European Cinema: Articles

Jimmy Edwards – Outed 'Conservative' Gay British Comedian Discussed: Q&A with Biographer Anthony Slide

Jimmy Edwards. Best known for his radio and television work – Take It from Here in the former medium; Whack-O! in the latter – British comedian Jimmy Edwards was seen, mostly in small parts, in about a dozen features from the late 1940s to the late 1960s. His most notable film role […]

'The Doll' Movie: Greedy & Gluttonous Church Officials + German Mary Pickford in Early Ernst Lubitsch Comedy

The Doll with Ossi Oswalda and Hermann Thimig. Early Ernst Lubitsch satirical fantasy starring “the German Mary Pickford” has similar premise to that of the 1925 Buster Keaton comedy Seven Chances. 'The Doll': San Francisco Silent Film Festival presented fast-paced Ernst Lubitsch comedy starring the German Mary Pickford – Ossi […]

Cannes Winners vs. Oscar Nominations: Rare Swedish Palme d'Or Winner + Joaquin Phoenix & AIDS Drama Chances?

Palme d'Or winner The Square with Claes Bang. “Gobsmackingly weird” Cannes Film Festival favorite may have a tough time landing a Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award nomination. As an aside, Ruben Östlund's comedy-drama is totally unrelated to Jehane Noujaim's 2013 Oscar-nominated political documentary of the same title, which refers […]

Danielle Darrieux Movies: Film Icon Turns 100 + Longest 'Star Career' Ever?

Danielle Darrieux in 'La Ronde.' Film icon Danielle Darrieux turns 100: Longest 'star career' in movie history? Screen legend Danielle Darrieux is turning 100 today, May 1. In all likelihood, the Bordeaux-born (1917) Darrieux has enjoyed the longest “movie star” career ever: eight decades, from Wilhelm Thiele's comedy-drama Le Bal […]

Yvonne Monlaur: Cult Horror Film Actress & Bond Girl Contender Dies

Yvonne Monlaur: Cult horror movie actress & Bond Girl contender was featured in the 1960 British classics Circus of Horrors & The Brides of Dracula. Actress Yvonne Monlaur dead at 77: Best remembered for cult horror classics 'Circus of Horrors' & 'The Brides of Dracula' Actress Yvonne Monlaur, best known […]

'Die Nibelungen': Siegfried Eclipsed by Powerful Women in Masterful Fritz Lang Tragedy

Die Nibelungen: Siegfried: Paul Richter as the tragic dragon-slaying hero of medieval Germanic mythology – with a bit from Homer's Iliad thrown in. 'Die Nibelungen': Enthralling silent classic despite complex plot and countless characters Based on the medieval epic poem Nibelungenlied, itself inspired by the early medieval Germanic saga about […]

British Cinema and Hollywood - 'A Special Relationship': Q&A with Anthony Slide

Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant, and Ingrid Bergman: The 'Notorious' British (Hitchcock, Grant) and Swedish (Bergman) talent. British actors and directors in Hollywood; Hollywood actors and directors in Britain: Anthony Slide's 'A Special Relationship.' 'A Special Relationship' Q&A: Britain in Hollywood and Hollywood in Britain First of all, what made you […]

Michel Galabru Dead: 'La Cage aux Folles' Right-Wing Politician & César Winner

Michel Galabru and Louis de Funès in the comedy 'Le gendarme et les gendarmettes': No 'affection' for his movies. 'La Cage aux Folles' actor Michel Galabru dead at 93: Embodiment of 'traditional family values' in international box office hit Michel Galabru, best known internationally for his role as a rabidly […]

'The Grandfather' Movie: Surprisingly Touching Oscar-Nominated Message of Tolerance

The Grandfather: Fernando Fernán Gómez as the irascible 'abuelo' who discovers it's never too late to learn about tolerance and compassion. 'The Grandfather' movie review: Gorgeous, surprisingly effective message of tolerance with strong central performance The Grandfather / El abuelo is a film with a pedigree. It is based on […]

European Film Awards Double Winners: Charlotte Rampling, Michael Caine

2015 European Film Awards winners and nominations Best European Film A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence. En Duva Satt På En Gren Och Funderade På Tillvaron. Sweden, France, Germany, Norway, 96 min. Written and directed by: Roy Andersson. Produced by: Pernilla Sandström. Mustang. France, Germany, Turkey, 100 […]

Danièle Delorme: Rare Woman Director's Muse & Pioneering Producer

Danièle Delorme: Pioneering woman director Jacqueline Audry's muse would eventually become a pioneering female movie producer. Remembering pioneering woman director's muse and pioneering woman producer Danièle Delorme Danièle Delorme, who died on Oct. 17, '15, at the age of 89 in Paris, is best remembered as the first actress to […]

Ingrid Bergman Movies: From Moody 'Gaslight' to Classy 'Autumn Sonata'

