Monthly Archives: November 2014

Seven Days in May (1964)

Seven Days in May, John Frankenheimer’s film about an attempted coup against a liberal Democratic President, was pushed into production by none other than John F. Kennedy himself. Kennedy, who had read the best-selling novel, published in 1962 by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II, and who was becoming increasingly concerned about about right-wing […]

Mauvais Sang (1986)

Mauvais Sang superficially resembles a traditional “heist” movie. But if you’re looking for a tightly plotted film about an intricate criminal conspiracy, go see Oceans Eleven or The Asphalt Jungle. Mauvais Sang will bore you to tears. French director Carax doesn’t care whether or not two middle-aged gangsters named Marc and Hans and their young […]

Orientalism (1978)

The most famous work of the renowned Palestinian American scholar Edward Said is both a survey and a polemic, an introduction to the academic discipline of “Orientalism,” and an argument that it should be reformed or abolished. Said, who had an endowed chair in Comparative Literature at Columbia University, rose to the very top of […]

This Land Is Mine (1943)

This Land is Mine is both a great film and a terribly flawed one. It’s talky. It can be almost unbearably self-righteous. It has none of the romance or style of Casablanca. Nevertheless, any film that stars Charles Laughton in his prime is worth revisiting. What’s more, This Land is Mine was directed by the […]

El Cid (1961) Barry Lyndon (1975)

What are the two best duels in the history of cinema? Your mileage may vary. We all have our own favorites. For me they would have to be the trial by combat in Anthony Mann’s medieval epic El Cid, and the final duel in Stanley Kubrick’s 18th-Century costume drama Barry Lyndon. They are both so […]

Trust (1990)

I saw Trust, Hal Hartley’s second film, during its original theatrical run back in 1990. It become something of a personal milestone, if only because it was probably the first film I saw at the Angelika Theater in the East Village. Just like Nevermind, it represented an introduction to the “alternative” culture of the 1990s, […]

Why Cycling is Better than Sex

I have never experienced “love at first sight.” I never will. As an American, I have trained my mind to believe it’s wrong. At best, it’s a sign of immaturity. At worst, I would be oppressing some poor woman with my objectifying white male gaze. We are a country of lawyers, not poets. We have […]

The Last Temptation of Christ

Even though I saw The Last Temptation of Christ many years ago, I’ve always been interested in revisiting it. Does it justify the aura it still has over having been attacked, and largely suppressed by the Christian right? The answer is “yes, but with reservations.” Unlike Mel Gibson’s vulgar, sadistic, and largely brain dead The […]