Monthly Archives: December 2014

Enemy at the Gates (2001)

Jean-Jacques Annaud’s 67 million dollar epic about the Battle of Stalingrad is usually considered a bad movie. It was booed at the Berlin International Film Festival. It was so poorly received in the former Soviet Union that an organization of Red Army veterans called for it to be banned. Peter Rainier at Rolling Stone wrote […]

Stalingrad (1993) Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943 (1999)

Was the German soldier an ordinary man trapped in an evil cause? Was General Von Paulus and the German Sixth Army “stabbed in the back” by Hitler and the German high command? Was the kessel on the Volga in the Winter of 1942 and 1943 the first real “death camp?” Fedor Bondarchuk’s 2013 rewrote the […]

White Dog (1981)

In 1968, the French novelist Roman Gary wrote a short story, later expanded into a full-length novel in 1970, called White Dog. The story was a fictionalized memoir. Gary and his wife, the American actress Jean Seaberg, adopt what they believe to be a friendly, well-trained German Shepherd, which they name Batka. Later, to their […]

The Conformist (1970)

Bernardo Bertolucci’s best known and most highly regarded film is a technically innovative and aesthetically beautiful mediation on fascism. What kind of man becomes a fascist? Why does he become a fascist? What does he do when the fascist government he’s dedicated his life to is overthrown? Jean-Louis Trintignant plays Marcello Clerici, an academic from […]

The John List Murders (1971) The Omen (1976)

Westfield, New Jersey is an upper-middle-class, predominantly white town about 25 miles outside of Manhattan. People move there from all over the United States, mainly for two reasons. The public school system regularly sends its graduates to the Ivy League. The town also has the biggest collection of colonial revival houses in the area, block […]

My list of the 100 greatest films

Originally posted on Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist:
A while back Jeff St. Clair asked some CounterPunch contributors for a list of what they considered to be the 100 greatest films of all time. I put this together pretty much off the top of my head and not in preferential order. I would say that those…

L’Atalante (1934)

Jean Vigo, the director of L’Atalante, has always had a certain mystique. “The ranks of the great film directors are short on Keatses and Shelleys,” Andrew Johnston of the New York Times writes, “young artists cut off in their prime, leaving behind a handful of great works that suggest what might have been. But one […]

Family of Secrets (2008)

I first became aware of Russ Baker’s history of the Bush family during the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. Baker, an investigative journalist who has written for the Christian Science Monitor and the Village Voice, had dug up an intriguing, but little known historical anecdote. George H. W. Bush had almost certainly been in […]