Ingrid Bergman ca. early 1940s. Ingrid Bergman movies on TCM: From the artificial 'Gaslight' to the magisterial 'Autumn Sonata' Two days ago, Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” series highlighted the film career of Greta Garbo. Today, Aug. 28, '15, TCM is focusing on another Swedish actress, three-time Academy […]

Robert Pattinson E.T. Astronaut

Robert Pattinson: Actor to play E.T. astronaut. Robert Pattinson to star for Claire Denis If all goes as planned, Robert Pattinson will get to star in French screenwriter-director Claire Denis' recently announced – and as yet untitled – English-language sci-fier, penned by Denis and White Teeth author Zadie Smith and […]

'The Sea Inside' Movie Review: Javier Bardem & the Right to Euthanasia

'The Sea Inside': Javier Bardem and director Alejandro Amenábar. 'The Sea Inside': Outstanding supporting cast help to lift flawed Right to Die drama Alejandro Amenábar's The Sea Inside often verges on melodrama, featuring as its centerpiece a showy performance by Javier Bardem as a tetraplegic man eager to end his […]

Laura Antonelli: 'Malizia' Actress Who Led Troubled Life Found Dead

Laura Antonelli: 'Malizia' actress. Laura Antonelli: 'Malizia' sex symbol who led troubled life found dead (Note: This Laura Antonelli article is currently being revised and expanded.) Laura Antonelli, for a brief while an international star thanks to scandalous sex-themed movies such as Malizia and The Divine Nymph, and who later […]

'Fanny and Alexander' Review: Ingmar Bergman Brilliant & Disturbing Film

'Fanny and Alexander' movie: Ingmar Bergman brilliant classic with Bertil Guve as Alexander Ekdahl. 'Fanny and Alexander' movie review: Last Ingmar Bergman 'filmic film' Why Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander / Fanny och Alexander bears its appellation is a mystery – one of many in the director's final 'filmic film' […]

Simone Simon Remembered: Sex Kitten and Femme Fatale

Simone Simon: Femme fatale in 'Cat People.' Simone Simon: Remembering the 'Cat People' and 'La Bête Humaine' actress Pert, pretty, pouty, and fiery-tempered Simone Simon – who died at age 94 ten years ago, on Feb. 22, '05 – is best known for her starring role in Jacques Tourneur's cult […]

Catherine Deneuve: César Award Record-Tier

Catherine Deneuve: Best Actress César Award 'record-tier' for 'In the Courtyard,' with Oleg Kupchik and Big Dog. Catherine Deneuve: César Award Best Actress Record-Tier (See previous post: “Kristen Stewart & Catherine Deneuve Make César Award History.”) Catherine Deneuve has received 12 Best Actress César Award nominations to date; as mentioned […]

Luise Rainer Dead: Two-Time Best Actress Oscar Winner Was 104

Luise Rainer: MGM star in the mid-'30s. Luise Rainer dead at 104: MGM actress was first two-time and first consecutive Oscar winner in acting categories, and oldest surviving winner The first two-time and first consecutive Academy Award winner in the acting categories, and, at age 104, the oldest surviving Oscar […]

Best British Movies of All Time?

Best British movies of all time: Michael Caine in 'Get Carter.' Best British Movies of All Time? Ten years ago, Get Carter, starring Michael Caine as a dangerous-looking London gangster, was selected as the United Kingdom's very best movie of all time according to 25 British film critics polled by […]

Marta Eggerth Dead at 101: The Jeanette MacDonald of German Operettas

Marta Eggerth. Operetta and film star Marta Eggerth dead at 101: The Jeanette MacDonald of Central European cinema Marta Eggerth, an international star in film and stage operettas who frequently performed opposite husband Jan Kiepura, died on December 26, 2013, at her home in Rye, New York. The Budapest-born Eggerth […]

Catherine Deneuve: Only the Third Woman to Receive EFA Lifetime Achievement Award

Catharine Deneuve Catherine Deneuve: 2013 European Film Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Catherine Deneuve has been named the recipient of the the European Film Academy's 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award for her “outstanding body of work.” And outstanding it is. Yesterday, I posted an article about Dirk Bogarde (Victim, Death in […]

Kristen Stewart 'Sils Maria' Set Photos

Kristen Stewart: 'Sils Maria' set photos Kristen Stewart co-stars opposite Oscar winner Juliette Binoche (The English Patient) and Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass, the upcoming Carrie remake) in Olivier Assayas' Sils Maria, a psychological drama currently being filmed in Germany and Switzerland. A Kristen Stewart fan site on Twitter has posted […]

Catherine Deneuve Style & Talent: Living Film Legend

Catharine Deneuve. Catherine Deneuve: Style & talent on TCM tonight A day to rejoice on Turner Classic Movies: Catherine Deneuve, one of the few true Living Film Legends, is TCM's “Summer Under the Stars” star today, August 12, 2013. Catherine Deneuve is not only one of the most beautiful film […]

