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Showing posts from October, 2015

Film Review: "The River," by Jean Renoir

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"The River" (1951) is one of my all time favorite films. I saw bits of it several times on the late late show in my younger days. It always struck me as a "neat film" but I could never find out the title or see the whole thing. Recently I found it. I give it 5 starts on my netflix rating and I only give 5 starts to my absolute favorites such Bergman's "The Seventh Seal." "The River" is a strange film directed by Jean Renoir, one of the truly great directors, best known for the film classic, "the Rules of The Game," (19390 (Roger Ebert's Review), and the equally famous "Grand Illusion" (1937) (Renoir was the son of the famous Painter). The first time I saw the river I had no idea who made it. I came to respect Renoir, years before I  knew about the River. Probably his most famous works are Rules of the Game, and Grand Illusion both "must sees" for anyone who pretends to a good knowledge of film as an art …

Jacques Tati: Not the Charlie Chaplan of France, but the Ingamar Bergman of Comedy

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Tati as Hulot: I am convinced that he was
the model for Inspector Clouseau. The above picture
In front of the "mos French Looking house" form Mon Oncle.

Part of the mission of this blog is intellectual reflection upon life as well as faith. The appreciation of Great art counts in that endeavor, and if the great art makes you laugh so much the better for Sunday, the day of rest. Toward that end I sometimes do little film reviews, always of old art films from the golden age of artistic cinema. Recently (in the past couple of years) I have really come to appreciate the great French filmmaker Jacques Tati (Oct 9, 1907--Nov 5, 1982). American film critics always call him "the French Chaplin." That is a dismissive injustice. He was a brilliant filmmaker who deserves to be thought of as the Bergman of Comedy.

I heard of this guy a long time ago. I even saw some of his early shorts. I thought "Ha, ha they are ok but he's no Chaplin." Not to insult the actual Chap…

Review, The Longest Day: cast of thousands Committee of directors

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"Ordet": (The word), a film by Carl Dreyer (no 10)

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1954
I'd like to know if anyone actually read this review. if so please make a comment?


I love foreign cinema and occasionally I enjoy reviewing old films from Germany, France, Italy or Japan, or other countries. My favorite kind of film is one that takes on a big question, the kind of question religious belief is about answering, through the perspective of modern thought and film making. My favorite director is Ingmar Bergman, for his quasi religous (even though he was an atheist) films such as The Seventh Seal, the Virgin Spring, Winter Light.

I've been searching for another director who would have that same kind of theological bent in a modern film package. I recently found one in Carl Dreyer (1889-1968). While Berman was a Swede Dreyer was Danish, and is very different from Bergman yet they both share that same Nordic kind of theater tradition that adds an element of stinginess and pageantry to their films. While they are very different they also at times remind me…

No 9 "Dr. Strangelove"

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