John Huston’s sort-of sequel to The Maltese Falcon, with Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, and Sydney Greenstreet together again in an equally obscure plot, involving Nazi spies in Panama. In any analyzable way, this 1942 feature isn’t all that inferior to the somewhat overrated Falcon, but it doesn’t quite have the charisma. For a static director, […]
An actress gains the lead in a social-realist musical when the star is injured, but her big break turns bad when the state police discover she was once married to an aristocrat. Branded a “class enemy,” she’s banished to a provincial labor farm. Peter Bacso (The Witness) directed this Hungarian comedy-drama.
Two short features from Ireland. Bob Quinn’s Lament (1974) is credited as the first Irish “experimental” film; it intercuts readings from a 1773 widow’s lament for her outlaw husband killed by the English with rehearsals for a play based on the same subject. Cross and Passion, by Kim Longinetto and Claire Pollak, is a documentary […]
Michel Drach scores high on compassion but low on inspiration in this film, an examination of the plight of French Jews suffering the Nazi occupation and the double standard of the French bourgeoisie. The cloying film—>within—>the—>film structure
The San Francisco experimental filmmaker will screen a selection of his work, including Neptunian Space Angel, Freedom’s Skyway, I’d Rather Be in Paris, Honeymoon in Reno, Voyeuristic Tendencies, and Hit the Turnpike.
A novel by film theorist Bela Balasz is the basis for Janoz Rozsa’s 1982 Hungarian feature about a boy who witnesses the political excommunication of his father, a village schoolteacher.
Separated by the divorce of their parents, a brother and sister defy legal and social strictures by searching for and attempting to live with each other. Juliana Nyako and Zoltan Jakab star in this 1983 Hungarian film, directed by Janos Rozsa.
1 hour 16 min • 1982
The Chicago-based independent filmmaker will be present to screen two works: The Shelter, a 1983 video about two terminally bored servicemen assigned to a missile silo, and The Paled Man, a short film about a mental patient who may or may not be the target of a nefarious plot.
MGM scrapped the story of Victor Herbert’s 1913 operetta in favor of a genuinely droll script by Dorothy Parker and Alan Campbell, making this 1938 feature the most entertaining of the Jeanette MacDonald-Nelson Eddy musicals. It was directed by W.S. Van Dyke in a bantering style that recalls his Thin Man films, and photographed in […]
1 hour 37 min • 1968
Gyorgy Szomjas’s Hungarian feature is a bleak, depressed Eastern-bloc variation on a Noel Coward theme: released after two years in prison, a downtrodden young man returns home to find his wife living with another man. Though they agree to a divorce, the husband refuses to leave the apartment and mounts a strident campaign to win […]
The standard Ginger Rogers plot—lower-class girl lands an upper-class boy—gets an interesting reworking in Gregory La Cava’s 1940 film, which begins as bubbly screwball comedy and gradually wends its way to a bleak social realism. La Cava doesn’t seem entirely in charge of the radical shifts in tone—it’s as if he were following his instincts […]
Fred Haines makes a valiant try to transfer this Hermann Hesse cult classic about the dual nature of man (ordered/animalistic—ascetic/hedonistic) to the screen. But his elliptical style comes across as merely indecisive, and his visual trickery as merely facile. Max von Sydow and Dominique Sanda rub accents and manage to generate a few dramatic sparks […]
1 hour 41 min • 2013