Sara Montiel Dies: Legendary Spanish Movie & Recording Star + Pedro Almodóvar Icon

Sara Montiel Sara Montiel: Legendary Spanish movie and recording superstar dead at 85 Sara Montiel, a.k.a. Sarita Montiel a.k.a. Saritisima, one of the Spanish-speaking world's biggest film and recording stars, died yesterday, April 8, '13. Montiel, who was found dead by paramedics called to her house in Madrid's district of […]

'Dead Man Down' Is Major Colin Farrell Bomb & Pedro Almodóvar Biggest Hits

'Dead Man Down' with Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace. 'Dead Man Down': Colin Farrell latest box office bomb Directed by Niels Arden Oplev, whose Swedish-made The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo became an international blockbuster, and starring Colin Farrell, whose box office standing has suffered a series of major setbacks […]

Pedro Almodóvar 'I'm So Excited' Trailer (Full Version)

Miguel Ángel Silvestre in I'm So Excited. Pedro Almodóvar I'm So Excited trailer Pedro Almodóvar's upcoming movie, I'm So Excited / Los amantes pasajeros (literally, “passing lovers” and/or “passenger lovers”) has a new and full trailer. That's the good news. The not-so-good news (for non-Spanish speakers): it's in Spanish, without […]

Fernando Guillén Dies: Pedro Almodóvar Collaborator, Goya Award Winner

Fernando Guillén dies: Pedro Almodóvar Collaborator, Goya Award winner for Don Juan in Hell Fernando Guillén, a Spanish acting legend whose film, stage, and television career spanned close to six decades, died of cancer earlier today at a Madrid hospital. The Barcelona-born Guillén was 81 according to the daily El […]

'Argo' & 'Amour' + 'Zero Dark Thirty' & Anne Hathaway + Philip Seymour Hoffman: Top Awards Season Choices

Argo with Ben Affleck. Actor-director-co-producer Ben Affleck's political thriller Argo chronicles – by way of Hollywood-style flights of fancy – the real-life rescue of six U.S. embassy employees hiding in the Tehran house of Canada's ambassador as most of their colleagues are taken hostage following the Iranian Revolution of 1979. […]

L.A. Film Critics Awards: Foreign-Language Drama Wins Best Picture + Surprises Galore

Emmanuelle Riva in Amour. Written and directed by Michael Haneke, the French-German-Austrian old-age drama Amour was the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's surprise Best Film winner. Less surprising was 85-year-old veteran Emmanuelle Riva (Hiroshima Mon Amour, Léon Morin Priest) being selected as the year's Best Actress (along with, ahem, Jennifer […]

European Film Awards: Michael Haneke Sets Best Director Record + Annie Awards Bypass Blockbusters

Michael Haneke at the 2012 European Film Awards. The story of an elderly couple facing illness and death, Amour was the top winner at this year's European Film Awards, collecting trophies in the following categories: Best European Film, Best European Director, Best European Actor (Jean-Louis Trintignant), and Best European Actress (Emmanuelle […]

'Bad Education': Pedro Almodóvar Outstanding 'Gay Film Noir'

'Bad Education.' Bad Education: Pedro Almodóvar's complex, disturbing, brilliant gay film noir (in gorgeous color) One of Pedro Almodóvar's most accomplished, most complex, and most daring films, Bad Education / La Mala educación is a disturbing, but also immensely moving effort that cleverly twists all the conventions of the film […]

'A Man and a Woman': Anouk Aimée at New York Screening

A Man and a Woman: Anouk Aimée to attend New York City screening of Claude Lelouch classic A Man and a Woman / Un homme et une femme, Claude Lelouch's romantic drama starring Anouk Aimée and Jean-Louis Trintignant, will be presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences […]

European Film Awards: Best Animated Feature Film Nominations

European Film Awards 2012: Best Animated Feature Film nominees announced The European Film Academy has announced the three nominees for the 2012 European Film Award for Best Animated Feature Film. They are Tomáš Lu?ák's Alois Nebel (Czech Republic / Germany / Slovakia), Ignacio Ferreras' Arrugas / Wrinkles (Spain), and Peter […]

Cannes Winners: Old Age Drama & Mob Mentality Indictment

Cristian Mungiu's Beyond the Hills: Cosmina Stratan, Cristina Flutur While delivering her intro for the Cannes Film Festival awards ceremony, Mistress of Ceremonies Bérénice Bejo waxed poetic: “If festivals are the parentheses, films are the words, the exclamation points…” In fact, there were quite a few exclamation points among the […]

'Maps to the Stars': Robert Pattinson-David Cronenberg Collaboration? + 'Amour' Trailer & Critics Favorite

Maps to the Stars for Robert Pattinson / David Cronenberg? Above, Pattinson in Cronenberg's Cosmopolis (Paul Giamatti in background) Robert Pattinson hates Twilight, according to those who have taken seriously his (jokingly) dismissive take on the movie series that has made him world famous. Anyhow, whatever his feelings in regard […]

