Tag Archives: Catherine Deneuve

My 12 Favorite Christmas Movies

We’re one week away from Christmas and everybody’s making lists of their favorite movies. As always, some are debating whether or not Die Hard belongs on the list. Don’t be silly, of course it does. What says Christmas more than “Now I have a machine gun, ho, ho ho”…? Here are my 12 favorites, a mix … Continue reading My 12 Favorite Christmas Movies

Dancer in the Dark

YOU DON’T NEED EYES TO SEE.  In 1964, Czech immigrant Selma Ježková (Björk), who’s nearly blind, is working in the U.S. to save money for her son’s eye surgery, but eventually ends up on death row. Lars von Trier’s musical, made in Sweden, set in the U.S. and starring Icelandic singer Björk, polarized audiences and … Continue reading Dancer in the Dark

Tristana: For Whom the Bell Tolls

SOMEWHERE BETWEEN THE INNOCENT GIRL AND THE NOT SO INNOCENT MISTRESS IS THE BIZARRE, SENSUOUS STORY OF TRISTANA.  Luis Buñuel spent a lot of time battling Spanish censors who were trying to uphold destructively conservative values. When the director wanted to turn Benito Pérez Galdós’s novel “Tristana” into a movie in 1962, his and Julio … Continue reading Tristana: For Whom the Bell Tolls

Persepolis: From Shah to Worse

I used to draw comics when I was a kid but always looked to great predecessors for inspiration, never my own life. Still, I never had as interesting experiences as Marjane Satrapi. She’s an Iranian 39-year-old who has chosen that medium as a way of expressing what her life looked like as times changed in … Continue reading Persepolis: From Shah to Worse

A Christmas Tale: Grievances Roasting on an Open Fire

Ingmar Bergman may have died in 2007, but his spirit lives on and that is particularly true in this sprawling saga that could easily be described as a French Fanny and Alexander. That opening statement is enough to attract a certain kind of moviegoer… and deter another kind. This Christmas tale is certainly not perfect. There … Continue reading A Christmas Tale: Grievances Roasting on an Open Fire

Umbrellas of Cherbourg: Say It With a Song

American film critic John Simon once noted that the audience at the Paris premiere of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg wept and the critics were ecstatic. He thought it would have made more sense the other way round. Simon was able to resist the charms of Jacques Demy’s film, but it has become a much-loved classic. … Continue reading Umbrellas of Cherbourg: Say It With a Song

Repulsion: Cracks in the Façade

THE NIGHTMARE WORLD OF A VIRGIN’S DREAMS BECOMES THE SCREEN’S SHOCKING REALITY! Some people seem to think of this movie as one of the great horror classics, but I can’t help seeing it as primarily a touching tragedy. It’s a psychological study of a human being whose mental problems grow increasingly bigger as the people … Continue reading Repulsion: Cracks in the Façade

March or Die

THE FOREIGN LEGION! ONLY THE DESPERATE JOINED. ONLY THE LUCKY ONES SURVIVED.  Shortly after WWI, major Foster (Gene Hackman) returns to the French Foreign Legion in Morocco with new recruits; their assignment stirs up trouble with Arab tribes. Oddly enough, this is not the tale of how the Legion valiantly fought the Germans (even though … Continue reading March or Die

8 Women

Director François Ozon’s homage to Douglas Sirk has beautiful fake snow, blindingly bright colors and a cast consisting only of strong women. It is a production where everyone involved has just had a lot of fun, but still delivered. There’s a murder mystery in the style of Agatha Christie, with eight women, all related to … Continue reading 8 Women