• The Horse of Pride

    The Horse of Pride

    ★★★½

    Le Cheval d'Orgueil is the last Chabrol theatrical feature I had never seen, unless people literally invent another which wouldn't surprise me, I mention this because it makes some sense as on surface it feels as removed as possible from people's idea of what a Chabrol film is about. It is not a thriller, it doesn't deal with bourgeoisie, it is based on a memoir and has a warm first-person point of view instead of the more detached one he…

  • The Rain People

    The Rain People

    ★★★★

    I remember when Coppola was making the rounds promoting The Rainmaker and he got forced to discuss that yes, doing a John Grisham adaptation was a bit of for hire hack work, but that was okay because if he was going to be honest the only truly for him Hollywood movies he had done were The Conversation and The Rain People. Every time I watch The Rain People, that line comes back to me because this is a deeply felt…

  • Ice

    Ice

    ★★★★½

    Every early Robert Kramer movie is a fantasy about people he knew. I think this is the essential aesthetic element about them. They are shot in a flat deglamorized style, call it American left "realism", but they all are set as far as narrative goes in complicated fictions predicted in a fever pitch of alienation and paranoia. Pauline Kael has a surprising sympathetic review of Ice, definitely not her kind of movie, and one suspects what she reacts to it…

  • The Friends

    The Friends

    ★★★

    It finds an impressive balance between its restrained images and its observations on the mix of emotional needs and power in the main relationship. A strong portrait of unbalanced bonds.

  • King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis

    King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis

    ★★★

    A three-hour assembling of Martin Luther King trajectory envisioned by producer Ely Landau (better known for his attempts to bring prestige theatre to film) as a special event that was supposed to screen one day only through the country. Those good Hollywood liberals, Sidney Lumet and Joseph L. Mankwieckz got the job of putting the movie together (John Carter and Lara Hays are credited as the movie editors who might arguably be the most important here), but don't get credit…

  • Rabbit, Run

    Rabbit, Run

    ★½

    On the literary adaptations time forgot: John Updkie's Rabitt, Run was given to 60s/70s hack Jack Smight and he made the nothing movie one would expect of him. This has no idea of what to do with the novel besides a cliff notes version of the plot and given that it is just a series of questionable decisions of a dissatisfied guy that can’t make his mind, it barely makes for much of a movie. His two romanic relationships, wife…

  • Performance

    Performance

    ★★★½

    Persona if that was really about two auteurs struggling to control the meaning inside the shot. Ultimately, Roeg bombast is what keeps the eye attention, while Cammel’s fresh gives it some weight. It doesn’t work without their not always happy shotgun marriage. The movie is its artistic process, which also means it can often suffer because Roeg is such a better-known artist and his style so easy to detect. I don’t want to undersell Fox whose contributions pretty makes the whole mess possible.

  • Finian's Rainbow

    Finian's Rainbow

    I assume the only people who watch Finian's Rainbow are either Coppola or Astaire completists, it is hard to imagine why anyone else would bother unless they are really into late 60s studio UFOs. It is a big overblown musical in the late 60s style that tries to be a little at least self-aware about itself and tries to present its utopia in social relevant ways. Its thematic underpinnings aren't that far off from One from the Heart, if its…

  • Ostia

    Ostia

    ★★★

    I remember the first time I saw this it felt like too much like a minor variation on Pasolini's concerns, while this remains true, the balance Citti do manage to sustain between the film more bleak elements and its attention to human behavior remain impressive on itself.

  • This Man Must Die

    This Man Must Die

    ★★★★½

    Chabrol's study of retribution as movie motif, one of his more ideally structured movies. Very chilling and unwilling to allow easy identification. Innocence is shattered in the opening scene and from there on it is a gam of chairs of destructive feelings. The mai character is a writer and a diary plays a key role, and one must say forms of storytelling are very central to the movie appeal. Midway through it, Jean Yanne pops up as the titular beast…

  • 'Tis Pity She's a Whore

    'Tis Pity She's a Whore

    ★★½

    At its best when it is just Storaro close ups of good-looking people with Morricone melodramatic score playing over it. Perhaps because the incest tale is better served when it is treated as elemental than when director Griffi has to take a step back and try to dramatize it. Cast feels lost most of the time. Good grand guignol finale and solid costume design.

  • Brancaleone at the Crusades

    Brancaleone at the Crusades

    ★★★

    It isn’t quite as funny as the first Brancaleone movie, but Gassman remains in top form, there’s enough inspired comic bits and the spite towards middle ages feels far more earned thsn similar satires.