|Vittorio De Sica
|In the Mood for Love
|Wong Kar Wai
|Rocco E I Suoi Fratelli
|Francis Ford Coppola
|The Spirit of the Beehive
|HABLE CON ELLA
|Meet Me in St. Louis
|Trouble in Paradise
A film full of wisdom, understanding and acceptance of life that never ceases to move and amaze. A beautiful heartbreak of a movie.
Fathers and sons; hope and desperation; the lure of Gilda in a world where bedsheets need to be hocked; what life should be like in tension with what it often is; it's been making audiences weep about love and injustice for over three quarters of a century and remains as powerful as ever.
In the Mood for Love
Time and desire, music and image, a glance for every gradation of feeling. A beautiful film.
Rocco E I Suoi Fratelli
The history of a family as the history of modern Italy: intimate but with sweep; a marxist analysis brought to life through melodrama so as to incur feeling and understanding. Annie Girardot, Alain Delon, Renato Salvatore: so young, so beautiful, unforgettable. The film also has a pioneering queer strand worth re-exploring.
The story of America as the story of gangsterism. A dramatic closing shot that gives a response to the dazzling opening one. The wedding sequence, the baptism -- scenes that keep rewarding each viewing. Some people can recite the lines; others, the shots. And no one interested in acting in American cinema can ignore the performances of Brando, Caan, and Pacino in this film. A film that remains necessary.
The Spirit of the Beehive
Childhood imaginings with political resonance, poetically rendered. Ana Torrent's face in this film is the face of an era haunted by its own Frankenstein.
HABLE CON ELLA
A show of the unsayable, with images that linger in the mind long after the film is ended, with music and dancing that beautifully evoke its central preoccupations and with a conceptualisation of gender that remains adaptive and inclusive. All this plus the sound of Caetano Veloso and the sight of the Pina Bausch troupe in motion, purposefully deployed to explore and develop the film's themes.
Meet Me in St. Louis
A joyful musical about an idealised family whose unity is threatened by the father’s promotion and an imminent move to New York. A film that is both nostalgic for something that possibly never was and yet also conscious of an overhanging darkness that cuts right through. There's a boy next door, and a trolley song but also the melancholy singing of 'Have Yourself A Little Christmas,' filmed in shadows and sung by Garland to a traumatised Tootie. There are other musicals that evoke joy as well but I can't think of one that also knits in the sadness, loss, the challenges of modernity and change as well as this one does.
Trouble in Paradise
The bin man can be Caruso, jewel thieves are Barons, respectable businessmen are crooks. High style, mastery of tone, a sheen and elegance that crooks a snook whilst never ceasing to delight.
A social problem film as surrealist nightmare of sex, flesh, chickens and a child’s longing for a mother’s love. Some of the images are unforgettable: the spilled milk on a young girl’s thighs, the eggs at the camera, the peodophile pick-up, children working the carousel, the body strewn amongst the rubbish.