February 12, 2001
In response to Jason Alexander Apuzzo's " 'Vampire' Does F.W. Murnau Injustice" (Counterpunch, Feb. 5), I just wanted to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this devilish picture and would like to suggest that Apuzzo needs to lighten up a little bit, cut out his long middle name and step off his intellectual high horse when viewing films, and see them for what they are most of the time: simply entertainment. To me, "Shadow of the Vampire" was brilliantly written, and Apuzzo seems to have missed the fact that the film isn't about a method actor, but rather, a method director.
December 29, 2000 |
Rare as a crucifixion in Dracula's lair is a film opening for Oscar consideration in the last days of the year that actually has something in it worth considering. Willem Dafoe's performance in "Shadow of the Vampire" is so irresistible it not only breaks that cycle but turns an otherwise just adequate film into something everyone will want to take a look at.
June 7, 2001 |
The gripping drug thriller "Traffic" may have won four Oscars--including best director (Steven Soderbergh), adapted screenplay (Stephen Gaghan) and supporting actor (Benicio Del Toro)--but the DVD version (USA, $27) certainly won't be collecting any awards. Perhaps because Soderbergh has been busy making "Ocean's Eleven," he didn't supply an audio commentary for this digital edition. So the DVD is pretty skimpy.
November 18, 1996 |
Alfred Hitchcock's "Strangers on a Train" (1951) will premiere Thursday at the Nuart in its British release version, two minutes longer than the American cut. In either form, it's a suspense classic, capable of making you anxious even if you've seen it several times. This Patricia Highsmith tale turns on an encounter between an insinuating psychopath, Bruno (Robert Walker), and a tennis champion, Guy (Farley Granger).
April 12, 2005 |
"Hotel Rwanda" put a face on the horrors of the Rwandan genocide of 1994 by chronicling the mass slaughter of Tutsis by tribal Hutus through the heroism of Paul Rusesabagina, and the extras on the digital edition of Terry George's Oscar-nominated drama are gut-wrenching (MGM, $27). A hotel manager at an upper-class establishment in the Rwandan capital of Kigali, Rusesabagina saved some 1,200 "guests" -- Tutsi refugees who found a sanctuary at the hotel.
February 5, 2001 |
E. Elias Merhige's "Shadow of the Vampire" is a curious film, indeed. By turns whimsical and pitiful, it dramatizes the making of director F.W. Murnau's "Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror" (1922) and in the process becomes a kind of New Age "Sunset Boulevard." "Shadow" explores the exotic, albeit forgotten era of Murnau, actor Max Schreck and the German cinema of the 1920s.