If “La dolce vita” (1960) was the film of a world where the lead character’s narrative arc looks like a fall from grace, this feature released three years later is the film of a mind where redemption becomes possible. “8½” begins with a nightmare signposting movie director…

La dolce vita

Two helicopters flow over Rome: one is carrying a statue of the Christ and the other has on board a couple of journalists reporting on the unusual air cargo bound for the Holy See. But they find enough time to hover above a modern building to catch the attention of…

Nayak – The Hero

The titles roll over a geometric pattern akin to a grid eventually blurring into the black mass of the hair at the back of a head. The face is not immediately shot; actually the camera shots in closeups parts of the body as the character gets dressed, paces his airy, modern bedroom…

Kummatty

The title refers to a character of the folk culture of the Malabar region, in the Indian state of Kerala, an old man springing from nowhere, who comes across as an artist telling tales and singing songs, but turns out to be an uncanny magician. He fascinates the children, scaring them a little but also…

Dom za vesanje – Time of the Gypsies

The young bride is incensed: the groom has let her down, just by getting so drunk that he cannot walk, and certainly not taking her in his arms for their first night. The camera pans and moves: the incident occurs in a wider gloomy and mucky world, a Gypsy settlement somewhere in Yugoslavia…

The Lady from Shanghai

From the beginning to the end the voice-over is rarely quiet. The narrative is painstakingly told by Michael O’Hara, the lead character, who is eager to depict the context, ponders on his feelings, and finds at the right time the right explanations to the grim facts that have threatened…

Das weisse band – The White Ribbon

From the summer of 1913 to the summer of 1914, a few but nasty, spectacular incidents mar the life of a quiet village in northern Germany. First the doctor is badly hurt when his horse trips over a wire stretched between trees leading to his garden. Then the wife of a peasant gets killed…

Le mani sulla città – Hands Over the City

A man talks excitedly to a small group of silent fellows as well-dressed, serious, distinguished the fiery speaker, pacing up and down frantically a small spot of a huge waste ground. Then in the crowded, huge hall of a modern building official-like men stand gathered around a vast model of building to be…

There Will Be Blood

Up and down, narrow and wide: the film’s first part features gorgeous long shots on mountains overlooking the rocky place where a lonely man toils to dig gold, a struggle with the flinty, stony nature that visually swings from dark close shots deep down the well he has dug to sun-scorched…