okay in 2001. The Coppola kids too. Although screened out of competition that May, CQ followed The Virgin Suicides a year earlier by also debuting at the Cannes Film Festival. Roman Coppola’s film, however, didn’t get … Continue reading

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The best film of Ridley Scott

Eight films is more than enough to commemorate a good director. When the clamor got out of hand in early 2016 about rewarding Ridley Scott with a Best Director Oscar, wags preferred to see the award as a career retrospective. … Continue reading

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