Strawberry Mansion (2021)

Strawberry Mansion (2021) Beware! In the future, the govenment will tax your dreams. Albert Birney and lead actor Kentucker Audley concocted this extraordinarily unpredictable exploration of the human psyche, as well as the nefarious implications of corporate advertising, among other things, in an homage to le fantastique in cinema. Fifteen years in the making, this … More Strawberry Mansion (2021)

Devi (1960)

  Devi (1960) The patriarch of a Calcutta family [Chhabi Biswas]  dreams that his daughter-in-law [Sharmila Tagore]  is the reincarnation of the Goddess Kali. Partly based on a story suggestion by Tagore, Satyajit Ray critiques the dangers of religious orthodoxy. The film was harshly criticized in its initial release, but today its portrait of idolization … More Devi (1960)

Rouge (1988)

Rouge (1988) A melodramatic mix of ghost story with Hong Kong history allows Stanley Kwan to subvert issues of gender. The dead courtesan Fleur [Anita Mui] shows up at a newspaper office to place an ad for her lover [Leslie Cheung] with whom she committed suicide fifty years ago. The reporter [Alex Man] and his … More Rouge (1988)

Van Gogh (1990)

Van Gogh (1990) Singer-songwirter Jacques Dutronc won a César for Best Actor in this revisionist biopic written and directed by Maurice Pialat. The film focuses on Von Gogh’s relationship with his physician, Paul Gachet [Gérard Séty], and Margurite [Alexandra London], the physician’s daughter. However, it descends into backroom cancan dances at the Folies Bergère, with … More Van Gogh (1990)

The Master (2012)

The Master (2012) Paul Thomas Anderson wrote and directed this study of master/acolyte power dynamics, with memorable performances by Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lancaster Dodd and Joaquin Phoenix as Freddie Quell. Meglonomania and post-traumatic stress disorder discover brotherhood in one another, though a dependency of scoundrels running a cult, ending with this devastating insight —“If … More The Master (2012)

In the Company of Wolves (1984)

In the Company of Wolves (1984) Angela Carter collaborated with Neil Jordan in this adaptation of her sado-masochistic rewrite of Charles Perrault’s fairy tales. Menstrual blood flows like Red Riding Hood’s cloak in these stories within stories where Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson) dreams that she lives in a fairytale forest during the late 18th century. The … More In the Company of Wolves (1984)

Hôtel du Nord (1938)

Hôtel du Nord (1938) “Atmosphere! Atmsophere! Do I look like an atmosphere?”  With those words, Arletty stole the show and made cinema history. I will succumb to any movie where she appears. Guided by her director, Marcel Carné, she made the most of her supporting role as a no-nonsense prostitute living with her pimp, Louis … More Hôtel du Nord (1938)

The Madwoman of Chaillot (1969)

The Madwoman of Chaillot (1969) Brian Forbes directed this theatrical masterpiece by Jean Giraudoux in Maurice Valency‘s adaption (with a screenplay by Edward Anhalt). aided and abetted by the cinematography of Burnett Guffey and Claude Renoir. Shot in Nice and Paris, Katherine Hapburn flounces about with histrionic flamboyance as the Countess Aurelia, in this allegory … More The Madwoman of Chaillot (1969)