Casque d’or

The establishing shot on the quiet, sunny, scenic section of the Seine river where folks are gaily rowing and the following string of short, carefully choreographed and composed shots showing these folks frolicking and enjoying the day in an open air café complete with a dance floor, are…

La ronde

Arthur Schnitzler’s play was a study of the relations between men and women across various strata of the Austrian society at the end of the 19th century. It was made up of a collection of ten short dialogues, starting with a prostitute seducing a soldier, in a frank take on the popular…

EO

In 1966 French director Robert Bresson shot one of his greatest films, and arguably one of the greatest (think of the views of Jean-Luc Godard), at least most radical, films in French cinema, “Au hasard Balthazar”. It relates the tragic life of a donkey, clearly striving to stick as close as possible…

Au hasard Balthazar

This Balthazar is not the famous Magus but a donkey. It first appears as a young animal, braying and suckling its mother. A couple of cheerful children, a boy and a girl, want to buy it even although the worried adult standing next to them claims it is impossible. The animal is…

Scarface

The end titles state in their own way what has been obvious to the moviegoer: by dedicating the feature to Howard Hawks and Ben Hecht director Brian De Palma acknowledges it is the remake of the 1932 gangster movie that so impressed the audience back then and stirred critics…

Carlito’s Way

The narrative is a long flashback: the titles appear over strikingly grisly, less than sharp, slow-motion, black and white shots describing how a man gets shot on the platform of a railway station and is taking care by medics and wheeled at breakneck speed out to an ambulance. As people are agitating…

Yi yi

Titles as an exercise of calligraphy: one stroke is made, this is the character “yi”, a basic element of the Chinese language that could mean “one”; then just below comes another stroke, the same kind of line, the same character, so the film’s title seems to be “one, one”; but if…

Eloge de l’amour

The black and white cinematography smoothly wraps and highlights characters who have however barely the time to make a lasting impression, as the editing goes fast from one odd situation to another – yet faces can be wonderfully shot and mesmerize, the director more…

Sauve qui peut (la vie)

This is first the story of a couple breaking up, with the man, Paul Godard, and the woman, Denise Rimbaud, shot one after the other dealing with the bitter fact they cannot stay together, as they get busy with their work in different settings: Paul Godard…