A Taste of Honey: Northern Accents
Tony Richardson’s era-defining exploration of sexuality, race, and working-class life brought a uniquely female perspective to England’s Free Cinema movement.
Night and Fog: The Never-Ending Cries
Interweaving wartime footage with haunting images of abandoned concentration camps, Alain Resnais’s breakthrough was one of the first films to confront the ravages of the Holocaust.
Cannes Dispatch: Son of Saul
It is one of my most strongly held critical beliefs that you should not write about films you don’t like. First, it is bad for the soul to exult in pointing out the deficiencies of the film in question. Second, if you have ever had the luck to prod…
Cannes is complicated. To the first-time visitor, it seems a blur of parties, dinners, and screenings, and wherever you are, you are constantly troubled by the thought that the really hot screening or the really hip party is happening elsewhere.
Illuminations: Godard’s Every Man for Himself
The scholar and producer talks about his experiences on the set of a film that changed his life.
Godard at Cannes, Part Two
The filmmaker’s latest offering at the film festival reaffirms the author’s faith in him.
Godard at Cannes, Part One
The long relationship between director and festival has never been without its complications.
The Truest Tess
Roman Polanski’s film is a highly sophisticated adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s classic novel, in both its faithfulness and its divergences.
Arabian Nights: Brave Old World
Rejecting the orientalism of other adaptations, Pier Paolo Pasolini’s take on the classic tales is humane and erotic.
The Canterbury Tales: Sex and Death
Moving to Chaucer’s gray-skied England, Pier Paolo Pasolini pushed his trilogy into darker realms.
The Decameron: The Past Is Present
With this frenetic cinematic fresco, Pasolini began his Trilogy of Life and its forays into a world as yet unspoiled by capitalism.
Three Colors: A Hymn to European Cinema
In 1989, the Communist rule that had dominated Eastern Europe since the end of the Second World War collapsed with astonishing rapidity. If the long-term political, economic, and ideological consequences of Europe’s reunification are still unfoldin…
Carlos: Sudden Death
Toward the end of Olivier Assayas's Carlos, a young French diplomat's wife goes to answer the door of their flat in Beirut and is greeted by a huge bunch of flowers—which immediately disappears to reveal a gun that shoots her in the middle of the f…
Paisan: More Real Than Real
Roberto Rossellini’s second postwar film was released in the United States as Paisan, and one can understand why the distributors wanted to use a title familiar to many Americans as meaning “friend” or “countryman” for a work that is at roo…
The Taking of Power by Louis XIV:
Long Live the Cinema!
In 1962, Roberto Rossellini called a press conference in a bookshop in Rome and announced that the cinema was dead. “There’s a crisis not just in film but culture as a whole,” he explained. Increasingly, Rossellini had understood the great task…
André Bazin has a curious status in intellectual life. He is everywhere admitted as the founding father of film criticism and theory in general. The magazine he created in the 1950s, Cahiers du cinéma, has good claim to be the most influential film…