Tag Archives: Movie classics

Movie Love #2

Here are things I’ve watched in the last two weeks, the sequel to May 1’s inaugural edition. A * denotes repeat viewing Swamp Water, dir. Jean Renoir (1942). Dana Andrews, Walter Huston, Anne Baxter, and an unexpectedly menacing Walter Brennan … Continue reading

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Best films of 1981 and 1982

1981 Atlantic City (Louis Malle) Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg) Blow Out (Brian De Palma) My Dinner with Andre (Louis Malle) Diva (Jean-Jacques Beineix) Excalibur (John Boorman) Pixote (Héctor Babenco) Cutter’s Way (Ivan Passer) Modern Romance (Albert Brooks) … Continue reading

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Best films of 1983 and 1984

I’d include Purple Rain‘s concert sequences and almost every frame of Molly Ringwald’s work in Sixteen Candles, but I couldn’t include the movies in the 1984 list. 1983 The Right Stuff (Philip Kaufman) L’Argent (Robert Bresson) Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar … Continue reading

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‘Election’ 17 years later and Election 2016

I squirmed watching Election in the late spring of 1999. As sharp as a rapier and in some ways Alexander Payne’s most satisfying film, I understand why it unnerves Maureen O’Connor experiencing it anew in election year 2016: When I … Continue reading

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Best films of 1985 and 1986

1985 Vagabond (Agnès Varda) The Official Story (Luis Puenzo) Lost in America (Albert Brooks) Prizzi’s Honor (John Huston) What Have I Done to Deserve This? (Pedro Almodovar) Back to the Future (Robert Zemeckis) The Purple Rose of Cairo (Woody Allen) … Continue reading

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Best films 2000-2002

2000 The Wind Will Carry Us (Abbas Kiarostami) Beau Travail (Claire Denis) Time Regained (Raul Ruiz) The House of Mirth (Terence Davies) Erin Brockovich (Steven Soderbergh) Ghost Dog (Jim Jarmusch) Yi-Yi (Edward Yang) You Can Count on Me (Kenneth Lonergan) … Continue reading

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Farewell to an idea

Learning today that The Dissolve had joined the growing list of online publications whose ad revenue probably didn’t match its contributor enthusiasm was a blow. I started reading it seriously only a few months ago, and while the site leaned … Continue reading

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A Summer’s Tale

It’s hard to distinguish a good Eric Rohmer film from a decent one. Garrulous but with sentences that hint at wit, his characters treat expectations like trial balloons: they make declarations of principles which demand acceptance but sulk when they’re … Continue reading

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Mark Harris: “Oscar voters in general want to feel like they’re in the position of adjudicating an accusation of child molestation”

Mark Harris, Grantland film writer and author of the essential Pictures at a Revolution, gets interiewed by The New Republicon “left-wing attacks on Hollywood films.” He speaks at length about criticizing what’s in a movie “instead of what you wish … Continue reading

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Melancholy, Xmas edition: Metropolitan

Although the formal evening wear look rented from a costume shop and scenes aren’t so much photographed as stumbled upon, Metropolitan is a minor masterpiece. Rare is the movie that attempts a tone and style and achieves it. James Wolcott: … Continue reading

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I haven’t read a review of True Grit — or read a dialogue as considered and intelligent in a while — that approaches what Jason Bellamy and Ed Howard realize in Slant Magazine‘s ongoing The Conversations series (what an impressive … Continue reading

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A grin, a paunch, and reserve: Charles Boyer

Without Charles Boyer, Pepe Le Pew wouldn’t have existed. Neither would Tom The Cat’s renditions of velvet-voiced French urbanity. What distinguished Boyer from other romantic smoothies is the sense in which courtship becomes an extension of a private performance: self-amused … Continue reading

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