Sex Tourism Movie Outrages Critics: 'Paradise: Love'

Sex tourism movie 'Paradise: Love.' Sex tourism movie outrages moralists: Cannes 2012 Reviews of Ulrich Seidl's sex tourism movie Paradise: Love / Paradies: Liebe, in which an Austrian woman (Margarethe Tiesel) and her friends travel to Kenya for a good time with the young locals, have been overwhelmingly negative. (To […]

Oscar-Nominated Actress Joyce Redman Dies

Actress Joyce Redman, Oscar nominated for both Tom Jones and Othello, died in Kent, England, earlier today. The Newcastle-born Redman, who was either 93 or 96, had been suffering from pneumonia. Film lovers will remember her as Tom Jones' Mrs. Waters, stealing the movie while “sexting” – as in, sex […]

Jean Dujardin 'The Players' World Trade Center 9/11 Joke Censored?

Jean Dujardin and Gilles Lellouche: 'Scandalous' 'The Players / Les infidèles' posters and 9/11 joke removed. Jean Dujardin purported 'little secret': World Trade Center 9/11 joke removed from sex comedy 'The Players' “Jean Dujardin, already Oscared, can now breathe again: his little secret was kept to the very end,” writes […]

Jean Dujardin Makes Oscar History

Jean Dujardin Jean Dujardin made film-award history after he won the 2012 Best Actor Academy Award for his performance as a fading silent film matinee idol in Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist. But before I proceed, I must say that those who compare Dujardin with former Best Actor Oscar winner Roberto […]

Ingmar Bergman vs. The Oscar

Ingmar Bergman Jean Dujardin, Meryl Streep, Christopher Plummer, Michel Hazanavicius, Octavia Spencer, and surely Harvey Weinstein are thrilled they and/or their movies won Academy Awards last night at Hollywood & Highland. Not every Oscar nominee/winner, however, has felt that way. The Criterion Collection has posted (via dizzydentfilms) a May 12, […]

Goya Awards: Corrupt Cop Tops + Woody Allen Wins WGA & Bodil Nominee Lars von Trier

No Rest for the Wicked with José Coronado Pedro Almodóvar didn't have much luck at the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Goya Awards this evening in Madrid: Almodóvar's The Skin I Live In won a total of four Goyas, but none for its director/writer. Starring Antonio Banderas […]

Irish Film Awards: Winners Michael Fassbender & Saoirse Ronan

Albert Nobbs with Glenn Close John Michael McDonagh's The Guard, reportedly the most successful independently made Irish production ever, won four top prizes at the 2012 Irish Film and Television Awards, held this evening in Dublin. The story of a tough, cynical, hard-drinking cop who goes after three drug dealers, […]

'Ulysses Gaze' Movie: Harvey Keitel Stars for Theo Angelopoulos

Harvey Keitel, Ulysses' Gaze Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos' 1995 effort To Vlemma tou Odyssea / Ulysses' Gaze is the first of that director's four films that I have seen that is not unequivocally a great work of art. Although there are arguments that can be made in favor of that […]

Jeremy Irvine & Donald Sutherland London Film Critics Awards + BAFTA & Prix Lumière Nominations

Jeremy Irvine Jeremy Irvine, the star (along with the titular character) of Steven Spielberg's World War I drama War Horse, arrives at the 2012 London Film Critics Awards. Irvine was a contender for Young British Performer of the Year, along with John Boyega for Attack the Block, Yasmin Paige for […]

BAFTA Fellowship: Very Few Women, Very Few Outside UK/Hollywood Film Industry

Alfred Hitchcock on the 'Psycho' set: The very first BAFTA Fellowship recipient. BAFTA Fellowship: Focus on men in the American/British show business industry The first recipient of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts' Fellowship, “awarded in recognition of outstanding achievement in the art forms of the moving image,” […]

'Bel Ami' Trailer 2012: Robert Pattinson Realizes Sex Is Most Effective Social-Climbing Gear

Bel Ami 2012 poster with Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Christina Ricci. Shot in early 2010 but coming out in 2012, the latest film version of Guy de Maupassant's Bel Ami is also the latest attempt of Twilight Saga performer Robert Pattinson to both extend his range […]

Madonna Out, Elton John In: Best Song Oscar Contenders + George Clooney Movie Wins More Awards

Madonna W.E. director. Best known as a pop singer and all-around provocateuse (except, perhaps, when she shied away from taking on George W. Bush following the start of the Iraq War), Madonna has been a sporadic movie actress since the mid-1980s. More recently, she has turned to directing: the poorly […]

Betty Garrett & Leslie Brooks + Last Surviving Silent Era Actresses & the Forgotten Ones: 'TCM Remembers'

