Tag Archives: Film classics

The best films of 1932

I wish I’d seen Me and My Gal, starring Joan Bennett and Spencer Tracy and directed by Raoul Walsh, which reading about has made the craving worse. 1. Trouble in Paradise (Ernst Lubitsch) 2. Boudu Saved from Drowning (Jean Renoir) … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Screenings #29

Here’s the crop from the second half of October. After a third viewing of Out of the Past, I awarded it a rare perfect score. Lucky (Lynch, 2017) 5/10 Faces Places (Varda, 2017) 7/10 4 Days in France (Reybaud, 2017) … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The best films of 1933

The erotic currents running through Frank Capra’s most bonkers early film compensate for the eye-opening orientalist fantasy in The Bitter Tea of General Yen, which I haven’t watched since the early nineties. Barbara Stanwyck, star of two films on this … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The best film sequels

Without The Empire Strikes Back, the Star Wars series would be pallid mythology, left to the devices of George Lucas (nevertheless, it often remains so). Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan’s script added wit and sophistication to the banter, deepened the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Best films of 1934

1934 was such a good year that if you told educated viewers unfamiliar with The Scarlet Empress that it was a German film redubbed in English they would believe you. 1. L’Atalante (Jean Vigo) 2. The Scarlet Empress (Josef von … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

If they move, kill’em: the best of Sam Peckinpah

The Ballad of Cable Hogue and Junior Bonner I hold up as examples of the gentleness of which Sam Peckinpah was capable. In the 2000s, I suspect, an imaginative producer would have hired him to film a Harry Potter film, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment