Showing posts from May, 2008

How to Cover Cannes From the Comfort of Your Own Home

None of the folks for whom I write are daft enough to semd me to the Croisette in May. They know that I'd just dash into the nearest police station and demand political asylum. Yeah, I know, Sarkozy isn't much better than Dubya, but I like the idea of the French Riviera as a sanctuary. Who wouldn't? (Although if I were really going to move there, I'd live in Frejus, a charming town in which the B.W. and I spent a week a couple of years ago -- fewer tourists, but the same lovely sun and sea.)

So I'm not at the Cannes Film Festival, as usual. That doesn't mean, of course, that I'm not interested. After all, this week's Cannes winner will probably be next fall's New York Film Fest "centerpiece." My two main sources of information on the event are the New York Times reports from Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott -- a huge upgrade from previous Times film critics going all the way back to the distant days when you could count on Roger Greenspun for …

Head's Up on Another Rossellini on Cable

I can't seem to find it in my archives, but I'm sure I posted a head's-up regarding the availability of Roberto Rossellini's rather obscure Era Notte a Roma on TimeWarner Cable's "International Movies on Demand." In fact, the film is still available and will continue to be into July. I got another surprise along the same lines a few minutes ago, when I discovered that they are now also offering Rossellini's Anima Nera, which I have barely even heard of. It stars Vittorio Gassman, a highly unlikely actor for Rossellini, so if nothing else that pairing should be of interest. I have no idea what is going on with this on-demand channel, but I'm almost giddy with delight.

A Backlog of Cinema

Occasionally while on-line I find myself wondering about people who let their blogs just trickle away to nothingness. I suppose that my Jewish guilt is so powerful that it acts like a kind of Puritanizm to prevent me from ever doing that. But I certainly can see why other people less driven by their internal governing voices can.

At any rate, I certainly haven't been idle the last two weeks. Indeed, here are links to my two latest film pieces, a review of three recent Jewish-themed films playing around town, and an interview with David Volach, director of My Father, My Lord. At the risk of cliche, let me add that if you are going to see only one more film this year, the Volach should be it. Although he cites Kieslowski as his immediate influence -- and the Polish master's presence is palpable -- I think Volach is what I've been seeking for a long time, a Jewish filmmaker sufficiently steeped in his own religion to understand how to apply the lessons of Bresson, Dreyer, Tark…