Betty Garrett in My Sister Eileen with Janet Leigh and Jack Lemmon. Her movie career stillborn in the late 1940s, HUAC victim Betty Garrett, whose husband, Larry Parks, was blacklisted, made a brief comeback in 1955, as the star of Richard Quine's musical My Sister Eileen, based on Joseph A. […]

TCM Remembers: From Farley Granger & Annie Girardot to Googie Withers & 'Sex Film' Actresses

Farley Granger shirtless publicity shot ca. late 1940s. A Samuel Goldwyn discovery, dark and handsome Farley Granger might have become a bigger star had he not been under contract to the independent producer, whose output was considerably more limited than that of the major studios. Apart from the box office […]

EFA: Best European Film Honors Another Controversial Filmmaker

Melancholia with Kirsten Dunst. The European Film Academy (EFA) Awards' Best Film winner, Melancholia tells the story of two sisters (Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg) as one of them is about to get married and a fast-approaching small planet is about to collide with the Earth. Melancholia became the third Lars […]

Ken Russell Movies: Sex & Other Controversies

Ken Russell, best known for his movies featuring sex-starved nuns, nude male wrestling, “offensive” religious symbolism, and kaleidoscopic musical numbers, died Sunday, Nov. 27, '11, in the United Kingdom. Russell had suffered a series of strokes. He was 84. Now hardly as remembered or admired as, say, '70s Hollywood icons […]

European Film Awards: Little Oscar Influence

Helen Mirren, Sylvia Syms in Stephen Frears' The Queen The European Film Awards usually don't have much of an influence on the Academy Awards. Part of the reason is that many of the European Academy's nominated movies aren't eligible for the Hollywood Academy's awards, whether because they were in the […]

Lars Von Trier 'Melancholia' Dominates European Film Awards

Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia Lars von Trier's Melancholia is the clear favorite at the 2011 European Film Awards. Nazi joke or no, Cannes Film Festival ban or no, the von Trier-directed apocalyptic drama received eight nominations in seven categories, among them Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay (also von Trier), and […]

'Shame' Banned to Most Teenagers in the US, UK - But Not in France

Michael Fassbender, Shame Steve McQueen's Shame, a look at a man suffering from what some refer to as “sex addiction,” has been screwed with an NC-17 rating by the censors at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). That means no one under 17 is allowed to watch Shame at […]

George Baker Dies: Tiberius in 'I Claudius' & Inspector Wexford in 'The Ruth Rendell Mysteries'

George Baker, best known for playing Tiberius in the British television series I, Claudius, and Inspector Wexford in The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, died after suffering from pneumonia and a stroke, according to The Guardian. He was 80. Though best remembered for his television work, Baker appeared in about 30 movies […]

'Weekend' 2011: Romantic Gay Movie Beats Estimates

Weekend 2011 with Tom Cullen, Chris New Sept. 26 update: Writer-director Andrew Haigh's gay love story Weekend brought in $27,245 – about 8 percent above Sunday estimates – at the North American box office according to actuals found at Box Office Mojo. Currently screening at one single New York City […]

Paulette Dubost Dead at 100: Worked with Jean Renoir & Jacques Tourneur

Paulette Dubost, known as the “Dean of French Cinema,” and an actress in films directed by Jean Renoir, Marcel L'Herbier, Jacques Tourneur, Julien Duvivier, Max Ophüls, Preston Sturges, François Truffaut, Louis Malle, and Marcel Carné, died of “natural causes” on Sept. 21 in the Parisian suburb of Longjumeau. The Paris-born […]

Michael Cacoyannis Dies: 'Zorba the Greek' Oscar Nominee

Michael Cacoyannis, best known for the 1964 Oscar-nominated drama Zorba the Greek, died of complications from a heart attack and chronic respiratory problems early Monday at an Athens hospital. He was either 89 or 90, depending on the source. Born in Limassol, Cyprus, on June 11, 1921 or 1922, the […]

'The Love of Jeanne Ney': G.W. Pabst Classic

Uno Henning, Edith Jehanne, The Love of Jeanne Ney G.W. Pabst's Die Liebe der Jeanne Ney / The Love of Jeanne Ney is a real mystery. And I mean that in the truest sense of the word. The entire film is a puzzle. The opening title card introduces the story: […]

'The War Game' Movie Review: Nuclear Holocaust in England

'The War Game.' For anyone who thinks that those 50-pack mega-DVD sets of public domain films put out by several different video companies are worthless, I would argue that the amount of films you get for the money is worth it, even if all were mediocre. I would also add […]

'Last Year at Marienbad' Review: Alain Resnais' Film Masterpiece

Alain Resnais' Last Year at Marienbad: Intertextuality via cinematic 'touchstone.' Forget all prior claims you've read about Alain Resnais,” 90-minute, black-and-white effort L'année dernière à Marienbad / Last Year at Marienbad (1961) – from the bad to the good, from publicity nonsense which declaims the three main characters are named […]

