An earnest problem drama, about three Australian soldiers who are court-martialed for brutality during the Boer War (1979, 107 min.). Bruce Beresford’s film was based on a successful stage play, and the theatrical structure is clear and rigid throughout. The film handles difficult issues of wartime morality, with clear parallels to the American experience in […]
There’s so little to the subjects in Marguerite Duras’ films—here it’s that old favorite, doomed love among the rotting aristocracy—that it’s easy to think of her as the most perverse of minimalists. But Duras’ thin dramas are perceived through layers upon layers of style—she’s the Busby Berkeley of structuralism. In this 1974 film, she uses […]
Sergio Giral’s 1975 Cuban film reproduces a 19th-century antislavery novel as its upper-class liberal author wrote it, then runs through the story again with Marxist revisions. It’s an interesting structural experiment, but the ideas are often better than the execution. 100 min.
1 hour 20 min • 1950
1 hour 56 min • 1974
The video artist will be present to show two works: Possibly in Michigan, a “fairy tale” about midwestern cannibals, and Beneath the Skin, an experimental narrative.
1 hour 35 min
This 1984 film’s few and unimpressive special effects evidently qualify it as science fiction, but the genre it really belongs to is the male weepie: there hasn’t been a gooier buddy romance on the screen since Joe Buck took Ratso Rizzo to Miami. William Shatner’s blubbering Captain Kirk sacrifices everything he has—his career, his ship, […]
A middle-class housewife (Gudrun Landgrebe) walks out on her possessive husband and finds freedom as a Berlin hooker; she falls in love with a male hustler (Mathieu Carriere) and for a while they share living and working quarters—until his own possessive instincts surface. Robert van Ackeren’s film is cool and distanced for most of its […]
Bill Forsyth’s first film (1979), made before Gregory’s Girl and Local Hero, turns out to be his best, a wry and beguiling ethnic comedy in the tradition of Alexander Mackendrick’s Tight Little Island. A social-problem background (unemployed teenagers in today’s postindustrial Glasgow) helps to anchor Forsyth’s whimsy, and the humor seems to flow more from […]
Unmemorable though not insufferable, with a decent Cole Porter score, glittery MGM art direction, and entirely too much plot. The stars are Fred Astaire, George Murphy, and Eleanor Powell, aka the Good, the Bad, and the Anxious. Norman Taurog directed. 102 min.
Cinematographer David Walsh made a specialty of rescuing visually inept directors, and after boosting Howard Zieff (House Calls) and Herbert Ross (The Goodbye Girl), he almost managed to redeem the truly irredeemable Arthur Hiller (Love Story). At least he’s the only likely source of the bracing confidence that runs through this 1979 feature, an ungainly […]
Classy and lifeless—a prettily photographed, heavily directed antiwar film (1981) that elicits only pity for its two young Australian protagonists, caught up in a suicide battle in World War I. The film spends most of its 100-minute running time developing the friendship between the two boys, while tipping the audience off to their ultimate fate—it’s […]
Rudolph Valentino stars in a 1921 melodrama directed by Rex Ingram and based on Balzac’s Eugenie Grandet. He’s a French peasant who wants to marry his beautiful cousin, but her miserly father wants to hold out for a better offer.