The Immortal Story (Histoire Immortelle; TV, 1968)

Director/Screenwriter/Actor: Orson Welles By Roderick Heath An adaptation of a story by Karen Blixen published under her pseudonym Isak Dinesen, The Immortal Story is also a story of two immortals, Orson Welles and Jeanne Moreau. Welles’ career as a director had long since become a victim of his own clarion work Citizen Kane (1941) and …

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Song To Song (2017)

Director/Screenwriter: Terrence Malick By Roderick Heath Terrence Malick’s unexpectedly prolific burst of work in the second decade of the twenty-first century, The Tree of Life (2011), To The Wonder (2013), and Knight of Cups (2016), forms a loosely autobiographical, delicately interwoven trilogy exploring the sum and meaning of Malick’s life experience. His latest feature film, …

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Remorques (1941)

Director: Jean Grémillon By Roderick Heath Jean Grémillon was little-known outside France until relatively recently, in spite his place as one of the progenitors of French cinema’s deeply influential “poetic realist” style. Some of his lack of repute might have stemmed from his wayward career, which suffered through a series of bruising switchbacks in fortune, …

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Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

Director/Coscreenwriter: F. W. Murnau By Roderick Heath Early cinema had no shortage of great innovators whose names roll off the tongue of any film lover, but D.W. Griffith, Sergei Eisenstein, and Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau stand as perhaps the signal triumvirate of the medium’s formative influences, with Griffith as grammarian, Eisenstein as architect, and Murnau as …

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Jane Eyre (2011)

Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga By Roderick Heath Charlotte Brontë’s classic 1847 novel has, unlike her sister Emily’s Wuthering Heights, thus far largely resisted attempts by filmmakers to transpose its multifaceted charms and subterranean perversities into worthy cinema. Whereas Wuthering Heights has received such memorable, sharply contrasting and complementary adaptations from the likes of William Wyler, …

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Brief Encounter (1945) / (500) Days of Summer (2009)

Directors: David Lean ; Marc Webb By Roderick Heath Thanks to my occasional habit of shoving DVDs into the player almost at random while vaguely following the whims of my interests, every now and then I finish up watching movies that seem to comment on each other. I had just such an experience when I …

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Amélie (2001)

Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet By Roderick Heath Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 2001 film Amélie remains the highest-grossing French film of all time and a movie that pierced the cultural awareness of the English-speaking world as very few recent foreign-language films have managed. It was, and is still, regarded as a “feel-good” film par …

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