The Earrings of Madame de . . .
This interview with Louise de Vilmorin on the Earrings of Madame de . . . DVD is very funny. She is already mesmerizing and charming and unlike anybody you’ve ever met—and then she starts talking about the movie. She hated it, in fact? Max Ophuls made a perfect film.
Au hasard Balthazar
We watched Au hasard Balthazar last night and loved it and also Donald Richie. You hate to see that poor donkey die. He takes a beating and presses on, and your heart goes out to him. Also, Mouchette is terrific, which we watched last week. It’s a rare option, of course, to be able to ask Jean-Luc Godard to cut your trailer.
Intentions of Murder
We are deep into Shohei Imamura. I always loved Vengeance Is Mine, which was the only one I knew, on a double-disc Criterion laser. But now this box set gives me some perspective. Pigs and Battleships. The war didn’t exactly work wonders for the people of Tokyo or wherever that was.
The Taking of Power by Louis XIV
This is a wonderful and very strange movie. I had never heard of it. The man who plays Louis cannot give a convincing line reading, even to the ears of someone who can’t speak French—and yet he is fascinating. I was in his corner from start to finish (which comes unexpectedly—I thought there had to be at least another hour and a half to go when “Fin” came up). Mainly, he just walks in and out of rooms and dresses and undresses. I want to watch it again! What does good acting actually mean? Who is this Tag Gallagher?
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
I had never seen it before. It’s great, and the interview with John le Carré is touching—especially his assessment, or more like admission, at the end that Martin Ritt made “something like a classic.”
The Friends of Eddie Coyle
It’s not upbeat.
Classe tous risques
Classe tous risques is very good. I am a great fan of Claude Sautet, especially Un coeur en hiver. Who is our Lino Ventura?
I was introduced to Pialat in the first place by your À nos amours disc. You should do every one of his you can get your hands on.
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
What a great Mishima DVD—and the commentary track. Immediately started the movie again and watched it all the way through with Paul Schrader. This has always been one of my favorites of his, along with Blue Collar. And Donald Richie again!
The Exterminating Angel
Have just watched The Exterminating Angel for the first time since fuzzy VHS in University of Texas A/V library. He is my hero. Mike Nichols said in the newspaper he thinks of Buñuel every day, which I believe I do, too, or at least every other.
Johnnie To’s Top 10
Prolific Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To has directed more than forty films, including Election, Exiled, and Mad Detective. His latest, Vengeance, is currently in some North American theaters, from IFC Films.
Bruce Beresford’s Top 10
Bruce Beresford is the director of more than twenty-five features, including Breaker Morant (1980), Tender Mercies (1983), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), Mister Johnson (1990), and Black Robe (1992).
Leanne Shapton’s Top 10
An artist, art director, illustrator, and publisher based in New York City, Leanne Shapton designed the covers of the Criterion releases Kicking and Screaming and Cría cuervos . . . , and is the author of Was She Pretty?
Anthony Bourdain’s Top 10
American chef and art-film epicure Anthony Bourdain is chef at large at New York’s Brasserie les Halles; the author of ten books, including Kitchen Confidential and No Reservations; and the host of the Travel Channel’s Anthony Bourdain: No Reserv…
Ali Abbasi’s Top 10
It’s no surprise that the director of the wildly unpredictable Border, Sweden’s entry for the best foreign-language film Oscar, has a soft spot for renegades like Pasolini, Buñuel, and Lynch.