Author Spotlight

Luc Sante

Luc Sante’s most recent book is The Other Paris. He is also the author of Low Life and Kill All Your Darlings.

18 Results

Kameradschaft: War Is Over (If You Want It)
Kameradschaft: War Is Over (If You Want It)

G. W. Pabst’s breathlessly paced reimagining of a mine disaster makes an urgent plea for international cooperation in the post–World War I era.

By Luc Sante

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Westfront 1918: War Is Hell
Westfront 1918: War Is Hell

In his first sound film, silent-era master G. W. Pabst captures both the familial camaraderie and everyday brutality of life in the trenches.

By Luc Sante

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Paris Belongs to Us: Nothing Took Place but the Place
Paris Belongs to Us: Nothing Took Place but the Place

Paris Belongs to Us marked the genesis of Jacques Rivette’s unique filmmaking style—introducing visual and narrative elements that Rivette would build on over the course of his long career.

By Luc Sante

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Burroughs, That Proud American Name
Burroughs, That Proud American Name

Burroughs: The Movie, the culmination of late director Howard Brookner’s NYU thesis project, follows William S. Burroughs over the course of five years and provides “an authorial profile such as has never been and may never be matched.”

By Luc Sante

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La vie de bohème: The Seacoast of Bohemia
La vie de bohème: The Seacoast of Bohemia

Aki Kaurismäki pays wry tribute to the starving artist in his sad and funny update of Henri Murger’s classic book.

By Luc Sante

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Metropolitan: After the Ball

As a movie about debutantes and their dates, Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan came into the world in 1990 looking lonely—and now, well, it looks lonelier yet. At the time, the idea of putting the American upper class on film—The Philadelphia Story…

By Luc Sante


Down by Law: Chemistry Set

Down by Law: Chemistry Set

Down by Law, released in 1986, was Jim Jarmusch’s third movie. Unlike its predecessors, Permanent Vacation (1980) and Stranger Than Paradise (1984), it did not take off from a semi-documentary view of downtown Manhattan. It was shot entirely on loc…

By Luc Sante

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The Gold Rush: As Good as Gold
The Gold Rush: As Good as Gold

Charlie Chaplin’s transcendent, visionary comedy is made up of one iconic moment after another.

By Luc Sante

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L’Atalante: Canal Music
L’Atalante: Canal Music

A man and a woman are married in a small town. The wedding procession follows them to a canal barge, of which he is the master. His crew, an old salt and a young boy, await them there. The couple adjust to married life uneasily: she doesn’t feel qu…

By Luc Sante

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The Docks of New York: On the Waterfront
The Docks of New York: On the Waterfront

The Docks of New York is one of those orphaned silents, released in 1928, the very end of the era. Apparently, it was previewed the same week as Al Jolson’s The Singing Fool, his first “all-talking” picture, the follow-up to The Jazz Singer a…

By Luc Sante

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The Third Man: The One and Only . . .

The Third Man (1949) is one of that handful of motion pictures (Rashomon, Casablanca, The Searchers) that have become archetypes—not merely a movie that would go on to influence myriad other movies but a construct that would lodge itself deep in th…

By Luc Sante


The Naked City: New York Plays Itself

In 1945 Arthur Fellig, known as Weegee, a canny and gifted tabloid newspaper photographer, did something unprecedented: he assembled some of his best shots, of corpses and fires and arrests and crowds and spectacles, and made them into a book, publis…

By Luc Sante


Port of Shadows

As epochal as any film made in France in the 1930s, Port of Shadows (Le Quai des brumes, 1938) is a definitive example of the style known as “poetic realism.” The ragged outlines, the lowdown settings, the romantic fatalism of the protagonists, t…

By Luc Sante


Pickup on South Street:
Extra! Pickpocket Foils Doom Plot!

Samuel Fuller had ink in his veins, just like the hero of his 1952 newspaper epic, Park Row. After all, he started working as a copy boy when he was fourteen or so, and at seventeen he was the youngest crime reporter in the country, employed by the m…

By Luc Sante


Quai des Orfèvres

Quai des Orfèvres is nominally a policier—a crime story, less a mystery than a police procedural; its title, referring to the Parisian equivalent of Scotland Yard, announces it. But title and genre are misleading, they are foliage. As a crime pict…

By Luc Sante


Under the Roofs of Paris

As was the case with many other movies of the early sound era, the “All Talking! All Singing!” label slapped across the posters for Under the Roofs of Paris in 1930 constituted false advertising. The reality is actually much more interesting. Fil…

By Luc Sante


Bob le flambeur

The French have made some first-class crime pictures, which Americans have been given too few opportunities to see. Luckily, we have Bob le Flambeur (Bob the Gambler), one of the greatest caper movies in any language. Non-Francophones might not under…

By Luc Sante


Vivre sa vie
Vivre sa vie

Vivre sa vie, made in 1962, was the fourth of Jean-Luc Godard’s films. He had so far turned out a gangster-movie knockoff (Breathless), a dark political picture (Le Petit soldat), and a sort-of-musical comedy (Une femme est une femme). Now he was g…

By Luc Sante

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