'Pan's Labyrinth' Review: Imagination vs. Mind Control

Sergi López in Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth “If you expect to get laid after this screening,” Guillermo del Toro told the midnight (actually, closer to 1 a.m.) audience at the AFI FEST Los Angeles 2007 premiere of Pan's Labyrinth, “it ain't gonna happen.” Indeed, del Toro's “adult fairytale” is […]

'The 400 Blows': François Truffaut Classic

Jean Pierre Léaud, The 400 Blows In 1959, a pair of newly released French films were instantly hailed as classics, going on to become the twin pillars of the Nouvelle Vague, or New Wave. One, Jean-Luc Godard's À bout de souffle / Breathless, was bad; the other, François Truffaut's Les […]

'Amarcord' Review: Federico Fellini Classic

Federico Fellini's Amarcord has often been linked with Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander as films made by old men looking back on their youth. While this is true, Amarcord has a loose narrative structure in which the lives of many characters are detailed in comic vignettes, whereas Fanny and Alexander […]

'Breathless' Review: Jean-Luc Godard Wildly Overrated Classic?

Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Breathless The fact that an artist writes boringly to convey boredom, or childishly to convey puerility, has no effect on the resultant work being neither boring nor puerile. Self-awareness of a flaw does not alleviate the flaw. For that to not be true, intent in art […]

'Umberto D.' Review: Vittorio De Sica and Indifference to Human Suffering

Flike, Carlo Battisti, Umberto D. Lost between the glare of The Bicycle Thief (1948) and his later films with Sophia Loren, Vittorio De Sica's 1952 drama Umberto D. stands as an almost forgotten masterpiece of Italian neorealism and one of the last films that could claim to be of that […]

'Red' Movie Review: Brilliant Film with Career-Capping Performance

'Red' movie: Jean-Louis Trintignant and Irène Jacob. 'Red' movie review: 'Brilliant' Krzysztof Kieslowski film The final film in Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors (“Trois couleurs”) trilogy, the 1994 release Three Colors: Red / Trois couleurs: Rouge, is almost universally acclaimed as the best of the three. For once, the general consensus […]

'Sophie Scholl: The Final Days' Review: Superb Julia Jentsch as Nazi Fighter

Julia Jentsch, Fabian Hinrichs, Sophie Scholl: The Final Days Directed with clenched fists by Berlin Film Festival winner Marc Rothemund, who seems to have been at least partly inspired by Robert Bresson's minimalist The Trial of Joan of Arc, Sophie Scholl: The Final Days is an intense, unsentimental, impeccably produced […]

'Au Revoir les Enfants': Louis Malle Semiautobiographical Classic

Raphael Fejtö, Gaspard Manesse, Au revoir les enfants Synopsis: At a Catholic boys' school in occupied France, a snotty rich kid, Julien (Gaspard Manesse), slowly befriends an unusual newcomer, Bonnet (Raphael Fejtö), who happens to be a Jewish boy in hiding. The Pros: Unlike Roman Polanski's The Pianist and Steven […]

'Vera Drake' Review: Imelda Staunton Outstanding in Illegal Abortion Drama

Imelda Staunton, Philip Davis, Vera Drake Director Mike Leigh's touches are found everywhere in Vera Drake, from the film's drab, working-class social setting to the somewhat bizarre characters that inhabit that milieu (at least in Leigh's oeuvre). Even so, Vera Drake cannot quite be considered a “Mike Leigh Film.” This […]

Álex de la Iglesia Controversial Goya Awards Speech: Internet vs. Cinema?

Álex de la Iglesia: Goya Awards. Álex de la Iglesia Goya Awards speech: In defense of the Internet Below is the English translation of a brief section of Álex de la Iglesia's lengthy – and quite remarkable – speech at the 2011 Goya Awards ceremony. As mentioned in my previous […]

Watch Bafta Awards Ceremony, Spanish Academy Awards Online

Bafta award. Watch the BAFTA Awards The 2011 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards ceremony, often referred to as the BAFTA Awards or simply the Baftas (sometimes in caps, BAFTAs), is currently taking place in London. Directed by Tom Hooper, and starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham […]

'Brief Encounter' Capsule Review: David Lean Romantic Classic About Sympathetic Adulterers

Brief Encounter one-line synopsis: A married doctor (Trevor Howard) and a housewife (Celia Johnson) have an adulterous (and platonic) affair. The Pros: Shadow-bathed, smoke-enshrouded railway stations (cinematography by Robert Krasker) to the strains of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2. Enough to turn the jadedest among us into a wide-eyed romantic. […]

Susannah York Dies: Oscar-Nominated Actress & Political Activist

Beryl Reid, Susannah York in Robert Aldrich's The Killing of Sister George Susannah York, one of the best (and best-looking) performers of the 1960s and 1970s, died today of bone marrow cancer. York's son, Orlando Wells (the Duke of Kent in The King's Speech and Lord Montagu in A Very […]

