The Executioner: By the Neck
The tropes of light comedy give way to a Kafkaesque nightmare in this incendiary critique of moral rot in Franco-era Spain.
Day for Night: Are Movies Magic?
François Truffaut’s love letter to the movies is a lightheartedly self-reflexive symphony of camera movement and musical flourish.
The Later Career of Richard Lester
Director Richard Lester is best remembered for his delightfully mod films of the sixties, including the Beatles classics A Hard Day’s Night (1964) and Help! (1965) as well as The Knack . . . and How to Get It (1965) and Petulia (1967). In the follo…
The Return of Etaix
Who is Pierre Etaix and where has he been all your life? This is the story of a filmmaker who was vanished, banished, skipped over. It’s as if one of those invisible cubicles mimes are always getting themselves shut in dropped from a blue sky and e…
Thirty-Nine Steps to Happiness
For this Edinburgh-based writer and filmmaker, Hitchcock’s Scottish caper is both fantasy and reality.
Playtime: Things Fall
Jacques Tati’s Playtime (1968) opens in a shiny space: nuns breeze past; a woman in a white uniform clacks through, bearing towels; a baby cries. People wait. The feeling is “hospital.” A second woman in white delivers towels, and we see that h…
Stagecoach: Taking the Stage
Dismiss from your mind, momentarily at least, the John Ford we know, who could define himself with the three words “I make westerns.” Before Stagecoach (1939), Ford’s talking pictures played out in submarines, penitentiaries, and Scottish cas…