Where’d You Go, Bernadette – 2019 Linklater

It’s a tremendous disappointment for any project directed by Richard Linklater and starring Cate Blanchett to be a fringe recommendation—let’s get that out there first. It lacks authorship and though it’s a solid film (it’s

The Honey Pot – 1967 Mankiewicz

Based on Volpone (in the text all over the place) from Ben Johnson—a play in the 17th century. It’s witty. Definitely feels like Agatha Christie or Charlie Chan (in the text as well) or even

House of Strangers – 1949 Mankiewicz

There’s a stunning shot in the first third of the film as we go from the current strand of time to a long flashback. The camera starts next to a portrait of Edward G. Robinson

Sabotage – 1936 Hitchcock

Not to be confused with the 1942 Hitchcock title Saboteur- this one is from Joseph Conrad’s “Secret Agent”, is an extremely brisk 77 minutes, and is most noteworthy for a brilliantly dramatic editing sequence featuring

Café Lumière – 2003 Hsiao-Hsien Hou

A near-staggering achievement of mise-en-scene that serves both as a devoted homage to Ozu and as a major triumph for Hsiao-Hsien HouBefore the film really starts there’s a dedication to Ozu’s centenarian 100 year old

After Hours – 1985 Scorsese

The opening and closing shots serve as bookends - Scorsese is flying around the office with his trademark active camera A riff of “Alice” or Wizard of Oz (he’s trying to get home for most

Death of a Salesman – 1985 Schlöndorff

It is a remarkable combination of pieces (a Pulitzer Prize winning source material, Alex North as the composer, Michael Ballhaus the cinematographer, and a talented cast)—but then Volker Schlöndorff largely keeps it woefully stagebound  (The

Gambit – 1966 Neame

Light and airy—Shirley MacLaine and Michael Caine carry this heist caper into the archives (by a thin margin) Notable for the false star surreal opening where they pull off the heist to perfection (MacLaine doesn’t

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