Bella (Monteverde, 2006)

When you judge a movie as cultural artifact or sociopolitical argument, I guess, you often come away with the impression that it is better or worse than its record indicates. Read more

The Servant (Losey, 1963)

If you enter the terms “servant,” “losey,” and “creepy” into the Google search engine, you get approximately nine hundred hits. Not all of them, of course, are using the “c” word in connection to Joseph Losey’s 1963 film starring Dirk Bogarde and “introducing” James Fox, but enough of them are to make it clear that “creepy” is the adjective of choice for talking vaguely about Losey’s film without having to get too specific. Read more

Claude Chabrol

Claude Chabrol, who is still alive and still working, has seventy-one directorial film credits listed at By means of comparison, Michelangelo Antonioni has thirty-six, Robert Bresson seventeen, and Peter Brook a mere baker’s dozen. Read more

Camp Diaries (Noland, 2009)

I asked Noland about the title of his film and specifically why he chose the word “diaries” since the photographs in the film were overlaid not with words from the occupants of the internment camps but words from news and film reels which mediated the images (and the experience) for the public. Read more

Documentary Film and the Power of Empathy

A look at some of the best films of the 2008 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. Read more

The Bitter Tea of Mister Capra

People in Capra films–and I’m including the Why We Fight series in this assertion–have high ideals, and if we know anything in a Capra film, it is that if you talk the talk you better be ready to walk the plank, because as Job is my witness, the world will put you to the test. Read more

Owning the Weather (Greene, 2009)

If one proverbial mark of a good narrative film is three good scenes and no bad ones, one way to gauge a documentary is whether or not it is capable at some point or another of making you sympathetic to multiple perspectives. Read more

Forgetting Dad (Minnich, 2008)

Forgetting Dad is a beautiful, melancholy, and deeply compassionate film… Read more

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