Monthly Archives: October 2016

The Seventh Seal (1956)

Every Halloween here in suburban New Jersey offers a good opportunity to observe the distant, often aloof attitude middle-class Americans have towards death. For the liberal, cafeteria Catholics and mainline Protestants that populate my little corner of the world, Halloween is a secular holiday, something for children. The decorations, the fake graveyards and the inflatable […]

The Red Balloon (1956) Revenge of the Red Balloon (2000)

If you’re a member of Generation X, more specifically, an early member of Generation X (born between 1964 and 1968), I’m fairly sure you’ve seen Albert Lamorisse‘s 1956 Palme d’Or winner Le Ballon rouge. Le Ballon rouge. A thirty five minute long, nearly silent film about a little boy (the director’s son Pascal Lamorisse) and […]

Family and Freedom in Drutse’s Shorts

Ion Drutse reflects his deconstruction of modern Moldovan family and all its collateral affairs in ‘Let’s Talk About Weather”. Set in the humbled hamlet of Soviet era, the narrative boasts of this naive conception of expectations within the schemes of familial love. An old man who once toiled at quarrying fields, finds himself living amidst […]

Rosetta (1999)

Rosetta is not a film for normal, happy, middle-class people. If you have a family or a job, if you’re the kind of person who makes friends easily, if you’re a graduate of an Ivy League university, don’t bother watching it. It’s not going to make any sense. Rosetta is a film for outcasts and […]

Homeless (1989)

Homeless, just the sound of word is often enough to make us shudder. We walk past the mentally ill living on the streets of New York or San Francisco. Sometimes we reach into our wallets and drop a dollar or two into someone’s cup. Other times we just look up and keep walking, pretending not […]

Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

Yes. That’s Marching Through Georgia in that clip. Smokey and the Bandit, which was the second highest grossing film in 1977, beaten out only by Star Wars, is not only a great “bad” movie. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the world of the late 1970s. Saturday Night Fever, which was released a few months later, […]

City Lights (1931)

City Lights, which is widely considered to be, not only one of the greatest silent films ever made, but one of the greatest films ever made, is all that and more. As Portland State University instructor Dennis Grunes points, out Charlie Chaplin’s masterpiece is “the seminal American movie of the Great Depression.” Then why did […]

Tom Hayden (1939-2016)

The best tribute anybody can pay to Tom Hayden is that he exemplified one of the cliches of his generation. “Never trust anybody over thirty.” Born in 1939 to a middle-class Irish Catholic family in Royal Oak Michigan, came out of the University of Michigan as not only an important student leader, but as one […]

Reading the Landscape: 57

Since my bike doesn’t have a horn and I can’t honk, I guess I’ll have to vote for Jill Stein.

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)

(Note: This review is not about the 1959 version of Ben-Hur with Charlton Heston, which is a dull, bloated, overrated movie, or about the 2015 version, which nobody saw, but the original, silent epic Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, which is a masterpiece.) On April 6 and April 7 of 1862 one of the […]