Tristan + Isolde
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Film Review: ‘Behind the White Glasses’

20 April 2017 2:41 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

It would be hard to think of a European filmmaker who attained the degree of international heat that Lina Wertmüller enjoyed in the mid-1970s, and then — poof! — just like that, her moment was over. Early in “Behind the White Glasses,” a dutiful Italian documentary portrait of Wertmüller and her career, you get a taste of what that moment was like when John Simon, the much-feared film and theater critic who was Wertmüller’s most devoted champion, declares that she is one of the two greatest women filmmakers in history (the other, in his view, being Leni Riefenstahl). That’s the kind of sentiment that was floating around about Wertmüller at the time, but said now, as if it were a truth for the ages, it comes off as an extravagant overstatement.

Agnès Varda, Kathryn Bigelow, Jane Campion (to name just a few): All have made films much greater than Lina Wertmüller’s. »

- Owen Gleiberman

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