January 10, 1995 |
Francois Truffaut, who died of cancer 10 years ago at age 52, was a charmer. He had an enduring boyishness and a passionate, encyclopedic knowledge of world cinema to which he contributed substantially, beginning with his internationally acclaimed, semi-autobiographical 1959 "400 Blows." Serge Toubiana and Michel Pascal, in their illuminating, engaging "Francois Truffaut: Stolen Portraits" (Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m.
January 15, 1989 |
As America has become increasingly self-absorbed during the Reagan years, European artists and intellectuals have become increasingly absorbed in America. Film makers such as Percy Adlon and Bertrand Tavernier have visited such peculiarly American places as Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, for instance, in the hope of finding some clue about the culture they believe is eclipsing their own.
January 7, 1991 |
The violent yet highly praised Martin Scorsese film "GoodFellas" collected prizes for best picture of 1990 and best director from the National Society of Film Critics in voting on Sunday in New York. The wins give the gangland drama and Scorsese a clean sweep of the three major critics organizations' year-end balloting. In December, "GoodFellas" was voted best picture and Scorsese named best director by the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. and the New York Film Critics Circle.
January 6, 2006 |
To come across "Classe Tous Risques" is like discovering a bottle of marvelous French wine you didn't remember you had, opening it and finding it every bit as delicious as its reputation promised. That's how good this classic fatalistic French gangster film is. Directed by the masterful Claude Sautet, "Risques" had the misfortune of being released in France in 1960, when its traditional virtues were overshadowed by the exploding New Wave.
December 22, 2002 |
It's been a great year for high-quality Hollywood movies and for foreign films. South Korean cinema is fresh and exciting right now but has yet to break out of noncommercial and festival venues. Its highly touted Oscar entry "Oasis," a tale of outcast lovers, may change all that. European cinema remains healthy, Iran continues to produce risky -- politically and artistically -- pictures, and minority voices are being heard in national cinemas the world over.
May 6, 1988 |
Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci was the chosen one at the recent Oscar show, but he didn't get a call from the 1,233 international film directors polled for the 1987 Orsons. The Orsons, named after the late Orson Welles, who would have been 78 today, are voted in seven categories and the big winner this year was France's Louis Malle.
June 5, 1991 |
"La Maison Assassinee" (at the Fine Arts) begins excitingly. On a pitch dark night in 1896 a person or persons unknown slaughter the inhabitants of a remote stone inn, leaving only a baby alive. World War I then unfolds behind the film's opening credits via newsreel clips; by the time the credits are over it's 1920, and we see a young soldier (Patrick Bruel) arriving in a small village near that inn.
February 28, 1992 |
What a long, strange trip Volker Schlondorff's "Voyager" turns out to be. Skillfully made by one of Germany's premier filmmakers, it is seriously overloaded with ennui, anomie and Angst. A film of quality but not necessarily of interest, it would sink like a lugubrious stone if it were not for the wonderfully charming performance of Julie Delpy, which gives the film whatever life it manages.
July 23, 1992 |
The restoration and revival of Yves Allegret's 1953 "The Proud Ones" (at the NuWilshire for one week) is yet another of Martin Scorsese's admirable preservation efforts. As Scorsese himself has pointed out, the film is in the French tradition of the "cinema of quality" against which the New Wave so successfully rebelled at the end of the '50s.