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  • The Mill on the Po

    The Mill on the Po

    ★★★★

    When non-Italians that are film buffs hear of the Po Valley or River in Northern Italy they must surely think of the famed sixth and final segment in Roberto Rossellini's WW2 set neo-realist classic Paisan in which a dead partisan is seen floating downstream (nicely highlighted in Martin Scorsese's personal survey of Italian films My Voyage to Italy). I'll be rethinking that association after checking out Alberto Lattuada's terrific film adaptation of the third volume of novelist Riccardo Bacchelli's The…

  • Suspiria

    Suspiria

    ★★½

    You will take me to Jabba now.

    I take you to Jabba now.

    You serve your master well. And you will be rewarded

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  • The Last Wagon

    The Last Wagon

    If you watch enough Cinemascope films that were released by Fox during the mid-fifties you start to realize that the camera typically seemed imprisoned. While the pretty vistas became more awe inspiring as the result of the wide frame the filmmaking became more staid, with little but static shots and minimal cuts (an occasional pan, but few tracking shots). As the filmmakers technical tools became more cumbersome montage took a back seat, and even exotic location shot scenes could seem…

  • Le Plaisir

    Le Plaisir

    ★★★★

    The epitome of camera fluidity, an often jaw dropping technical marvel in which a voyeuristic camera prowls through often cluttered space with the determination and grace of a jungle cat. Sadly for me, as with the lovely but a little unsatisfying La Ronde, the portmanteau structure (the film is segmented into three separate stories based on tales from 19th century short story pioneer Guy de Maupassant) stops Ophüls from hitting it out of the park. Visual fluidity does not in…