RSS feed for dwalber

Favorite films

Recent activity


Recent reviews

  • The Shop on Main Street

    The Shop on Main Street


    I've long admired Imre Kertész's rejection of Schindler's List as kitsch, Spielberg's approach as the extreme example of an entirely useless artistic methodology. But I don't know that I'd ever actually encountered a truly successful counter-example in fiction cinema. Kertész himself singled out Life Is Beautiful, but that's never really felt quite right to me.

    Here's a bit more from his essay on the subject:

    "I regard as kitsch any representation of the Holocaust that is incapable of understanding or…

  • The Train

    The Train


    A few reasons to watch this movie:

    1. A+ train station signage design.

    2. Burt Lancaster covered in soot.

    3. Col. von Waldheim (Paul Scofield) argues for his right to steal French art with language that, in hindsight, is a (probably) accidental indictment of the British Museum and everyone else who is selfishly holding onto stolen art for stupid, paternalist reasons.

Popular reviews

  • Freud: The Secret Passion

    Freud: The Secret Passion


    A surprisingly thunderous movie. Charles Kaufman's screenplay isn't a biopic at all, more a condensation of the thinker's ideas into a chamber drama of heavy-handed significance. All of his theories are crammed into one patient, Cecily Koertner. Susannah York's performance is a lot more restrained than, say, Keira Knightley's in A Dangerous Method or Tippi Hedren's in Marnie. Montgomery Clift is equally modest, though that doesn't necessarily mean he's bad. It's more than the film's performances are subservient to its…

  • The Fly

    The Fly


    Once more back to Cronenberg, #14!

    Expected it to be gross, didn't expect it to be so funny. The brief bit towards the end when Goldblum is working through the terrifying makeup to sell what are essentially jokes is genius. If Frankenstein and the monster in Young Frankenstein were one and the same (no coincidence Mel Brooks produced this, I'd imagine).

    I also love how little time Cronenberg was willing to waste back in the '80s. You learn everything you…