Dublin Film Critics' Winners + DGA Documentary Nominees & Best Canadian Film

Dublin Film Critics: Tahar Rahim & Jennifer Lawrence top acting choices BEST FILM 1. A Prophet 2. Winter's Bone 3. Toy Story 3 4. The Social Network 5. Dogtooth 6. Inception 7. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Remember His Past Lives 8. The Road & Bad Lieutenant 9. Mother 10. The […]

Noomi Rapace 'Beyond' Tops Guldbagge Nominations

Ola Rapace, Noomi Rapace, Beyond Actress-turned-director Pernilla August's directorial debut, Beyond topped the 2010 Guldbagge Award nominations. The psychological family drama earned eight nods for the “Swedish Oscars,” including Best Film and Best Director. Beyond tells the story of a woman (Rapace) who must confront her dying, abusive mother.Winner of […]

Cannes Winner Per Oscarsson Feared Dead in House Fire

Per Oscarsson, Hunger The year of 2011 begins with a likely tragedy for the movie world: According to reports, a Friday, Dec. 31, house fire may have killed veteran Swedish actor Per Oscarsson, 83, winner of the Best Actor award at the 1966 Cannes Film Festival for his performance as […]

'Stairway to Heaven' & 'Orpheus': Two Radically Different Fantasies Tackle That Mysterious Space in Between

Orpheus with Jean Marais. Starring Jean Cocteau's muse, protégé, and (for some time) lover, Jean Marais, Orpheus traces the otherworldly trajectory of the titular, modern-day Parisian poet as he falls in love with Death. Worse yet, his feelings are reciprocated. As both the mysterious Princess and the lovestruck Death, Spanish-born […]

Sauna Movie 'Steam of Life' to Become 1st Best Foreign Language Film Nonfiction Oscar Nominee?

Sauna movie Steam of Life: Joonas Berghäll and Mika Hotakainen's Finnish hit about naked men exposing themselves – emotionally – to become the first documentary shortlisted for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar? Sauna movie 'Steam of Life' & feel-good 'Simple Simon' among northern European Best Foreign Language Film Oscar […]

Royal Drama Tops British Independent Film Awards But Director Snubbed + Jennifer Lawrence Wins Stockholm

Royal drama The King's Speech with Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush. Tom Hooper's real-life-inspired crowd-pleaser topped the British Independent Film Awards with five wins, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Firth), and Best Supporting Actor (Rush) – but curiously, not Best Director. Royal drama tops British Independent Film Awards The King's […]

Michelle Bonev-Silvio Berlusconi Venice Film Festival Controversy + Louise Brooks & Jessica Tandy Screenings

Michelle Bonev ca. 2000s. Bulgarian actress-turned-filmmaker Michelle Bonev has become embroiled in an ugly controversy involving the notorious Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi; the Venice Film Festival; an award for her directorial feature film debut, Goodbye Mama; and government-owned Italian broadcaster RAI's acquisition of the television rights to the movie. […]

'The Ghost Writer' Sweeps European Film Awards: Roman Polanski Political Thriller Win a Political Message?

The Ghost Writer, with Roman Polanski on the set. Winner of the Best Director Academy Award for the World War II drama The Pianist (2002), the 77-year-old Polanski now also has a Best Director European Film Award for the political thriller The Ghost Writer, based on Robert Harris' novel, itself […]

Mario Monicelli Commits Suicide: 'Big Deal on Madonna Street' Director

Marcello Mastroianni, Renato Salvatori, Vittorio Gassman, Big Deal on Madonna Street (top); Vittorio Gassman, Alberto Sordi, The Great War (middle); Anna Magnani, Totò, The Passionate Thief (bottom) Mario Monicelli, the (co)writer-director of Italian cinema classics such as I soliti ignoti / Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958), La grande guerra […]

Ingrid Pitt Dies: 'The Vampire Lovers' & 'Countess Dracula' Actress

Ingrid Pitt seduces Madeline Smith in Roy Ward Baker's The Vampire Lovers Ingrid Pitt, the star of the Hammer horror flicks The Vampire Lovers (1970) and Countess Dracula (1971), has died at a South London hospital. The apparent cause of death was heart failure. Pitt was 73. Among the Polish-born […]

Colin Firth & Keira Knightley: British Independent Film Awards Nominations

Colin Firth as King George VI in Tom Hooper's The King's Speech The fact that The King's Speech rules over the 2010 British Independent Film Award (BIFA) nominations is no surprise. The story of how King George VI was able to overcome a stubborn stutter after being made king, The […]

Award-Winning Czech Screenwriter Jirí Krizan Dies

Jirí Krizan, a Czech screenwriter whose family was persecuted by Czechoslovakia's Communist rulers, died of a heart attack on Wednesday, Oct. 13, in the village of Branky. Krizan was 68. Krizan (born Oct. 26, 1941) wrote about two dozen screenplays, among them Shadows of a Hot Summer, which shared the […]

Roman Polanski & Jean Luc-Godard: European Film Awards' Semi-Finalists

Mathias Domahidy in Jean-Luc Godard's Film Socialisme (top); Anne-Marie Duff and Aaron Johnson in Sam Taylor Wood's Nowhere Boy (upper middle); Ewan McGregor in Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer (lower middle); Semih Kaplanoglu's Honey (bottom) Jean-Luc Godard's mind-boggling Film Socialisme, Semih Kaplanoglu's Berlin Film Festival winner Bal / Honey, Roman […]

Jean-Luc Godard Honorary Oscar: Filmmaker Missing in Action?

