The Executioner: By the Neck By David Cairns
Designing for del Toro By Eric Skillman
The British film magazine Sight & Sound dedicates its May issue to the fiftieth anniversary of the French New Wave, which it dates to the first screening of François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows (on May 4, 1959, at the Cannes Film Festival). Aware that this groundbreaking era in film history has hardly been an overlooked subject in the past, editors decided to take a slightly different approach to their celebrating, viewing the New Wave from some unusual perspectives and highlighting its more unsung aspects. The centerpiece of the issue, available online, is Ginette Vincendeau’s insightful and entertaining “The Star Reborn,” an in-depth appraisal of how the era forever altered the notion of the movie star, offering up brainy beauties like Jeanne Moreau, Delphine Seyrig, and Emmanuelle Riva and director surrogates Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean-Claude Brialy, and Jean-Pierre Léaud in place of the classics. Also on Sight & Sound’s website is a collection of short takes on the revolution by contemporary directors, including Catherine Breillat, Charles Burnett, and Hou Hsiao-hsien. Rounding out the print edition’s special section are articles by Jonathan Romney on Alain Resnais’ Muriel, Nick James on the legacy of legendary critic André Bazin, David Thomson reassessing Pierrot le fou, and Geoffrey Nowell-Smith discussing some of the New Wave’s lesser-known titles, such as Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face.