December 16, 2006

Cineaste. Winter 06.

Cineaste Winter 06 "What is so striking is that the young director is already able to use the only recently learned tools of his medium to blur the imposed ideological constraints." Stuart Liebman on Andrzej Wajda's three war films in the new issue of Cineaste.

Michael Sicinski remarks that this year Spike Lee "has released two of the finest works of his career, representing a significant bounce-back from the muddle of ideas that was She Hate Me." While Inside Man is "a deft, taut heist picture," When the Levees Broke "finds Lee moving from strength to strength, but although the seething anger in Levees is quite palpable, like its predecessor, it eschews extravagant stylistic touches or the Brechtian modernism of Do the Right Thing and Jungle Fever. Assembling his argument with great care and patience, Lee seems to prefer staying out of the way of the damning facts."

Michael Joshua Rowin admires "the unassuming beauty of Old Joy. If the film is, on one level, about the rift between the political and the personal among mid-life crisis-approaching members of Generation X, it is also, on an equally successful level, about two wholly dimensional individuals named Mark and Kurt."

The 400 Blows "[W]hile Truffaut may have flinched at shortcomings after the fact, I have no hesitation in calling The 400 Blows a masterpiece," writes David Sterritt. "This said, it's ironic that Truffaut felt uneasy about some 'experimental' touches. The film's freshest, most startling elements are precisely what bowled over those of us who saw the picture in the early 60s."

Noah Tsika on Criterion's package, 3 Films by Louis Malle, "problematic. The set seems to suggest that Malle - in spite of his vast corpus - was largely a director of social maturation films... A more balanced picture would note that Malle is actually as erotic as Bertolucci, and as anticlerical as Bergman and Bu˝uel."

Oliver William Pattenden finds Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's A Canterbury Tale "intriguing precisely because it merges elements of national mythmaking with a portrayal of British life during the war."

"For those readers new to the subject of the Hollywood blacklist, the name of John Howard Lawson may not spark any interest," writes Larry Ceplair in a review of Gerald Horne's The Final Victim of the Blacklist: John Howard Lawson, Dean of the Hollywood Ten. "Lawson was among the most conflicted, difficult, and contradictory of the writers and political activists in New York and Hollywood... Gerald Horne and John Howard Lawson are, alas, mismatched."

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Posted by dwhudson at December 16, 2006 12:16 PM