6 items from 2017
Being called the French Hitchcock does Claude Chabrol a disservice, as his dark thrillers approach mystery and suspense almost completely through character, not cinematics. These three very good 1990s productions are completely different in tone and approach, and each showcases a stunning French actress.
3 Classic Films by Claude Chabrol
Cohen Film Collection
1992,1994,1997 / Color / 1:66 widescreen / 103, 102, 105 min. / Street Date February 21, 2017 / 49.99
Starring Marie Trintignant, Stéphane Audran, Jean-François Garreaud, Yves Lambrecht; Emmanuelle Béart, François Cluzet, Nathalie Cardone, Dora Doll; Isabelle Huppert, Michel Serrault, François Cluzet, Jean-François Balmer.
Cinematography: Bernard Zitermann; Bernard Zitermann, Eduardo Serra
Film Editor: Monique Fardoulis (x3)
Original Music: Matthieu Chabrol (x3)
Produced by Marin Karmitz (x3)
Directed by Claude Chabrol (x3)
Not all Claude Chabrol films are equal, but »
- Glenn Erickson
Don’t be fooled by his film’s slim running time: Everardo González, Mexican documentarian and laureate of various international festivals, can pack an awful lot of bleakness into 74 unhurried minutes. But thanks to a simple, chillingly inspired device, “Devil’s Freedom” — a mournful investigation into the phenomenon of Mexico’s “disappeared” from the perspectives of those bereaved by, and those responsible for, some truly barbaric acts of kidnapping, torture, and murder — is deeply compelling despite toiling in the grimmest recesses of human behavior. González’s subjects, whether perpetrators or victims, all wear masks: grotesque, flesh-colored balaclavas with crude cutouts for eyes, nose, and mouth. This single flourish, without compromising the authenticity of the first-person testimony that forms the bulk of the film, lends a surreal cast to the visuals, and introduces a host of disturbing and provocative associations.
The masks alternately suggest the bandages of burns victims or bring »
- Jessica Kiang
The Ninth Annual Robert Classic French Film Festival — co-presented by Cinema St. Louis and the Webster University Film Series — celebrates St. Louis’ Gallic heritage and France’s cinematic legacy. The featured films span the decades from the 1920s through the mid-1990s, offering a revealing overview of French cinema.
The fest is annually highlighted by significant restorations, which this year includes films by two New Wave masters: Jacques Rivette’s first feature, “Paris Belongs to Us,” and François Truffaut’s cinephilic love letter, “Day for Night.” The fest also provides one of the few opportunities available in St. Louis to see films projected the old-school, time-honored way, with both Alain Resnais’ “Last Year at Marienbad” and Robert Bresson’s “Au hasard Balthazar” screening from 35mm prints. Even more traditional, we also offer a silent film with live music, and audiences are sure to delight in the Poor People of Paris »
- Tom Stockman
Region 2 Pal DVD
Terminal Video Italia Srl
1960 / B&W / 1:66 flat letterbox / 103 min. / Street Date June 12, 2011 / available through Amazon.it / Eur 6,64
Cinematography: Aldo Giordani
Film Editor: Gabrielle Varriale
Makeup Effects: Euclide Santoli
Original Music: Armando Trovajoli
Directed by Anton Giulio Majano
Let me herewith take a break from new discs to review an Italian release from six years ago, a movie that for years we knew only as Atom Age Vampire. Until sporadic late- night TV showings appeared, it existed for us ’60s kids as one or two interesting photos in Famous Monsters magazine. Forry Ackerman steered away from adult films, with the effect that »
- Glenn Erickson
Isabelle Huppert is stirring Oscar talk (and she damn well should) for the potent provocation of her acting in Elle, directed by Dutch wildman Paul Verhoeven. But to see her in Things to Come, as a character who is the polar opposite of the powerhouse she plays in that story of rape and revenge, is to cement Huppert's reputation as one of the best actresses on the planet. Written and directed by Mia Hansen-Love (Eden), the film gives the legendary French star the role of Nathalie, a Paris philosophy professor whose academic husband, »
The Criterion Collection 850
1961 / B&W / 1:66 widescreen 1:37 flat Academy / 113 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date January 17, 2017 / 39.95
Cinematography: Eugen Schüfftan
Film Editor: Carl Lerner
Original Music: Aaron Copland
Produced by George Justin
Directed by Jack Garfein
After writing up an earlier Mod disc release of the 1961 movie Something Wild, I received a brief but welcome email note from its director:
“Dear Glenn Erickson,
Thank you for your profound appreciation of Something Wild.
If possible, I would appreciate if you could send
me a copy of your review by email.
- Glenn Erickson
6 items from 2017
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