Easter Parade (1948)

Easter Parade  (1948) Irving Berlin proposed this concoction of his songs, and the Hollywood system rescued the production from disaster to become a sentimental classic. Fred Astaire was recalled from retirement to replace Gene Kelly, who had broken his ankle, for the pleasure of working with Judy Garland. Peter Lawford sings about umbrellas, and Ann … More Easter Parade (1948)

Awakenings (1990)

Awakenings (1990) Apparently the human body is not built to last forever, and the cruelest thing that has been happening to many friends my age is Alzheimer’s.  Penny Marshall’s film, based on the work of Oliver Sacks, concerns using L-Dopa to waken catatonic patients who suffered from encephalitis lethargica. Admittedly this is not the same … More Awakenings (1990)

Dheepan (2015)

Dheepan (2015) Who has the right to sanctuary? Jacques Audiard directed this Palme d’Or picture that studies the experiences of three Tamil refugees who flee Sri Lankan civil war to seek asylum in France. Having stolen their identities from passports of dead people, Antonythasan Jesuthasan, a Tamil author and former Tamil Tiger, stars as a … More Dheepan (2015)

Shame (1968)

Shame (1968) Almost an abstract representation of the nature of war, Ingmar Bergman wrote and directed the study of an artistic couple suddenly caught in a civil war and the psychological breakdown of their relationship as they struggle to survive. Classical violinists Eva (Liv Ullman) and Jan (Max von Sidow) are accused of sympathy for … More Shame (1968)

Watermelon Man (1970)

Watermelon Man (1970) A white bigot wakes up transformed into a black man and has to learn how to deal with the consequences. CRITERION deserves praise for having assembled a package of films written and directed by Melvin van Peebles, who died just after this homage to his talent was released. An irascible agent provocateur, … More Watermelon Man (1970)

L’Avventura (1960)

L’Avventura (1960) Monica Vitti became the embodiment of metaphysical angst, thanks to Michelangelo Antonioni’s dissociative framing of actors never looking at one another, their backs turned to the audience, a head rising from a desolate and rocky wasteland. The torturous sequences shot on Basiluzo toss the Italian upper-class across a bleak Aeolian inland as they … More L’Avventura (1960)