Tag Archives: Film classics

God and country are an unbeatable team: the best of Luis Buñuel

One of my two or three favorite directors didn’t make a single film unmarred by a bad idea or ineffective execution, and that’s why I love Luis Buñuel. Orson Welles did too: He’s a rich feeding ground for that sort … Continue reading

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The best of David Lynch

A halfhearted consumer of basic cable, I feel ashamed writing this list without having watched beyond the first episode of the new Twin Peaks. Then again, literalists would have accused me of including TV. Fuck’em. The brevity of my list … Continue reading

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On William Wyler

I bet if you asked young cineastes in 1967 if they considered the director of Dodsworth an excellent director they’d cough politely and change the subject to Howard Hawks, but William Wyler understood the long take and deep focus; Andrew … Continue reading

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Good ol’ Lipton’s Tea: The best of Roman Polanski

His best films are funny! Rooted in a tradition of absurdist theater that was itself a reflection of a grisly reality, Roman Polanski made movies whose laughs stuck in your throat. He would’ve been the ideal adapter of Roald Dahl. … Continue reading

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The horror: the best of Francis Ford Coppola

This brief list shows the consequences of remaining tethered to Hollywood after gonzo success. I have no idea whether Francis Ford Coppola would have made better films as a John Cassavetes. I suspect not. He needed big dough from foreign … Continue reading

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What’s there is cherce: the best of George Cukor

I don’t know if Hollywood producers intended the “women’s director” as a vulgar allusion to George Cukor’s homosexuality, but they appreciate the reliable box office and mantel of Academy Awards his actors earned. A creature of the industry whose warmth … Continue reading

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The best of film noir, Pt.2

I compiled a sequel because my readers, correctly, found crucial omissions. A few of these were bound to show up anyway had I decided to extend it. 1. The Big Sleep, dir. John Huston 2. The Reckless Moment, dir. Max … Continue reading

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Best film noir

Should I even write a preface? This genre that flourished just after World War II accepted the city as a dangerous but beautiful place, demanded that women play on the same field as men so long as they were dangerous, … Continue reading

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Sorting through the best of Steven Soderbergh

Just old enough to remember the hype, I watched Sex, Lies, and Videotape enthralled. Its coolness (the terrible late eighties furniture) and precise details (drinking all that iced tea) compensated for how written in the film school sense the film … Continue reading

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Jeanne Moreau — RIP

Yielding to the demands of biology, male film critics can’t resist encomia to actresses. I understand — the camera is supposed to capture the allure of figures who become less human because a screen divides us. From the start Jeanne … Continue reading

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The best of François Truffaut

The nouvelle vague‘s most strident polemicist directed its most classical films, a development that disgusted erstwhile comrade Jean-Luc Godard. Antoine de Baecque and Serge Toubiana record the scathing correspondence between the pair in their definitive Truffaut: A Biography; it’s reminiscent … Continue reading

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The best films of Clint Eastwood

He knows where to aim the camera, I’ll admit. The filmography shows signs of imagination betrayed by failures of nerve or a reach incommensurate with the grasp (Changeling, Bird, Hereafter, Jersey Boys). For a while women confused him. His directorial … Continue reading

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