Oct. 25 update: Shocking news. Jean-Luc Godard has “regretfully” notified Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Tom Sherak that he will not pick up his Honorary Award in person at the Governors Awards on Nov. 13. The notification followed “a two-month-long cordial exchange of correspondence” between Godard and […]

John Mills Movies: 'Ryan's Daughter' Oscar Winner

John Mills. Unfortunately, nine of the ten John Mills films to be shown on Turner Classic Movies as part of their month-long “Summer Under the Stars” series on Sunday, Aug. 22, '10, are reruns. The one exception is I Was Monty's Double, a 1958 John Guillermin-directed World War II drama. […]

Cécile Aubry Has Died: 'Manon' & Tyrone Power's Leading Lady

Cécile Aubry, Henri-Georges Clouzot's leading lady in the 1949 drama Manon and Tyrone Power's romantic interest in the 1950 period adventure The Black Rose, died of lung cancer on July 19 in Dourdan, outside of Paris. She was 81. Born Anne-José Madeleine Henriette Bénard (or Anne José Bénard according to […]

'The Sacrifice': Andrei Tarkovsky 'Exercise in Cinema Appreciation

Watching Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky's final work, Offret / The Sacrifice (1986), is an exercise in cinema appreciation. That's not because The Sacrifice is a great film, but because it has great moments interspersed with moments of sheer boredom. In fact, The Sacrifice is one of those rare films that […]

'Another Year' Movie Reviews: Cannes Highlight or…?

Another Year movie with Lesley Manville and Jim Broadbent. 'Another Year' movie: Cannes highlight or…? Mike Leigh's latest movie, Another Year, which revolves around old age, death, and family ties, is in the running for the 2010 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or. For some, Leigh's drama is one of the […]

Silvio Berlusconi Sex, Lies & Earthquake: 'Draquila'

“Spring had just begun along the beautiful peninsula and they were after Berlusconi. It was a shitty day like so many others …” the narrator explains in the clip above from 46-year-old standup-comic-turned-director Sabina Guzzanti's Draquila: L'Italia che trema / Draquila: Italy Trembles. Italy's finances were (and still are) in […]

Zarah Leander 'La Habanera': Nazi Era Greta Garbo-Marlene Dietrich Combo

Zarah Leander La Habanera First, I have to state that I watched Douglas Sirk's La Habanera, not knowing what to expect. All I knew was the brief synopsis on the DVD box. I also knew that Sirk was a director of such lush 1950s Technicolor soapers as Magnificent Obsession, All […]

9:06 - Igor Samobor - Igor Sterk

9:06 (2009) Dir.: Igor Sterk Scr.: Igor Sterk and Sinisa Dragin Cast: Igor Samobor, Silva Cusin, Labina Mitevska, Jana Zupancic   Igor Samobor 9:06   Some movies are hard to write about because they don't have anything to say. Others are hard to write about because what they're actually saying […]

South-East European Film Festival: Lesbian Documentary & War Drama

Kostana Banovic's Hopsctoch. The 2010 edition of Los Angeles' South-East European Film Festival (website) continues this evening with screenings of three US premieres beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Goethe-Institut in the Mid-Wilshire Area: Kostana Banovic's Ploha / Hopscotch, Mariá Takács' Secret Years, and Zvonimir Juric and Goran Devic's The […]

George Bernard Shaw Movies: 'Pygmalion,' 'Caesar and Cleopatra'

Leslie Howard, Wendy Hiller Pygmalion George Bernard Shaw is tonight's star on Turner Classic Movies. Major Barbara (1941), directed by Gabriel Pascal, and starring Rex Harrison and Wendy Hiller, is on right now. I've watched it a couple of times, but I haven't been able to really get into it. […]

'Death in the Garden': Luis Buñuel Classic with Simone Signoret

Simone Signoret, Georges Marchal Death in the Garden I hadn't even heard of Death in the Garden before its recent DVD release on the Microcinema label.  It ranks as among the least-known of Luis Buñuel's films, probably because it's the least obviously Buñuelian. Aside from some fairly incidental bits of […]

'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' Reviews

Based on Stieg Larsson's bestseller, Niels Arden Oplev's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has become an international box office sensation. The dark thriller-horror mystery stars European Film Award nominee Noomi Rapace as a computer hacker who helps a journalist (Michael Nyqvist) in his attempt to solve the decades-old disappearance […]